Strawberry season is here, lots of colour, joy & cheer in the air & so many delish things to cook up-cheesecakes, shortcakes, puddings, jam & preserves, galettes, kheer, flavoured yoghurt, sangria, wine & whatever else you can think of!
Continuing with my theme of #eat the rainbow & #mindful eating, I decided to open my Strawberry account this January with a powerhouse of a drink, a rejuvenating cheerful smoothie that’s mindfully sugar free! Loaded with vitamins, fibre, antioxidants & a potassium, this fat & cholesterol free drink is sure to boost up your Sunday morning as much as it will your metabolism & mood!
Strawberries are fabulous for a variety of reasons, provided you are not allergic to them. High in a number of antioxidants, they are said to reduce the damage caused by the sun’s UV rays by inhibiting certain enzymes that contribute to collagen breakdown. They are also said to contain stringent properties that can reduce puffiness & inflammation especially around the eyes just like cucumber does. The alpha hydroxy acids & salicylic acid in them is believed to help in cleansing the skin by eliminating dead cells & tighten the pores, thereby controlling acne. Also, the high levels of biotin & folate along with vitamin C are said to work wonders on your nails & hair.
Need I say anything about apples or oranges? They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so you cannot go wrong with these delicious fibre-filled wholesome fruits.
When some pressing personal matters took me back to my favourite hill station, Panchgani in western India, it could not stop a river of memories gushing in from my childhood. The land of strawberries, the hill station Panchgani was discovered by the British in 1860 as summer resorts due to their pleasant climate & named after the five hills surrounding it. It was a total trip down memory line visiting our old little home where we often spent our school vacations living the rustic farm life without electricity or running water, drawing water from the well for daily use & kerosene lanterns every evening, growing potatoes & wheat in our little farm and cooking food in little crude homemade solar suitcases. Such a carefree life it was!
Wishing you a colourful & fruity Sunday!
Recipe for Strawberry Orange Carrot Apple Smoothie
- 8 – 10 strawberries, hulled and halved
- 1 apple, skinned and diced
- ½ carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 whole orange, segmented and deskinned
- 2 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
- 200 ml water
- Remove the pips from the apple and orange, add all the fruits to the blender
- Add 200ml water and blend till smooth
- Pass through a sieve and extract the juice
- Serve chilled.
- I would like to add here that while it is not the best thing to combine vegetables & fruits in the same drink due to the varying digestion times for them, I have only added half a carrot here for bulk (that I do not throw out).
- Also, it is always advisable to eat whole raw fruits & vegetables as compared to juices that take away most of the nutrients in the peel & fibre, hence I always try to minimise the intake of juices, restricting them to times post exercise or post a long day in the hot sun when I’m dehydrated.