There is no more magical time of year than spring, in my opinion. And in Portland, there is something extra special in the air.
White and pink blossoms appear everywhere, covering the trees of once bare neighborhoods. On a clear day, the sky looks bluer than I ever imagined possible. And finally, the mood in the entire city perks up as residents flock to the hills, parks and coast to reacquaint themselves with the sun.
For me, it also means the return of smoothie season.
Pink felt appropriate this weekend to reflect the pretty pastel cherry blossoms lining the west waterfront of the Willamette River. Naturally, raspberries were my first choice for their delicate flavor and color, and their powerful nutritional benefits, which we’ll discuss below.
This smoothie is filling, flavorful, antioxidant-rich, anti-cancerous, low-glycemic, and may help improve fat metabolism.
Pink Raspberry & Cauliflower Smoothie
Makes 2 small servings, or 1 large serving
Prep time: 5 minutes
2 cups frozen organic raspberries
1 cup frozen riced cauliflower
1 ½ - 2 cups unsweetened milk of choice
1 Tbs. maca powder
1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/4 tsp. vanilla bean powder (optional)
5 ice cubes
Optional toppings: raspberry chia jam, dried goji berries
Place all ingredients into a high-speed blender.
Process until completely smooth.
Adjust for texture, adding more ice for a frozen treat, or more liquid for a thinner drink.
Transfer to two of your favorite glasses, and arrange with toppings, if using.
For a thicker smoothie, start with just 1 ½ cups milk and add more by the Tbs. as needed to reach a completely smooth texture
If you don’t have a Vitamix or similar high-speed blender, you may need to use extra milk to get the smoothie completely smooth
Small dark berries are packed with antioxidants and naturally low in sugar, making them an excellent choice for baking, cooking, and snacking. When it comes to raspberries, a few nutritive properties in particular prove their worth not only as a staple in the kitchen, but also the medicine cabinet. (Although, maybe don’t store yours there.)
Raspberries contain multiple anti-cancerous compounds, including the heavily researched ellagic acid which has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in vitro and animal studies. Research also shows that nutrients in raspberries may be able to pressure potential or active cancer cells to induce apoptosis (cell death), thereby reducing the total number of cancer cells in the body.
Antioxidants scavenge the body for free radicals, the wild and unruly molecules looking for an electron to pair with. Free radicals cause harmful oxidative damage to our cells, which can speed up the aging process, and lead to cancer development and other chronic diseases. To neutralize their potentially harmful rampage, antioxidants work to neutralize free radicals around our bodies that would otherwise have threatened surrounding healthy cells. Unfortunately, we consume free radicals on a daily basis via pollution, stress, processed foods, burnt meats (miallard reaction), and more, which is why it’s so important to offset them by consuming plenty of antioxidant-rich foods every day!
Research shows that the natural compounds in raspberries may speed up fat cell metabolism, thereby decreasing the total amount of fat stored in our cells. This may reduce risk for obesity.
One cup of fresh raspberries provides only 5-6g of sugar with a whopping 8g fiber, making them an excellent choice for people following a low-sugar diet. Choosing raspberries over other high-sugar foods may help reduce risk of Type II Diabetes.
I hope this recipe inspires you to whip up a sweet, cold, refreshing, fiber-packed smoothie for your next treat! Let me know what you think in a comment below.