Berry Herbed Smoothie

Yields 4 Cups

I don’t have a juicer.  I know, I know, but my kitchen is small and space is quite limited.  So since I don’t have one, I have to find other ways of getting a variety of good greens into my blended smoothies.  (I also don’t yet have a vita-mix and since I don’t love chunky bits in my SMOOTHies, it’s sometimes a challenge.)  This one however is a home run.  The tartness of the berries and the hint of sweetness of the banana play off the slight bitterness of the parsley in a wonderful dance that ends with the pleasantly warm and sweet flavor of the mint.  Your tastebuds will be very happy with this one, as will the rest of your beautiful body!

The stars of this smoothie for me are the herbs.  Parsley is, perhaps surprisingly, such a powerhouse of nutrition!  It is special because of its volatile oils.  Myristicin is particularly valued for its anti-carcinogenic properties.  This oil has been shown to inhibit growth in tumors, particularly in the lungs.  Myristicin seems to also help neutralize certain types of carcinogens such as benzopyrene which comes from cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke.  If that were all parsley did, it would already be super-parsley, but there’s more.  Anti-oxidant rich parsley has an abundance of (water-soluble) Vitamin C and (fat soluble) beta-carotene, both of which play key roles in heart health and immune function.  It is high in folic acid, a critical B vitamin, and not just for pregnant women either.  Finally it’s an anti-inflammatory and a digestive aid.  Super-parsley or what?  For more info, click here.

Mint is also a digestive aid, is an anti-microbial and has its own anti-carcinogenic properties to boast.  It has perillyl alcohol which, in animal studies, has been shown to inhibit growth of liver, breast and pancreatic tumors.  It’s also a good source of more of those goodies, Vitamin C and beta-carotene.

Cheers to that!

You’ll need:

1/2 C parsley leaves and stems

7-8 largish mint leaves

2 C water

1 banana

1 T ground flax seeds

1 T coconut oil

1/2 t vanilla extract, optional

2-3 C mixed berries (I used blueberries, blackberries and strawberries*, but any combo of 2 or 3 would work well!)

1 T freshly squeezed lemon juice

4-5 ice cubes (if using frozen fruit, you don’t need ice cubes)

To make:

1. Place 1/2 C water in blender with parsley and mint and blend until herbs are finely chopped and you’ve got a deliciously fragrant green juice.  (You could add a bit of lemon juice here and take shots of this, too;)

2. Add banana, flax seeds, coconut oil and vanilla extract and blend until all well incorporated.  Lastly, add berries, the rest of the water, lemon juice and ice, if using, and blend thoroughly.

3. Serve with a sprig of mint.  Smoothies look great in small mason jars and add a bit of uniqueness when serving.

4. Enjoy!

P.S. For you non-vegans, a half cup of plain yogurt is a great way to get some protein and fat into this smoothie;)

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