Mint and the holidays go together like the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda. Often when we think of mint treats they are packed with sugar and lacking any nutrition. So I present to you the SOAR Mint Cacao Smoothie to soothie your holidays.
Mint is such an accessible herb! It is fairly easy to grow, can be found in most grocery store produce sections, to buy dried, or you can get an extract. For this recipe I love fresh mint leaves, but an extract works if that is what you have. I don't recommend dried here though. Mints have been used medicinally as long as plants have been used medicinally. When using mint in a recipe or a tisane (herbal tea) you have many to choose from. I prefer spearmint, but also love chocolate mint. Peppermint is the old standard. Side note: if the only mint tea you have ever had came out of a tea bag you are missing out! Fresh mint makes a brighter, cleaner beverage.
Aside from masking bad breath mint can aid in digestion, boost the immune system, boost brain function, reduce stress and anxiety, and is anti-inflammatory.
The first thing you'll put in your blender is spinach. Now, don't freak out. You won't really taste it but it will add a beautiful holiday green as well as a ton of nutritive benefits. You will use 1 cup of spinach in your smoothie. That one cup contains: .80 grams of protein, 30 mg of calcium, .81 grams of iron, 24 mg of magnesium, 167 mg of potassium, 2,813 IU of vitamin A, 58 micrograms of folate and fiber.
So? What does that even mean?
The potassium helps lower blood pressure, something most of my clients need.
The calcium and magnesium help strengthen bones, prevent anxiety and irritability as well as aiding in sleep.
The folate helps you produce dopamine is a feel-good neurotransmitter.
The fiber aides in digestion and helps keep things moving along. If you aren't getting enough fiber you may be reabsorbing things you don't really want in your body increasing risk of cancer. If you are estrogen dominate (really bad pms is one symptom) you may want to increase your fiber.
Yes, you can take these things in pill form but your body will absorb it all better from food because most healthy foods are already balanced with each nutrient to boost the each other.
Next add in one banana. I like to peel and cut up bananas and freeze them for smoothies. The banana adds your sweetness along with more potassium, fiber, and vitamin c.
We covered potassium and blood pressure and fiber.
The vitamin C can help your immune system and your skin.
Now you need a liquid. Any milk will do except skim milk. Skim milk is not healthy and I do not suggest it. But you can use dairy or non-dairy milk and nutrition will vary depending. Depending on how thick you want it you can add up to 1 cup. I like a little less.
You can add your mint here. If you are adding fresh a handful will do. If you are using extract please only add a couple of drops to start. You can always add more, but you can't take it out!
Blend this for a minute or two depending on your blender. You are't going for totally smooth yet. We're just getting stuff chopped up a bit before adding one tablespoon of cacao nibs. Cacao nibs are made from crushed cocoa beans and they are highly nutritious! These guys add even more potassium for that blood pressure, flavonoids to increase insulin sensitivity thus reducing risk of diabetes, more fiber and iron too. They are also anti-inflammatory.
Blend all of this together for a super nutritious holiday smoothie that helps you: deal with stress and anxiety, reduce risk of high BP and diabetes, reduces inflammation, lowers risk of cancer, reduces risk of estrogen dominance, helps your immune system, eases cold symptoms, and tastes like mint chocolate chip ice cream!
Enjoy it my SOAR friends, and Happy Holidays!
Mint Cacao Smoothie
1 frozen banana
1 cup spinach
1 cup (or less) of milk
1 handful of mint or 2 drops of mint extract (you can add more to taste, but be careful)
1 TBSP cacao nibs
Add banana, spinach, milk, and mint to blender and blend until almost smooth.
Add cacao and blend to chop them up and smooth out the rest.
Makes 1 or 2 minis