Happy Tuesday, my friends! This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending my ultimate favorite food festival, Taste of Atlanta. I had an amazing time and ate a lot (I mean A LOT) of food. Because I’m all about moderation and balance, it’s time to clean up my diet.
I decided to make this delicious smoothie for lunch Saturday. I made it spinach based since spinach is a nutritional powerhouse packed with vitamins and minerals. Pairing spinach with certain foods and the cooking method both affect the body’s absorption and utilization of the vegetable’s nutrients. When consuming spinach, keep two things in mind- you need something fat soluble and you need something high in vitamin c. Spinach is high in fat-soluble vitamins A and K. Vitamins that are fat soluble are most useful to the body when they are consumed with a fat or oil. According to Livestrong, cooked spinach contains a higher percent of the daily value, or DV, than raw, with 190 percent DV of vitamin A and over 1,000 percent DV of vitamin K. Raw spinach is also an excellent source of both vitamins and contains 60 percent DV of vitamin A and nearly 100 percent DV of vitamin K. To get the maximum nutritional benefit out of the fat-soluble vitamins in spinach, consume it with one tablespoon of an olive oil-based vinaigrette, one-eighth of an avocado or an ounce of seeds or nuts are all healthy fats that help the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins.
The second part is making sure to eat spinach with a fruit high in vitamin c. Raw spinach contains a natural compound called oxalic acid which interferes with other nutrients’ absorption pathways. Iron is one of the nutrients that will not be fully absorbed if spinach is eaten raw.* To counteract the effects of oxalic acid, eat raw spinach with a source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to inhibit oxalic acid and prevents it from decreasing the absorption of iron. Cooked spinach can be absorbed fully with or without vitamin C. Some of my favorite sources of vitamin C are strawberries, citrus fruits, broccoli and cauliflower.
So now that you know a few nutritional facts about spinach, lets make a delicious recipe.
Spinach Delight Smoothie Bowl (1 serving)
2 cups of spinach
3/4 cup Bai5 Limu Lemon
1 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, peaches and mango)
1 tablespoon flax seeds
Top with: granola, Gala Apples
For thicker consistency, add 1 cup ice. Blend everything together- easy breezy!