There’s a big difference between aging and aging healthfully. As a woman, I’ve never hidden my age, since looking and feeling my best has been important to me throughout my life. And as a dietitian nutritionist, it’s no surprise that I’ve associated a well-rounded diet with feeling young, fit and invigorated. I have always tried to create recipes that help me feel energized, while simultaneously bringing lots of benefits that help meet my changing needs.
Unless I’m putting together an elaborate five-course dinner, the meals I create need to be easy to throw together, they need to contain wholesome ingredients and, of course, they need to be delicious.
Although this smoothie makes a quick, delicious breakfast, you’ll love it as an afternoon pick-me-up, by adding 1/2 cup of brewed green tea for antioxidants and a shot of caffeine. (There’s not a lot of caffeine in green tea [between 20-45 mg/8 oz. serving], but it may be just enough of a boost.) Don’t stop there… this smoothie can also be considered as a dessert when you add 1/2 to 1 teaspoon maple syrup or agave when you’re looking for a sweet treat after a meal.
While I may be East Coast born and bred, some of my favorite things come from California, and at the top of the list are California Avocados when they are in season from spring through summer. Avocado growers benefit from the coastal climate and ideal growing conditions of the region, including rich soil, warm sunshine and cool coastal breezes. California is my kind of place!
To shine a nutrition light on avocados as well as some of the other superfoods in my spa smoothie, read on:
California Avocados provide nearly 20 vitamins and nutrients and are a good source of fiber and folate. As we get older, many of my clients are paying closer attention to heart health. Fresh California Avocados are a heart-healthy fruit that are naturally sodium-, cholesterol- and trans-fat-free.
Mangos have an excellent source of vitamin C (40% Daily Value) per 100 g. Several studies show that the phytochemicals contained in mango play an anti-inflammatory role in several chronic pathological disorders associated with inflammatory responses.
Pears provide 6 g of fiber per medium pear and qualify as an excellent source of dietary fiber. For adults up to age 50 years of age, the fiber recommendation is 25 g per day for women and 38 g per day for men. For those over age 50, 21 g per day for women and 30 g per day for men. Pears also support gut health.
Arugula is in a group of veggies that includes Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli and that have been somewhat linked to phytochemicals. A high dietary intake of phytochemicals with vegetables, fruits, nuts, legumes and whole grain is associated with a reduced risk for cardiovascular and other diseases.
Chia seeds are rich in fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and contribute protein and minerals including iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. The 1 tablespoon of chia seeds will give you 19% of your recommended daily fiber.
CALIFORNIA AVOCADO SPA SMOOTHIE RECIPE
Serves: 1 serving
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 0 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Treat yourself to this spa smoothie before or after you exercise, or any time you want a quick refresher. This California Avocado smoothie is delicious, providing 30 grams of protein, 18 grams of fiber, antioxidant vitamins A (15% DV), C (120% DV) and E (70% DV), and a medley of vitamins and minerals including a high potency of vitamins B5 (100% DV), vitamin B2 (100% DV), vitamin B12 (210% DV).
- 1/3 ripe, Fresh California Avocado, seeded, peeled and cubed
- 1 small, fresh cucumber (Persian or kirby type), peeled
- 1/2 fresh pear, peeled and core removed
- 1/2 fresh mango, peeled and seeded
- 4 fresh mint leaves
- 1/2 cup fresh arugula, loosely packed
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
- 1/2 tsp. real maple syrup or agave (optional)
- 1 Tbsp. chia seeds
- 2 Tbsp. protein powder
- 6 ice cubes
- Combine the above ingredients in the bowl of a blender and blend until combined.
- Pour into tall glass and enjoy!
Serving Suggestion: If you would like to increase the caffeine content for an afternoon pick-me-up, add 1/2 cup brewed green tea. For a sweeter dessert-like beverage, try adding an additional 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup or agave. You can tailor the taste to your particular preferences.
Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories 520; Total Fat 21 g (Sat 2 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g , Mono 9 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 540 mg; Potassium 966 mg; Total Carbohydrates 59 g; Dietary Fiber 18 g; Total Sugars 34 g; Protein 30 g; Vitamin A 130 mcg; Vitamin C 112 mg; Calcium 852 mg; Iron 12 mg; Vitamin D 3 mcg; Folate 165 mcg; Omega 3 Fatty Acid 3.01 g.
% Daily Value*: Vitamin A 15%; Vitamin C 120%; Calcium 70%; Iron 70%; Vitamin D 15%.
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 Calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados adjust the quantity accordingly.