When it comes to smoothies it seems like green gets all of the attention. Don’t get me wrong, I think a proper green smoothie is a sight to behold, but every once in a while, I want something lighter and brighter staring back at me in the morning.
This drink features one of my favorite smoothie ingredients: fresh turmeric. Under a brown, papery skin, the root is a bright, deep orange and adds a distinctive yet subtle zing. Turmeric to me had always been just that yellow powder that I added to tofu scramble and mac-n-cheese – for flavor, sure, but mostly to get some color. Fresh turmeric has me hooked and though I have to go into OKC to the Asian market to get the fresh variety, it’s worth the trip and the price is right – $1 for about 10 root pieces.
To be sure, the rhizomes are homely little cusses, but they are cancer-fighting powerhouses. The active ingredient in turmeric is the antioxidant curcumin that slows the replication of cancer cells and helps protect healthy cells from damage. Colon, prostate, lung and breast cancer rates are lower in India where turmeric is a part of the daily diet than here in the U.S.
In this drink, turmeric is joined by these powerful anti-cancer Super Friends:
Ginger: helps curb genetic mutations that transform normal cells into cancer cells
Grapefruit: detoxifying; contains naringenin which slows the growth of breast cancer cells; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in keeping pancreatic and colorectal cancers at bay.
Orange: detoxifying; contains cancer-inhibiting flavonoids; the peel contains d-limonene which may help in fighting pancreatic and colorectal cancers.
Carrots: rich in protective carotene that stimulates T-cell cytotoxic capabilities; protects the skin from sun damage; helps protect against lung, bladder, stomach, prostate and colon cancers.
Bananas: high in potassium and low in sodium, they help reduce blood pressure and equalize blood sugar levels; there is some debate whether or not very ripe bananas with brown skin contain properties that protect cells from mutation. Better safe than sorry – eat your nanners.
For an extra cancer-bashing boost, replace the water with chilled green tea – and by all means – add some kale in there if you like. I shared this recipe on Healthy Vegan Friday!
1 cup water
2 oranges, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
1 large grapefruit, mostly peeled, but leave a little bit
1 mango, pitted & peeled
1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 cup baby carrots
2-3″ piece of fresh turmeric, peeled
2 dates, optional
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Tastiest served chilled.