Spring is finally here! Although we did have an unusually mild winter, my body aches for the warm sun rays, and I am so ready to work in my yard and plant my early spring vegetable garden. But unfortunately the flu season hasn’t completely disappeared yet, and even stomach bugs are still lurking amongst us. My daughter just recovered from the stomach flu, and we recently got an Influenza health alert from her school. It is time to jumpstart our immune system so we can enjoy that lovely spring weather.
I often use the powerful vitamins, minerals, and nutrients of vegetables and fruits to fight off any cold, flu or boost the immune system when someone in the family feels weak. For this recipe, I first juice vegetables like the dark leaves of kale and a beetroot. This way we use a good amount of the chlorophyll and enzymes—kale is loaded with powerful antioxidants—and keep our body hydrated with the essential organic minerals from green leaves. Besides the many health benefits of beautiful red beetroots, it is known to fight off exhaustion when you feel weak. Drinking it regularly when you are sick or trying to fight off a cold or the flu helps you recover faster. The lemon not only adds extra vitamin C to the juice but citrus tones down the more bitter taste of the kale leaves.
The rich green-red juice is then used as a base to make a creamy smoothie from sweet mango, banana and coconut water. When my daughter is sick, I don’t care so much that she doesn’t consume a lot of solids. I am often more worried that she doesn’t stay hydrated. Sometimes water can make you feel a little nauseated—I have experienced it myself—when you have the (stomach) flu. Coconut water is then sometimes a great replacement drink. It adds a little sweetness to the juice and extra electrolytes to ward off any dehydration. A ripe mango is one of those fruits that is easily digestible. Sometimes that is the only thing my daughter can stomach when feeling sick. But is is also an excellent source of vitamin A, C and has antiviral properties. It is the mango that eventually gives this smoothie a creamy texture and great taste—because, let’s face it, my kid is not going to consume green kale leave and beetroot juice on its own. Sometimes I add two mangoes or replace one with a banana. Especially when you suffer from irregular bowel movements due to the stomach flu, the extra fiber in the banana can help.
So, why the beautiful glasses? My daughter gets to pick how she wants to drink her juice-smoothie, especially when sick. And she sometimes opts for those fancy cocktail glasses! Nothing says you can’t be classy when sick!!