With winter here, hearty foods with belly-warming qualities – potatoes, squash, cooked vegetables and heavier protein dishes like chicken and turkey – are what we crave. There’s just something about a filling or spicy meal, like curry or soup, that’s more satisfying during the colder months than a bowl of leafy greens or a fruit salad.
But you don’t want to miss out on the nutrition of fresh, raw plant foods just because you’d rather be spooning up hot, chunky stews until spring. Luckily, there’s an easy way to increase your cold produce intake any time of year: green drinks. Rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants – often from a blend of different fruits and vegetables – these nourishing beverages are easy to make and can feel refreshing when crockpot creations start to weigh you down.
Juicing is always an option, but an even simpler route is to mix a green drink or smoothie using a powdered mix. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. Amazing Grass Green SuperFood Drink Powder. This smooth mix contains a variety of grasses, spirulina, chlorella, green tea, maca and fruits and vegetables including spinach, broccoli, carrot, beet, raspberry, pineapple and cherry. One serving supplies the antioxidant equivalent of seven fruits and vegetables! You also get vitamins and minerals, energizing herbs (eleuthero root and peppermint) and an EFA-fiber blend with organic flax seed powder. Just add a scoop to a six-ounce glass of water and drink up to three times daily.
2. Vitacost Greentastic. With a delicious blueberry flavor and impressive array of vegetable and fruit extracts, herbs, enzymes and beneficial flora (probiotics), this powder is perfect for a quick nutrition boost any time of day. It’s an ideal way to add greens such as spirulina, barley grass, Nova Scotia dulse, and chlorella to your diet, while also loading up on antioxidant power from blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries and strawberries. And you don’t need a blender — which makes it ideal to take along when you’re traveling. Just stir a scoop into water, mix and sip.
3. Vitacost Berrytastic Fruit & Vegetable Complex. Adding more fruits and veggies to your day couldn’t be tastier! This five-berry blend provides an impressive combination of fruit extracts as well as vegetables and greens. In addition, you get a whole-food sprout complex, a green juice blend, a protein mineral complex and probiotics. With a natural berry flavor, it’s perfect for mixing with water, juice or your favorite smoothie.
4. Kyolic Kyo-Green Energy Powdered Drink Mix. Although this product doesn’t contain fruit, if you’re looking for something really green, go for this green powder. Barley grass, wheat grass, chlorella and kelp are included, as well as fructo-oligosaccaharides (FOS), a type of prebiotic that helps promote the growth of friendly flora in your intestines. This in turn can help you become more regular and have a healthier intestinal environment.*
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.