Today I’m sharing my current favorite fruit smoothie. This blend is perfect for fall; it features fresh apple juice (or cider), tart cranberries, juicy raspberries,blueberries, and spicy cinnamon for a flavor combination that is sure to wake up the senses. It’s tart, and sweet, and utterly juicy with a warm hint of spice. Regularly sipping on this berry drink will provide your body with loads of antioxidants to support your health and make you glow from the inside out.
Fresh Raw Apple Juice or Apple Cider (1 cup)
You can make your own apple juice by juicing fresh apples, or take advantage of your local orchard’s fresh apple cider. I sometimes use half water and half juice, or you can use all water if you’d like, but the fresh apple juice does add a nice sweetness. Apples are high in powerful antioxidants, especially quercitin. A diet rich in apples has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, specifically lung cancer. Apples also support our cardiovascular health, and may prevent or reduce asthma symptoms. Including plenty of apples in your diet may even help people lose weight and reduce the risk of Type II diabetes.
Fresh or Frozen Blueberries (1/2 cup)
Blueberries are an amazing superfood. They consistently rank at the top of antioxidant containing foods, providing your body with powerful support against damaging free radicals. Blueberries contain a plethora of phytonutrients, which have both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capabilities. These properties benefit your entire body: brain, heart, eyes, skin… and provide protection from many different diseases related to aging, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and diabetes. Berries, and blueberries especially, are low on the glycemic index, and have been shown to improve blood sugar regulation in those that already have type 2 diabetes. Analysis of organic blueberries show that they have higher concentrations of antioxidants than conventionally grown berries, so use organic if you can. Freezing blueberries does not damage or reduce their antioxidant content, so feel free to use frozen berries in this smoothie.
Fresh or Frozen Raspberries (1/2 cup)
Like blueberries, raspberries are antioxidant powerhouses, and eating them often may help prevent a variety of chronic diseases. In addition to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, raspberries have recently grabbed the attention of researchers as an obesity fighting food. Thanks to a unique compound called rheosmin, rasbperries may boost metabolism in fat cells. Keeping plenty of frozen berries, like raspberries, in your freezer, is a great way to ensure you eat more of them. Dr Gregor, of Nutritionfacts.org, recommends eating berries everyday, and this smoothie is a delicious way to do it.
Fresh or Frozen Cranberries (1/2 cup)
Cranberries have many amazing, little known health benefits. In addition to supporting urinary tract health (which most of us are familiar with), cranberries have powerful properties that improve gum and mouth health, cardiovascular health, immunity, and even digestive tract health. Cranberries have a unique anti-adhesive ability, which blocks bad bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract. Cranberries may also help keep our gut health in check by balancing bacteria in our digestive tract. Like the other berries in our smoothie, cranberries are chock-full of antioxidants which are especially beneficial in preventing cancer of the lungs, colon, breast, and prostate. Cranberries’ ability to positively affect our gut bacteria may also help us shed some extra weight, according to a recent study. Just 1/2 to 1 cup of berries a day could be effective, say researchers.
Ceylon Cinnamon (1/4 – 1/2 tsp)
For everyday cooking and baking, I generally use Cassia cinnamon, which is the common cinnamon that most of us are familiar with. For teas and smoothies, where I’ll be consuming 1/4 tsp or more in a single serving, I like to use Ceylon cinnamon. While all types of cinnamon have health benefits, Ceylon cinnamon, referred to as “true cinnamon,” differs in its amount of coumarin. Coumarin is a natural substance that has blood thinning properties. Ingesting large amounts of it over a long period of time can be damaging to the body, especially the liver and kidneys. While Ceylon cinnamon has only a negligible amount, Cassia cinnamon has a startling 1200 times the coumarin. Ceylon cinnamon has many health benefits; its antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and can regulate blood sugar. As little as 1/2 teaspoon a day can improve digestion, immunity, and blood sugar levels. Regular use may help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and neuro-degenerative disorders.
Banana (1 medium)
To add creaminess and counteract the tartness of the berries, I added a banana to the mix. Since I used frozen berries, I like to use an un-frozen banana in this smoothie, which is not my usual smoothie practice. Bananas not only lend the perfect texture to this smoothie, they supply numerous health benefits of their own. Although they are most noted for their potassium content, bananas are also an excellent source of B6, which is important for carbohydrate metabolism, red blood cell production, and brain and nervous system function. Bananas are rich in a fiber called pectin, and help with digestion and blood sugar regulation.
You’re going to love this berry-filled, cinnamon spiced smoothie! Give your body, including your soon-to-be-glowing skin, a generous dose of health boosting antioxidants with this refreshing fall smoothie.
Spiced Super Berry Smoothie
- 1 cup of fresh apple juice, apple cider (the juice from the apple orchard, not vinegar) or water (or 1/2 juice 1/2 water) + a little extra as needed
- 1/2 cup blueberries (frozen)
- 1/2 cup raspberries (frozen)
- 1/2 cup cranberries (frozen)
- a few frozen strawberries (optional)
- 1 peeled banana, unfrozen
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp ceylon cinnamon
- pinch of ground or fresh ginger (optional)
Blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender until super smooth. Makes 1 large or 2 small servings.