I came up with this Red Velvet Smoothie the day before Hurricane Irma was forecast to hit south Florida. It had been five days of preparing for what we thought might be a category 5 hurricane to hit our home and let’s just say nobody in the house was in a very good mood. Our family room was filled to the brim with our patio furniture and my husband was glued to the television weather forecast. I have definitely had better days.
Time to Meditate…In the Kitchen
I’m not very good at the sitting still type of meditation, but I do a pretty good job with active or dynamic meditation. To me, cooking and making up new recipes is almost like meditation. It works like a charm (almost every time!) to improve my mood and make me feel better. So, while making new recipes was probably the last thing my neighbors were doing in preparation for Hurricane Irma, that’s what I was over here doing 😉
The photo below is what the first version of my Red Velvet Smoothie looked like. I initially made it with frozen raspberries, but in round two I realized frozen cherries gave the smoothie a sweeter flavor and creamier texture…
Beets & Cherries Help Make a Clean Red Velvet Smoothie
I had made roasted beets the night before and planned to use them to make a clean Red Velvet cake, but was out of eggs and every single grocery store (and business) in town was already closed for the hurricane. I decided to turn my cake idea into a smoothie and it was the only thing that went right that entire day!
Adding the frozen cherries along with medjool dates and a touch of pure maple syrup gave my Red Velvet Smoothie all the sweetness it needed. No need for refined sugar. By the way, pure maple syrup actually has some surprising nutrition benefits!
A Bit of Superfood Maca Eases Stress
A root vegetable, maca supports the health of the adrenal glands by enabling them to regenerate. Maca is also helpful for balancing hormonal issues (especially those related to stress.) The hormonal benefits derived from Maca are due to the fact it is rich in plant sterols.
Gelatinized Maca is Best
Gelatinized maca powder is the best form to use because it is easily digestible and quickly assimilated. Plus, the published clinical studies showing maca’s effectiveness were all performed using the gelatinized form.
For those of you with food allergies and food sensitivities, it’s helpful to know this recipe meets the following dietary restrictions:
Egg Free / Grain Free (omit the whole grain cereal topping) / Bean-Free / Gluten Free / Paleo Friendly / Vegetarian/ Vegan/ Nut Free
As for Hurricane Irma, we were VERY VERY lucky. Here was our house the day after it it…
- 1/2 cup chopped roasted beet root (approximately 1 small beet root) chilled or at room temperature (see note below for how to roast beets)
- 1 cup frozen cherries
- 1/2 cup raw cacao powder
- 1/2 cup coconut “cream” (see notes below)
- 1 cup chilled filtered water
- 1 cup ice
- 8 medjool dates, pitted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon gelatinized maca (optional)
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (optional)
- Pinch of Himalayan salt
- Puffed whole grain cereal for topping, optional/not paleo
Put all of the ingredients, except for the cereal, in the order listed above in a blender. Process on high until smooth and creamy. Divide into 2 cups and sprinkle the whole grain cereal (if using) on top. Serve at once.
How to Roast Beet Roots: Individually wrap beet roots in foil. Place wrapped beet roots on a baking sheet. Roast in a 400 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until fork tender.
Coconut Cream: The coconut “cream” is the thick, non-watery part from a coconut milk can.