If you’ve followed this blog for a while you know that Mind Body Soul Food’s recipes are inspired by nature. Inspiration struck several weeks ago as spring began to blossom in Seattle. The beautiful pink and yellow flowers bloomed while the moss brightened due to heavy rains.
And well, how perfect does anything green go with St. Patrick’s Day. I knew I wanted to create something with a purpose for this holiday that complimented the colors of nature.
Seattle is in fact beautiful and I appreciate our mild and temperate winters. Plant life exists year round and nothing balances out the day than a glimpse at the remarkable Puget Sound.
I’ve been back in the states for exactly three months. Wow! Time flies. I left Germany on December 17, 2015. My second inspiration for this recipe is a financial one.
You see, between October 2014 through the end of January 2015 I was unemployed except with some freelance work. During that time, my budget only allowed me to cook nearly every day. I enjoy cooking because I think it’s therapeutic and I take control of what my body gets in terms of health and nutrition. And the more I connected to nature the more I got inspired with how our food is connected to plant life in terms of colors, patterns, shapes and textures.
I now have this dream, which many do and is also a new trend – early retirement. Although I’m a long way from that, I am challenging myself to create healthy recipes on a budget. All recipes I create are budget conscious but now I want to "show" how affordable healthy eating can be.
Plus, I am a realist. Although I’d like to encourage people to drink spinach rather than large quantities of beer on St Patty’s Day, I do believe that the only thing green stuffed in someone's face today will be green beer. So, when hung over why not pack your body with hang-over nutrients instead of greasy chips and ice cream.
Spinach is chocked full of Vitamin A and K (as well as magnesium and potassium which aide dehydrated bodies) and contains a nutrient called, “Glycolycerolipids” which are fat-related molecules found in the membranes of most plants. Why is this important? Because this nutrient can help protect the stomach lining of the digestive tract including inflammation.
Combined with the boost of Vitamin C from the banana, this fruit is the perfect carbohydrate that is easy on the digestive tract. It’s a low GI carbohydrate and like spinach, is an ideal source of fiber, which is good to you know, relieve the alcohol that’s floating in your system. The banana’s digestive importance is the fructooligosaccharides which are fructose containing carbs that are not broken down by enzymes. In essence, it moves along the digestive tract to the small intestine where – BINGO – 95% of our nutrients are absorbed.
If you add in the small bit of nut butter you get another boost of gentleness on the stomach. Alcohol especially in large quantities is rough on the stomach and the digestion process.
So, I move on…
I went to the store last night and spent $2.12 on three large bananas ($1.21) and 0.13 pound of spinach ($0.91) which is about three big handfuls or three heaping cups.
I challenged myself and well I created this recipe for about $1.00 when equating the ratios of the ingredients used. (Ha beat that McDonalds!)
While living in Northern Germany I could not believe how inexpensive healthy food is. I used to walk out of the store with three bags stacked with food for 30 Euros or less. In the states, I can’t buy more than one Trader Joes bag.
I bought the spinach and banana at one of Seattle’s most expensive grocery stores, The Metropolitan Market. I love the place, but it is very expensive. So with spending about a buck on the smoothie at an expensive store means that it could be cheaper at other places.
This smoothie is for one and you must know smoothies are easier to digest than eating the whole fruit or vegetable. Because of that, concocting giant 16-24 ounce smoothies are too large and you have to think about whether or not you can consume that same quantity in its whole form.
The nut butter is optional (a bit of protein and fat to balance our macronutrients), but I find the banana and spinach blended together in a naturally sweet way with the unsweetened almond milk. Enjoy and Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Vegan St. Patty's Day Shamrock Recovery Shake (Banana Spinach Smoothie)
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
1 large banana
1 cup fresh spinach
1/3 + 1/4 cup nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
Optional: 1 scoop almond butter
Place the banana, spinach and 1/3 cup milk into a food processor or blender. Mix until blended and remove the lid to scrape the sides. Gradually add the additional 1/4 cup of milk and nut butter. Blend until smooth.
If you have questions about hangover cures or anything health-related, please contact us or comment below! Happy St Patricks Day!
Elizabeth Rae Kovar M.A. is Author of her memoir, Finding Om and is a Fitness Trainer, Yogi, Reiki Master, Presenter and Lover of Life. To view her portfolio please visit www.elizabethkovar.com