By Esther Boateng
(Inspired by Ben Greenfield’s Cookbook: Boundless)
If the thought of eating a carrot cake makes your heart sing, I should probably warn you that this smoothie might induce a happy dance. Feel free to put on your favorite track, clear your dance space and start blending your way to happiness.
This recipe bears all the hallmarks of a carrot cake, minus the baking. Instead of using of a bunch of freshly grated carrots, I’m using one carrot, and Dr. Cowan’s Garden Carrot Powder. I’m also using Dr. Cowan’s Garden Threefold Blend Powder (Spicy) for its unique blend of spices. It contains a root (carrot), a rhizome (ginger), a leaf (wasabi), and a fruit (pepper). I’m guilty of over-using this spicy blend for many of my savory/sweet recipes, much to my husband’s dismay, but this recipe definitely warrants the use of as much, or as little powder as your taste buds can handle.
The sweet component in the carrots, spicy component in the ginger and wasabi and gentle heat component in the Jimmy Nardello peppers balances well with the pumpkin spices: nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon. These ingredients will upgrade your smoothie to a detox smoothie, especially the peppers, which help with the nutrient absorption of any food in which they are added. Ginger is a well-known spice valued for its medicinal properties, and its ability to reduce inflammation. Real wasabi, not the ‘fake’ stuff you sometimes get offered in restaurants, has a similar consistency to fresh ginger. It’s prized not only for its delicate flavor, but also its sulfur-based medicinal properties that assist in detoxification.
Whenever I make a smoothie, I normally include a generous dose of healthy fats, such as avocado, coconut or ghee (clarified butter). If I have a fresh coconut in the fridge, I’ll crack it open, scoop out the flesh and add it to my smoothie, along with some fresh coconut water. Alternatively, I might use dry unsweetened coconut flakes or coconut butter, if I don’t have access to fresh coconut. A dollop of ghee cranks up the nutritional profile of this smoothie. Not only is ghee high in fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E and vitamin K, its distinctive nutty flavor and deliciousness makes this a versatile smoothie addition.
Whenever I include healthy fats such as ghee to smoothies, or even hot beverages, it helps keep me satisfied for longer. Besides adding a hint of sweetness, fresh coconut adds bulk to your smoothie and gives it a deliciously thick and creamy consistency. I also prefer to use full fat creamy yogurt for the same reason.
If you prefer to eat your smoothie with a spoon rather than sip it, you might favor a dose of fiber- and protein-rich hemp seeds; this will transform your smoothie into a heavyweight champion.
Typical smoothie recipes call for loads of fruit like blueberries or pineapple. That’s fine if you lean towards sweet beverages, and you can handle that level of sweetness when you break your fast. I prefer a warm, savory breakfast, so I usually opt for something less sweet to kickstart my day. A small amount of banana in this recipe provides just the right amount of sweetness without going overboard. The taste will vary slightly depending on the ripeness of your banana.
Many of the ingredients are optional. That’s the beauty of making smoothies; they are incredibly versatile, with a high nutritional profile, budget friendly if you don’t get carried away with additional ingredients, and relatively quick and easy to whip up.
Although this recipe does not take long, being a creative wiz in the kitchen still requires a small investment of your time. Like most people, I often find myself short on time when it comes to fitting in self-care practices other than cooking, such as regular daily movement, breath-work, meditation and so on.
If you find there are not enough hours in the day to make nutritious meals and fit in your daily movement, why not do both simultaneously? Sometimes I like to shake while I blend, and hum along to my favorite tunes. Shaking not only releases stress in the body; it also plants a smile on your face and puts you in a positive mood to start the day. Blend your way to happiness with your favorite tunes each morning, and see if it makes a difference to how you feel.
Shake and blend!
1 small grated carrot
4 Tbsp full fat yogurt
1/2 banana (optional)
10-20 Baruka (Baru) nuts (optional)
1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp ghee i.e., clarified butter (optional)
2 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/2 cup coconut flesh (optional)
1/2 cup coconut water (optional)
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp of vanilla powder or ½ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
1 tsp of coconut shreds or flakes (optional)
1 tsp of bee pollen (optional)
Add all the ingredients to a high-speed blender and blend for up to 60 seconds, or until you get a creamy texture.
Is your ovenproof dish buried at the back of your cupboard collecting dust? If so, dig it out, blow away the dust, and give it a good clean; you will need it for this baked fish recipe. This super versatile recipe is a complete meal, especially if you pair it with mashed potatoes; more on this later. You will also love this recipe if you like to keep washing up to a minimum. Although this recipe is made with red snapper, it works equally well with any type of white flaky fish such as cod, tilapia, bass, grouper or haddock.
What pies are on your family’s Thanksgiving table? Are they the usual apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan? Why not change it up? After all, variety is the spice of life and cake reminds us of celebrations.
This celebration cake is packed with fruits, dried vegetables, healthy fats, and spices. It is similar in texture to carrot cake yet tastes like Thanksgiving. Due to the moistness, mini cake and muffin pans are used, as a standard-sized cake would crumble too easily during the filling and frosting stage. Mini cakes and cupcakes are festively fun and small enough to sample other desserts without feeling overindulgent. (Like that's not going to happen on Thanksgiving 🦃.)