Cacao Bliss Smoothie

It’s not a misspelling, it’s how you spell the unrefined version of cocoa. Cacao [ka-COW] is just that, it’s a less-refined and much more potent form of the chocolatey taste we all love. Combined with chia seeds, a little non-dairy milk and honey, this smoothie comes across as tasting like a distant cousin to black tea. If you’re a tea fan, you might also be a big fan of this smoothie.

The nutrients of this smoothie start with cacao. You may not think one small tablespoon will go very far, but the rich taste of cacao goes a long way. The benefits of this ground up bean include cardiovascular health, blood sugar control, improved mood and free radical protection.

Chia seeds help provide a smooth texture to this concoction. If you want to avoid sipping up small seeds, simply blend a little longer. These mucilaginous seeds break down very quickly, becoming barely noticeable.

That said, you’ll still reap the benefits, including improved digestion, improved energy, blood sugar control and strong bones (chia seeds are a great source of calcium!).

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
1 tbsp cacao
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp honey
Handful ice cubes (optional)

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.

 

Ginger Berry Smoothie

When I think about foods that really work for the health of my body, blueberries and ginger usually come somewhere in the top 10. They’re both have a lot to offer, including detoxifying properties, and taste really good – especially when paired together.

Blueberries contain a potent flavonoid called anthocyanins. Research has shown that consumption of blueberries is associated with protection against cardiovascular disease, diminished vision, diabetes, high LDL cholesterol and varicose veins.

With few exceptions, when you cook, process or allow a food to be exposed to the elements for too long, nutrients dwindle. The reason why I like to use, and recommend, frozen blueberries for this smoothie and my the 3-Day Cleanse of The Belly Burn Plan is because the nutrients stay intact, or at least aren’t as affected if you were to let them sit in the refrigerator for a few days. If you decide to go the fresh route, I highly recommend buying them organic.

Ginger contains the strong anti-inflammatory compound, gingerol. Found in fresh ginger specifically, this compound has shown promise with anti-cancer and anti-rheumatoid properties.

This recipe calls for freshly grated ginger. Grating ginger doesn’t need to be tricky. Simply use the fine side of a regular cheese grater and work away.

Serves 1

Ingredients
1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (coconut, almond, hemp)
½ cup blueberries, frozen
1” fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp honey

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.

 

Detox Dill Dressing

If you have a copy of The Belly Burn Plan (with the New Year coming, I hope you do), then you’ve had the
Cleanse Dressing. I love it, but the Detox Dill Dressing is quite different. It’s a little smoother and doesn’t have quite the same amount of tang as the Cleanse dressing.

The next book I write will be sure to include plenty of recipes with dill. Dill comes from the same family of vegetables as carrots, fennel, celery, parsnips and parsley. Dill has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Paired with the power of apple cider vinegar, EVOO* and garlic, this is truly a powerhouse of a dressing – and so much better than anything you could every buy in a store.

Apple cider vinegar helps to improve digestion and balance blood sugar levels. EVOO is an incredible source of monounsaturated fat, and has been shown to provide protection against heart disease and chronic inflammation related to arthritis. Garlic has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, kill harmful bacteria and detox heavy metals, to name a few.

I hope you love this dressing as much as me. If you’re a salad eater, or enjoy dipping your veggies in something, then double up on this recipe so you won’t run out as fast.

*This is NOT a sponsored mention:  Because there are so many brands of phony olive oils clogging up grocery store shelves, I want to recommend California Olive Ranch or the Kirkland brand of olive oil. You may have to pay a couple bucks more, but olive oil goes a long way and it’s so much healthier to know you’re getting the real deal, and not a knock off of something with less-than-honest ingredients. If you know of a legit olive oil that’s been tested, please leave mention in the comments.

Serves 6

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp

Ingredients
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
3 tbsp fresh dill (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup sea salt

Preparation
Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.