Once February starts, so begins the lead in to the celebration of Valentine’s Day. This means, in my world, I’m inundated with beautiful recipe ideas for dinners for two. A plethora of gorgeously tempting chocolate recipes swirling around the real food circles has already begun. So I find I must contribute my part to this pending day to celebrate ‘love’ filled with decadently rich treats for the body and soul. However, my contribution will have a little spin to it. You see, I wholeheartedly believe it’s fun to celebrate and to join in to the traditional festivities to some degree or another. What I prefer to do in these times is find a way to enjoy a treat that is not only savory or sweet to the tongue, but also packs a punch nutrition wise and perhaps helps to support the goal of gut health. After all, the seat of our very health lies in our guts. And if you aren’t healthy, happiness and love won’t be enjoyed to the fullest!
Who would resist a Dark Cherry Cacao Kiss Smoothie? Certainly not I. The name itself lends to oohs and ahs. This time of year, I find I long for something delightful to enjoy each day. That’s why I want to make it count. Cherries are certainly a treat in the dead of winter, and they are easy to find in the freezer section of your local market. Bright red cherries are certainly celebratory, add to them some raw cacao and you’ve got yourself a Valentine’s breakfast kiss from heaven.
The Story Behind This Recipe
My Dark Cherry Cacao Kiss Smoothie was inspired one day during a visit to my local health food market. I noticed a picture of a smoothie on one of their free magazines I paged through while waiting to check out. Funnily enough, I had made a similar smoothie at home and decided it was time to develop it further. Having all the ingredients on hand that I had in mind I set out to make what was probably the best smoothie I’d ever had.
I consider this a ‘Probiotic Gut Healing Smoothie’. You would never know it was so healthy from how sinfully delicious it is. There are 5 components in the ingredients of this cherry smoothie that make it so good for gut health or for anyone trying to heal their gut. For one thing, it’s dairy free and dairy is a common allergen for many with gut issues. Let’s look further at the key gut healing additions, shall we?
Gut Healing Foods & Supplements
Since I teach a course on gut health, ‘Heal Your Gut‘, it is usually a priority of mine to create recipes that help to support and nourish the lining of the gut. Many people with immune health issues, mental health issues and other chronic health conditions are likely to have a damaged gut lining. Thankfully, our gut lining renews itself all the time. It sheds off old worn out enterocytes and new ones are created. In order for this to occur the gut lining needs to be nourished from certain substances.
Many of us today have inflammation and ulcerations in our gut lining and we aren’t even aware of it. There are many things that the modern life contributes to this damage and it would be wise of anyone to consume the very foods that keep the gut lining healthy and happy. After all, the majority of our immune system lies in our guts.
Healing foods include substances such as; amino acids, gelatine, glucosamines, fats, vitamins, minerals and more. Things that the typical American diet does not include whatsoever. Most of us are at a deficit when it comes to these healing substances. The cell regeneration in our gut lining is also quite dependent upon the beneficial bacteria that normally thrive there. However, due to numerous factors from our modern world the majority of us do not have healthy gut flora.
- Gelatin – provides glucosamine to help deal with inflammation and soothe the gut lining. ORDER HERE: Vital Proteins Gelatin
- L-Glutamine – the cells of the small intestine depend on glutamine as their main source of fuel, both for maintenance and repair of damage.
- Probiotics or Yogurt – needed for cell regeneration of the gut lining.
- Greens – provide vitamins and minerals needed to support overall health and gut health
- Fats – healthy fats are imperative to overall health, they help us to assimilate our nutrients and line all our cells. If we want to have healthy gut cells we must eat ample good fats.
- Colostrum – Colostrum is another super-gut-healing food. It is rich in secretory IgA and other immunoglobulins to replace deficient gut immunity. It is best paired with a probiotic. If you are dairy sensitive -try small amounts of colostrum (capsule form, powder or fresh) taken with a probiotic to see if it helps you tolerate it better. Colostrum has a tiny amount of lactose, but is usually tolerated quite well in those with lactose intolerance. If you are casein intolerant but aren’t clear as to which type of casein, I suggest trying a colostrum from goat’s and see how you do. Tropical Traditions has a wonderful goat’s milk colostrum. Or simply find a goat farm near you and ask for colostrum from the first 3 milkings.
With all of this in mind, you should now understand why I include some of form of the above 6 items in my smoothie recipe. This smoothie is not only a tasty treat, but it’s a healing salve to your gut. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate with food, can you?!
- 1½ cups coconut milk OR coconut yogurt
- 1½ cups frozen cherries
- ¼ avocado or 1-2 Tbsp. avocado oil
- 1-2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder (*see note below)
- 2 Tbsp gelatin, Great Lake cold soluble (green cannister)
- 1 tsp. L-glutamine powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Optional: 1 scoop Nutri-Greens, or other greens powder
- Optional: Vanilla liquid stevia to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- If you are just using coconut milk feel free to add a capsule of probiotic powder to your smoothie.
- I use Custom Probiotics 11 Strain.
- *Note: If you can't find raw cacao powder, use cacao nibs. If you like you can pre-grind them in a coffee grinder. I've added them straight to the smoothie in my Vitamix and the texture comes out fine.
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