I woke up with a bit of a sore throat this morning and wanted something nutrient packed and soothing for breakfast. This smoothie definitely hit the spot! It's packed with vitamins and is filling too.
People seem to give vitamin C all the credit for immune boosting properties. But really there are so many vitamins and minerals that play a role in our immune system - zinc, vitamins D, A, E, and B vitamins too!
Research is actually mixed on whether or not loading up on Emergen-C and orange juice is actually effective in treating or preventing colds. Some studies show that it doesn't prevent the onset of a cold but could possibly decrease the duration. Either way, it can't hurt to get your fair share of oranges, especially this time of year when they're in season and so juicy and delicious!
When it comes to smoothies I try to follow three guidelines:
1. include a VEGGIE
I find all fruit smoothies are typically too sweet for me, so I like to mix it up with other ingredients. As fruit is naturally sweeter it seems to be easier for people to meet the recommended 2 servings per day. People seem to have a harder time getting in at least 3 servings of veggies each day. Adding one into a smoothie is a super easy way to help you reach this goal, often you can't even taste it! I try to always keep spinach or kale on hand to add to smoothies, but I also add carrots, beets, or cauliflower. This was my first time adding sweet potato and I love the orange color it gives it.
2. include a PROTEIN
I also need a source of protein in my smoothie to help fill me up and keep me full longer. Without a protein, smoothies can be a quick burst of energy from all the carbohydrates but can make us crash and feel hungry again soon after. The protein also helps repair muscles if you're eating a smoothie after a workout. For protein I usually add plain greek yogurt, milk, tofu, or I'll top it with nuts.
3. eat it with a SPOON
When you slurp a smoothie through a straw, you can suck it down in just a few seconds. I prefer (and encourage others to as well) to engage in the act of eating my smoothie. Whether I serve it in a bowl or a glass, I always top it with something (nuts, granola, plain oats, chia seeds, etc.) and eat it with a spoon. This helps me slow down and pay attention to my hunger cues. Drinking in calories (whether it be juice, soda, alcohol, or smoothies) is typically not as satisfying and we don't realize how full we are until after. Smoothies can be very filling and even high in calories, so I would encourage you to slow down and eat your smoothie.
Orange Creamsicle Smoothie
1/2 sweet potato, diced
2 teaspoonfuls tahini
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt
~1/4 cup of milk to blend
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1. If you can, I would freeze the banana and/or orange ahead of time. It will make the smoothie chilled and frothy. If not, throw in a few ice cubes to chill it a bit.
2. Dice your sweet potato and steam with a splash of water in the microwave for 1 minute. This will soften it up to make it easier on your blender.
3. Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour into glasses, bowls, or mason jars to go. Top with whatever you may like - dried fruit, nuts, chia seeds, oats, granola, etc. Eat with a spoon and enjoy!