Showing posts with label comox valley elder college. Show all posts
Showing posts with label comox valley elder college. Show all posts

Chai Pumpkin-Spice Avo-Banana Smoothie

This is a significant birthday for my dear husband.  It is a "longevity" marker, and if I say that we have been married going on 45 years and married young, you likely can guess his age?  He has been taking a class from the local ElderCollege about Age Reversal with a focus on Ayurvedic (Indian) wellness and longevity.  So, we have re-introduced butter (as in "Ghee", clarified butter) into our was-vegan life, and lots of exotic herbs and spices (eg., Turmeric, Ashwagandha, etc.)  I thought that a sort of "chai" smoothie would be lovely for the morning smoothie (and he has a meeting, so it will give him a boost before he goes off to that and should keep him energetic, sharp as a tack, and not hungry until lunchtime).  Here it is (recipe for two people):

Put the following ingredients into a Vitamix, or in batches into a less workhouse blender:

1 ripe Avocado
2 C. non-dairy Mylk + Filtered Water (you decide how much of each)
2 frozen Bananas
3 T. Maple Syrup, or more to taste OR/AND 1 packet of Sweet Leaf Stevia (to taste)
2-3  tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
1 tsp. Ashwagandha Powder
(A cup of icy chai tea might be a great addition-- I haven't tried that yet)

Blend until smooth and silky like a really great Pumpkin Pie custard!  If a spoon stands up in it and you would like it a little thinner, then add more Mylk or Water.

Thickalicious Very Berry Apple Green Smoothie with Ashwagandha

Today's smoothie is another thickalicious (substantial) Green Smoothie that will get you through the morning until lunchtime, while providing all the usual delightful ingredients: fruit, greens and "superfoods". The extra little goodies in this breakfast drink include oatmeal (yes!), the amazing Ayurvedic herb, *Ashwagandha (read more under the recipe) and the energy standby, Chia Seed. You will find it thick, maybe even chewy, but definitely tasty and nutritious... like a 'liquid muffin'. I am grateful to fellow smoothie blogger Katherine Natalia at Green who developed the oatmeal-green smoothie.

Put the following in your blender: (all at once in a high speed, maybe in divided batches for a reg. blender)

  • 2 C. organic Frozen Mixed Berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • 1 C. organic Rolled Oats (buy Gluten-Free if you are coeliac or sensitive to wheat / gluten)
  • 1 organic Apple, chopped, cored and seeded (if not organic, peeled)
  • 1 large handful of tender Greens (I used mix salad greens that included baby romaine, kale, etc.)
  • 6 pitted Dates (I used Medjool, but use what you like / can find)
  • 1 T. Chia Seed ground in Coffee Bean Grinder OR 2 T. Chia Seed Gel
  • 1 tsp. Ashwagandha powder
  • 1 C. Filter Water, or as much as you wish.  Presoaking the Oats and Chia Seed is a good idea.

Whirl up and drink immediately.  You will be full, and should feel well and calm, unless of course you have a sensitivity or other issue.  Please remember to drink as much water as you know to drink over the course of the day... this is a high fibre drink.  Hydrating with a glass or two of lemon water (or just plain water) an hour before you start this smoothie is a great idea.

Now about the Ashwagandha... my husband has been taking a Longevity course (actually called "Age Reversal") at our local Elder College.  The course focused on the benefits of the Ayurveda (Indian) philosophy of wellness and health, and introduced Ayurvedic herbs (such as Turmeric) that have been used for centuries to good benefit in India, but which are just being "discovered" by Boomers everywhere.  

I have begun to incorporate some of these into smoothies, soups, etc.  The herb, Ashwagandha, has cognitive benefits -- enhances memory and improves brain function.  It has been shown to reduce stress, increase sports endurance, greatly diminish depression and anxiety, and relieve fatigue in those undergoing chemotherapy.  Current studies have been done, are being undertaken, and are awaiting replication, with the hope that Ashwagandha extracts will one day be a go-to prescription for healing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.  

The powder does NOT have a strong flavour so is easily tucked into a smoothie.  You can buy it bulk at health food stores, and perhaps some pharmacies.  Consult your health care provider before adding it into your diet.   The literature my husband reviewed in the class suggested that a teaspoon per person per day was an adequate supplement, so don't go overboard with it.  You may experience drowsiness, so if you are driving, etc., please don't take it until you are based somewhere for a period of time.

