If making healthy smoothies is an art, then holistic nutritionist Kelly LeVeque is Salvador Dali – so skilled it’s surreal. The recipes we’re sharing from her below below do more than just deliver a basic boost of plant-based nutrition; each one serves a specific function, from cleansing to chilling out.
While many intendedly healthy smoothies get derailed by a sugar overload or just don’t fill us up, these pack a punch with delicious healthy fats and healing spices. The result is a collection of perfectly fall flavors – from gingersnap to pumpkin spice – we can feel good about guzzling down. Try all three of these recipes we love…
Turmeric Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
Fight Inflammation + Chill
Curcumin + Tryptophan
Turmeric contains medicinal properties called curcuminoids, the most important of which is curcumin. Curcumin is the ultimate “anti.” It has been shown to exhibit antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal and anticancer activities. Curcumin also helps activate the liver genes that help keep glucose levels in check and can improve your pancreas’s ability to produce insulin. They key is helping to ensure it’s absorbed by the body and a pinch of black pepper will do the trick, increasing curcumin’s bioavailability eight fold. Gaia’s Golden Milk is a blend of turmeric and black pepper that eliminates the guesswork, but you can easily use turmeric with a pinch of black pepper.
Pumpkin + Pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin seeds are rich in tryptophan, the amino acid that is responsible for helping the body make serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter that helps you relax and unwind. In order for tryptophan to pass the blood brain barrier it needs carbohydrates. When you ingest carbs, your body produces insulin, which drives protein out of the bloodstream and into your cells. The amino acid tryptophan then binds to the protein albumin, which allows it to remain unaffected by insulin. Eating carbohydrates increases the ratio of tryptophan to other amino acids thus making its way into the brain. Complex carbs, like high fiber pumpkin, are the best way to ensure a sustained release of insulin and increased brain levels of serotonin.
1 ½ cups of unsweetened almond milk
1 serving of vanilla protein
1 Tbsp MCT oil
1 Tbsp chia seeds
1½ tsp Ceylon Cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1 tsp of Gaia golden milk (or 1 tsp turmeric and pinch black pepper)
½ cup frozen pumpkin puree
For the topping:
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
Banana Nut Bread Smoothie
Gut Health + Repair
Acacia Fiber + Collagen
Collagen represents 90% of organic bone mass and is a major component of ligaments, joints and tendons. Until recently, researchers didn’t know if collagen was broken down into amino acids, like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline, or absorbed and assimilated in complete form. Surprisingly, it has been proven that 50% of dietary supplementation is assimilated in whole form.
The role of fiber in health has extended far beyond improved laxation, and includes benefits like reducing risk factors for cardiovascular disease, weight management, improved immune function and colonic health. Acacia is a prebiotic soluble fiber that helps produce butyrate, a free fatty acid produced by the fermentation of fiber by gut bacteria. Extended human studies are needed, but in rats, butyrate has been proven to help maintain healthy gut-barrier function and reduce abnormal intestinal permeability (“leaky gut”).
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 serving of collagen
1 Tbsp walnut butter
1 tsp acacia fiber
Ginger Snap Smoothie
Fight Oxidative Stress + Free Radicals + Cleansing
Cloves + Silica
Ranking higher on the oxygen radical absorbance capacity (ORAC) scale than acai and turmeric, clove delivers more antioxidants to fight free radicals – without sugar. It’s loaded with over 100% of your daily value of vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese and possess anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. Research suggests eugenol, present in clove, reduces inflammation and pain by stimulating pain receptors.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth is composed of approximately 85% silica. This important trace mineral is required by tendons, cartilage, blood vessels and bones and is very good at removing waste material, toxins and heavy metals from the body. The nutrient contributes to almost every vital organ, including the heart, liver and lungs and, along with vitamin C, keeps skin moisturized. An alternative source of silica is “Liquid Light”, a powerful liquid mineral complex contains over 72 trace minerals. It is just the boost of energy my body needs every day, all while also aiding in proper digestion and nutrient absorption. Fulvic acid boosts nutrient absorption and silica supports detoxification.
1 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 serving vanilla protein
1/2 banana, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 tsp molasses
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp clove
1 cap of Liquid Light or 1 tsp food grade diatomaceous earth (silica)