Immune System Boosting Smoothies

Cary, NC — Something I’ve noticed in this new day and age of Covid-19 quarantine is that grocery stores may be low on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but they are consistently keeping their fruit and vegetable sections stocked, both fresh and frozen.
I think it’s fair to assume that many of us have some variety of blender. If you’re like me, you haven’t used it quite as much as you thought you might at the moment you chose to buy it. Fortunately for us all, this unusual time of staying home is a perfect opportunity to clean off the dust and use it to your body’s advantage.

I happen to live with someone who is very health-conscious and active, two things I’m striving to be better at right now. She has her own Nutribullet blender and frequently makes a smoothie for her breakfast that she can enjoy on her drive to work. Over the past few years, I begrudgingly tasted a few of them. To my own shock, I really liked a few and started to experiment with making them occasionally.

So, in a time where we are all trying new things and doing our best to stay healthy, I’m sharing three of my favorite smoothie recipes. All are made with just 5 ingredients, are dairy-free and are aimed at boosting the immune system.  They are a nice, refreshing treat that just might brighten your day indoors.

Strawberry Mango Sweetness

This smoothie is a great way to ease yourself into the smoothie world with something that’s so good you forget you’re having 3 cups of fruit that bring you antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. Also, for our readers who are parents, it’s one you can give to a kid and pretend it’s a strawberry milkshake. Depending on their age, you may get away with it!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen mango pieces
  • 1 tbsp honey

Triple Berry Legendary

This one also gets you three cups of fruits, only this time it will be blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. This is my go-to after a workout or on a really hot day as it’s nice and refreshing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 cup blueberries

The Ultimate Vitamin C Slamajama

(Are you starting to gather that I made up all these names?)

Every now and then I love to ditch the boring glass of OJ for this refreshing smoothie. How could you go wrong with a hefty dose of Vitamin C and a hint of vanilla?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 large orange (peeled)
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup frozen mango pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tips & Tricks

Before you head for the produce section and plug in your blender, here are a few tips and tricks for the best results.

Substitute!

By all means, let these recipes be a starting point. I usually love to add in some spinach as it doesn’t come through as a super strong flavor and it adds nutrients while cutting down the sweetness a bit. Put in whatever sort of milk, yogurt, berries and veggies you want and have some fun with making it specific to what you enjoy most.

Getting the Right Consistency

If it’s not cold enough or too liquidy, add some ice. If it’s too chunky add more milk.

Adding Nut Butters

This is a phenomenon I learned late in the game. Add peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or whatever you have on hand. Also keep in mind a little goes a long way. You can thank me later.

If you whip up one of these smoothies, please share it with us on our social media platforms @carycitizen and @foodcary!


Story, photos and recipes by Ashley Kairis.

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