Secret Ingredient Smoothie: Ginger
This delicious, energy-packed, low-sugar drink is full of surprises.
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Before I tell you about this recipe, I have to tell you a story about Chef Jeannette’s brownies. Years ago, when we were writing cookbooks together, we needed to come up with a dessert recipe that did minimal damage with maximal health benefits. Chef came up with a secret ingredient that sounded weird on paper—beans—but was so darn good that the high-fiber brownies became a big hit.
Now about this smoothie—it features the same secret ingredient as those yummy brownies. And it has staying power—it’s an honest-to-goodness meal—and the spice combo is off the charts. Ginger root and turmeric are a winning, oh-so-tasty combo, and the health benefits are increased by the addition of pepper. (For detail nerds out there, pepper contains piperine, which makes the curcuminoids in turmeric more absorbable!)
Of course, none of this would matter if this concoction didn’t taste great and boast out-of-this-world health benefits. Luckily, it scores on both counts. Very low in sugar? Check. Vegetable-based? Yup. High-protein? Check. Anti-inflammatory? You bet. And believe me, the bean-and-pumpkin base beats the high-sugar smoothies you see on sale everywhere. Best of all, it’s great at either room temperature or warm, so it’s a terrific cold-weather drink. Honestly, this recipe puts some popular (and expensive) pumpkin lattes to shame. —Dr. Jonny
Notes from The Clean Food Coach
Black pepper sounds like a strange smoothie ingredient, but it adds a surprising little flavor snap and helps activate the curcumin in turmeric. You can use fresh ground and/or try adding 2–3 drops of food-grade black pepper essential oil.
Featured Nutrient: Ginger
In Ayurvedic medicine, ginger is known as the “universal remedy” for good reason. This little plant contains a whole pharmacy of ingredients with multiple health benefits. Many people already know of ginger’s awesome ability to soothe an upset stomach. By stimulating saliva, it may also help digestion. In one study, ginger performed better than Dramamine in warding off seasickness. And gingerol—which is the ingredient responsible for the pungent and delicious taste—is listed in the USDA database of phytochemicals as an antiemetic, meaning it has the property of preventing nausea and vomiting.
The active ingredients in ginger—including gingerdiones and gingerols—are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. And at the Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research conference, research was presented suggesting that gingerols may inhibit the growth of colorectal cancer cells.
One benefit that has been noted for thousands of years is ginger’s ability to improve circulation. At the Deepak Chopra Center, they routinely give ginger as a remedy for people with cold hands and feet, something that Chinese and Indian physicians have done for eons.
View our Pumpkin Golden Milk Smoothie recipe.