This week on More Good Day Oregon, I made a dairy-free Peppermint Brownie Smoothie that's perfect for the holidays. It's packed with veggies, though you'd never know it — which makes this smoothie super family-friendly.
Smoothies don't have to be green to be healthy
Here's what I love about this smoothie: it's not a “green” smoothie.
Because I understand that not all of us are stoked about chugging down a green smoothie.
Actually, you and I might be, but our people might not.
And that's a downer, because we want our loved ones to enjoy healthy smoothies as much as we do. But the minute they see us blending kale, they run for the hills, right?
That's where this delicious Peppermint Brownie Smoothie comes in. It's actually packed with veggies, but it's not green, and it's definitely chocolatey.
Here's the sneaky secret about this smoothie — it contains zucchini… and cauliflower!
I know, I know — cauliflower in a smoothie sounds pretty gross, but I assure you, it's undetectable.
So let's talk about this for a minute — why would anyone put cauliflower in their smoothie?
I'm so glad you asked!
Here's the scoop on cauliflower…
Cauliflower's healing super powers
Cauliflower, and its cruciferous cousins broccoli and brussels sprouts, can be an important part of a cancer-fighting diet. According to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, “high intakes of cruciferous vegetables have been associated with lower risk of bladder, breast, colorectal, endometrial, gastric, lung, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, and renal cancer.”
It turns out that cauliflower can also support a healthy digestive system and gut environment. According to Nutritionfacts.org, “Cauliflower is one of the vegetables that is especially good at boosting our intestinal defenses, which may lower the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis, as well as leaky gut.”
But why blend it? Can't we just have it roasted or steamed, like normal people do?
Of course we can!
But here's a fun thing that happens when you blend cauliflower — we break up the plant cells, and initiate a chemical reaction that produces isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are powerful anti-cancer compounds. ITCs have been shown to detoxify and remove carcinogens, kill cancer cells, and prevent tumors from growing. (Source: Pharmacological Research Journal, via Dr. Joel Fuhrman).
In short, adding cauliflower to your smoothie can:
- Help reduce cancer risk
- Support a healthy digestive system
- Boost your immune system (cauliflower's high in vitamin C)
In addition to all that health stuff, here are some other reasons you'll love this smoothie:
- It's creamy and smooth… and dairy-free
- It's gluten-free and plant-based — a great option for loved ones with dietary restrictions
- You can enjoy it as as morning smoothie, or as an afternoon snack
- The combination of chocolate and peppermint delivers classic holiday flavors, without the guilt
- It's sweet, without refined sugar. Dates provide sweetness, along with fiber, calcium and potassium
- It's a great way to incorporate extra veggies into your diet
This smoothie would, of course, be amazing any time of year — not just the holidays.
Speaking of the holidays, be sure to check out my last post for tips on how to have a healthier holiday season.
The post also includes a link to a special freebie I created for you: Seven Delicious Recipes for a Healthier Holiday Season.
This handy dandy PDF includes 7 of my favorite recipes — all of them are plant-based, gluten-free, and dairy-free:
- My favorite Green Smoothie — front-load your day with a nutrient-dense breakfast
- Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Mocha — a grown-ups version of hot chocolate, sweetened with dates
- Ginger Hibiscus Mocktail — great in between cocktails, or instead of cocktails altogether
- Deliciously Detoxifying Cauliflower Soup — a simple soup for quiet evenings at home
- Smoky Sweet Potato Bisque — great on the holiday table
- Spicy Sriracha Hummus — perfect for potlucks
- Crowd Pleasing Mexican Party Dip — another potluck fave of mine
If you try any of the recipes, let me know. Feel free to tag me on Instagram at @mospo — I'd love to hear from you!