Tropical Green Smoothie with a Touch of the Ayurvedic

My dear husband is a great fan of (1)alternative healing methods and (2)the Comox Valley ElderCollege.  So, ever since he enrolled in a course in *Aging Reversal that looked closely at the philosophy of healing and wellness, he has been giving mini-lectures throughout the day at home and has stocked us up on some Ayurvedic herbs that we are incorporating into our eating. We are also imbibing a daily teaspoon each of Ghee, the wonderful clarified butter, which rather destroys my claim to be vegan, but there ya go-- I'm ever so submissive a wife (not).   Anyhow, there will be a few smoothie recipes to come that will contain various Ayurvedic herbs, or as David Wolfe, raw foodie guru would have it "SUPERfoods".  Today's Tropical Green Smoothie contains Turmeric (Ayurvedic) and Astragalus (Chinese)

Turmeric: Sometimes referred to as "the Indian Saffron" for the bright yellow colour that imparts warmth and earthiness to many familiar Indian curries, Turmeric is a current star in the Celebrity Health Wiz-dom Firmament of Dr. Oz et al.  Curcumin is the active ingredient in Turmeric, a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.  And since many believe that low-grade inflammation is the basis of most Western disease, a good consideration of Turmeric is in order since it is seen to fight inflammation at a molecular level.  Turmeric also has other wonderful attributes: it is linked to improved brain function and to a decrease in the brain diseases that we fear most as we age: dementia, Alzheimers, brain tumors.  Apparently Turmeric is most effective if taken with a 'fatty meal' (I guess that is where the ghee comes in?) and black pepper-- swallowing a couple of black peppercorns whole when eating Turmeric is suggested.  hmmm...

Astragalus is an herb used in Chinese Traditional Medicine.  Among other things, it is said to regulate the immune system, and is used for kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

You can do your own research, with the recommendation that you discuss taking any "medicines"-- alternative or otherwise-- with a trusted health and wellness person.  In Courtenay we have several: as well as physicians and other allopathic medical personnel, there are well-regarded naturopaths, and was at one time even a much-esteemed, albeit controversial, compounding pharmacist and traditional herbalist who was well aware of herbs and "supplements" and many other aspects of natural and orthodox western health provision.

Here is the recipe for today's delicious Tropical Green Smoothie with a Touch of the Ayurvedic:
Whirl the following up in a high speed blender, or in smaller batches in a regular blender for 2-4 servings:
  • 1 C. Frozen Organic Mango Slices (Costco)
  • 1 C. Frozen Pineapple (Costco) (or may by all means use fresh pineapple)
  • 1 ripe, Organic Banana (riper the better for digestion, flavour, and texture)
  • 4 C. of Tender Greens such as organic Baby Spring Greens, Chard, or Romaine.  If you are a long-timer at Green Smoothies, add in Cilantro, Parsley, etc.  
  • 1 tsp. Turmeric
  • 1 tsp. Astragalus
  • 1-serving envelope of Stevia if you like your smoothies a little sweeter
  • Filtered Water (2 - 4 cups)
This is a tasty, refreshing, and uplifting way to start the day!  Mango is particularly great in a smoothie because it is a natural emulsifier and the smoothie doesn't separate into water and veggies/fruit if you leave it sit in the fridge for a bit.  This is best ingested right after it is spun up.  You who think it is repulsive to look at and think you will gag if you try it, well, use a few less greens to start with and just savour the lovely reviving fruity flavours.  Romaine Lettuce has the benefit of being a watery green with no significant flavour when mixed with fruit, so is a great starter green.  Some greens (spinach and kale, for example) are favorites in the green smoothie crowd, but there is some suggestion that they might not be so friendly to the thyroid and are best used if they have been steamed or cooked (can't see that in a raw smoothie, can you?)  So, romaine is a good green to go with.  Bonne appetit!

Presenter: Kasandra Manering CVEC 5700
Thurs. Oct. 9 – Nov. 13 8:30 – 10:00
Our skin, liver, the cornea of our eyes, in fact nearly all of our body, is constantly    being rebuilt. Most of our body is less thantwo years old. Why and how do we age? Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old wellness system, has some novel answers – not only as to why we age but what we may choose to do about   it. This introductory course is full of practical, enjoyable options that you may choose to incorporate into your daily routine.< ~taken from the Comox Valley Elder College Newsletter for the Autumn 2014 p.5 of Course Outlines

Affiliate Links

I am an affiiate for, and West Coast Seeds. If you purchase any products via this website I will receive a small commission that goes towards the support of this site. Thank you so much!