Berries are ripe for the picking this time of year in the US. Not only are they absolutely delicious, they offer an amazing array of health promoting phytonutrients. The dark and vibrant colors signify the rich variety of nutrients – I always like to say, “if a fruit or veggie stains your shirt, it’s got to be good for you!”
I took our family’s favorite go-to morning smoothie for a quick and healthy start to the day and added more ripe fruits that are in season. The cacao nibs add a crunch plus more fiber and antioxidants and the protein powder helps get me ready for a morning workout and the kids ready for an active day at camp.
Berries boast many nutrients; here are a few superstars:
Anthocyanin – gives blueberries, blackberries and cherries their blue or dark red/purple hue. These gems not only act to scavenge damaging free-radicals but they also help to potentiate or assist other phytonutrients in their work to keep our immune system strong. Research has shown their benefit in promoting a healthy heart, vision, memory and cognitive function.
Melatonin – this sleep regulating hormone also acts as an antioxidant has been identified in cherries. Cherries also have anti inflammatory compounds that can help to ease joint pain.
Vitamin C - move over oranges! Get your daily dose and then some from this Vitamin C packed smoothie! Just 1 cup of whole strawberries contains 141% of your daily needs!
- 1 cup (140 g) blueberries
- 1/2 cup (125 g) cherries, pitted
- 1/2 cup (125 g) blackberries
- 1 cup (200 g) strawberries
- 2 tbsp cacao nibs
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 scoop protein powder (I used pea protein)
- 1 handful spinach
- 8 oz (1 cup / 240 mL) coconut water
- Ice, as needed
- Wash all fruit and spinach.
- Remove pit from cherries.
- Remove green stem from strawberries (optional).
- Add all ingredients to blender.
- Blend on high for 45 – 60 seconds until smooth.
- Serve and enjoy.
- Spinach – kale (Tuscan cabbage), romaine (cos)
- Cacao nibs – cocoa powder (use less)
- Pea protein – rice protein, spirulina, hemp seeds
- Coconut water – unsweetened almond milk
- Chia seeds – flax seeds
- Nutrition per serving:
- Fat20 g
- Saturated Fat8 g
- Cholesterol0 mg
- Sodium290 mg
- Carbohydrates76 g
- Fiber25 g
- Sugars44 g
- Protein 18 g
Yields and nutritional information are estimated and will vary depending on produce size and equipment used.