This perfect butternut smoothie is all about more coloured foods. There is such strong research confirming that making sure we are daily getting our yellows, greens and purples, for example, gives us protection against a host of diseases.
It is all about the phytonutrients like beta-carotene and sulforaphane that act as antioxidants to mop up the nasty free radicals that make us prone to malignant tumours.
But many of them like kale are not particularly tasty so we need to dicky them up in simple, quick ways; smoothies are perfect because they are so easy to make.
I could have fooled you with this one. I wonder how many people would have worked out, even after tasting it that our smoothie has butternut as the main ingredient. The dark-green of the kale overpowers it.
The beauty of smoothies is that they are seriously alkalising and help to balance the effect of so many acid foods that we humans enjoying indulging in; but are not so good for us.
Toss all the ingredients together and blend; one of the beauties of this smoothie is just how quickly you can make it. Little more than a few minutes but it is of course dependent on having the butternut soup at hand.
The perfect butternut smoothie is a simple way to make less palatable foods like dark-green leafy vegetables more interesting. And let us be honest; you will never find fresh young kale like this in the supermarket. Yet it is so easy to grow.
I have been greatly influenced by Blue Zone longevity; those five areas of the world where folk regularly live to vibrant and strong nineties, and ten times as many reach one hundred. In all of them they plant and eat much of their own food. Growing kale has improved almost every aspect of our health.
Having enjoyed many visits to my grandparents banana farm as a child I was spoiled rotten; today's fruit is so awful both in taste and nutrition and they go black and ghastly quickly like that above. It was picked grass-green, ripened in an ethylene chamber and the flavour is a far cry from the real McCoy.
Still, living at 4000 feet above sea-level one either takes it as it comes, or refuse to buy and eat bananas.
Butternut is a wonderful source of beta-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. In these days of Covid 19 these nutrients are particularly important in promoting our resistance to infections. Most of us despite the best will in the world shall ultimately be exposed to this nasty virus but we do have a window of opportunity to support our immune systems.
Twenty minute walks most days reduces the prevalence and severity of upper respiratory infections by over 40%; that's massive.
Beta-carotene also gives a measure of protection against serious metastatic tumours, poor vision and weak bones. We think it so important that year round we have butternut soup on hand virtually every day. Two tablespoons go into the dough every morning for our artisan bread.
They are a wonderful vegetable to grow if you have a large garden but they really do best in the compost heap; then you get these beauties.
This is one of the dark-green leafy vegetables that rivals broccoli for the queen of the table award. It has so many virtues but for me being the richest source of lutein, that phytochemical that helps prevent adult-onset blindness is what makes it a winner. It is another of the vegetables that we eat virtually every single day. The health benefits of kale are truly stupendous.
If I break the rules then my own blood glucose goes into orbit, so cinnamon and diabetes is an important topic for me. I have it daily, mainly as one of the spices that goes into our butternut soup.
The damage that raised blood glucose does to every tissue in the body is because of the inflammation. So we try to enjoy daily many of the foods daily that contain the important phytonutrients that counter this noxious influence.
You could just add a pinch to your perfect butternut smoothie.
Unprocessed natural honey is so important in our lives; did you know that it actually helps you lose weight, lowers fasting blood sugar and normalises the cholesterol? You will have to hunt for a backyard beekeeper; you are most unlikely to find it in any supermarket.
Expect to pay more; though ironically it is easier to prepare than the highly processed stuff that you are probably accustomed to. It is not essential in your perfect butternut smoothie but most of us have a sweet tooth.
This perfect butternut smoothie page really is about making dull foods more interesting, in particular that very important kale; it's dull as ditch water. Just a slither of a member of the chilli family, the richest source of vitamin C after citrus remember, adds a touch of the piquant flavours of Mexico and India.
We have been contemplating turning a part of our garden into a peppadew cottage industry.
There are few more important things to my mind than handing down the treasures and values of each generation to the next. This morning my fussy-eating granddaughter asked for a sip of granny's perfect butternut smoothie having no idea what was in it. At lunch she was back demanding that I teach her how to make it for herself. That made my day.
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