Happy spring, everyone! Here in the heartland, spring means crazy weather- shorts and t-shirts one day, down parkas the next. With the weather come a plethora of springtime illnesses. Allergies, viral infections, you name it, and you or someone you know have it.
At my workplace, we had an outbreak of norovirus last week. If you aren’t familiar, it’s a VERY unpleasant GI infection. If you are familiar, you know VERY unpleasant is probably an understatement 🙂 When one of my co-workers was asking what she should do to feel better, this smoothie, full of protein, fruit, veggies and fluids, immediately came to mind.
I have the great fortune of working in a university research department with a metabolic kitchen, and a cook who has worked in that kitchen for something like 30 years. His collection of research-based recipes is incredible- he has a recipe for just about every kind of ailment. He told me about this smoothie recipe he had made for some research subjects using coconut milk. Sounded yummy to me!
The research doctor in charge of the study with the delicious smoothies was Terry Wahls, who used a research-based diet to treat her own multiple sclerosis. She was in a wheelchair to begin with, and now she walks without assistance! I’m told that she is now testing the diet on subjects with multiple sclerosis and also on people with a variety of other autoimmune and neurological diseases. I have read her book, The Wahls Protocol. The diet is quite strict and I don’t think I would be able to follow it unless I were seriously ill myself. However, I decided to incorporate some elements of it into my daily routine. Eating more berries, dark leafy greens, and fewer refined carbs is probably a good idea for anyone. Plus, any excuse to eat more coconut 😉
I started adding coconut milk to my regular smoothie recipe after hearing about the research kitchen recipe mostly because it just sounded really tasty. However, science has shown that you do need to eat some fat with your vegetables to absorb the nutrients they provide. More about that here. If you aren’t a fan of coconut, avocado is a good smoothie additive as well, but not as convenient since cut avocados turn brown on you. Also, my recipe is not paleo since I use Greek yogurt for protein, but it would be quite easy to adapt this to a paleo diet by either leaving out the yogurt or replacing it with a paleo protein supplement.
Green Coconut Smoothie
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 peach, pitted
- 1 cup unflavored Greek yogurt
- 1.5 cups coconut water
- 0.5 cup coconut milk
- 1 handful fresh spinach
- 1 t vanilla
Place all ingredients in blender. Blend on high until smooth. Serve immediately. Makes about 1 liter.