Posts Tagged ‘healthy heart’

How to Make a Perfect Pomegranate Smoothie

Friday, February 5th, 2010


pomegranate

Pomegranate Smoothie Recipe

Refresh your taste buds . . . help your heart

Bursting with antioxidants, the pomegranate now shines as the darling of the health food industry.

Nutrients in the pomegranate lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and experts say they benefit people with heart disease and even some forms of cancer. One thing is sure: tart and yet sweet, pomegranates taste great. You will find pomegranate ingredients in all kinds of high-priced pomegranate supplements, but the best way to enjoy the benefits of this delicious fruit is to make pomegranate smoothie in your own blender.

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Ingredients needed:

100% grape juice
100% pomegranate juice
strawberries: fresh or frozen
frozen mixed berries (optional)
yogurt or yogurt drink
vanilla or plain protein powder
vitamin supplement packet (optional)

ice

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Equipment Needed: Blender. You can use any blender, but to make the best smoothies, use one that shaves ice before it blends. Shaved ice provides smooth texture. I love the Margaritaville Frozen-Concoction Maker. It cost a bit more than a standard bender, but it shaves ice perfectly and has a strong motor.

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Pour in about a cup of pomegranate juice. Make sure you buy 100% pomegranate juice. Check the label. Many companies sell “blends” that contain only a small percentage of pomegranate juice. Look for 100 % pomegranate juice in the juice section or in the health food section of your grocery store. It will cost more than other juices. You can also find it at large box stores like Costco and at health food stores.

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Pour in about a cup of grape juice. Again, you want 100 percent juice. Researchers say purple grape juice, also rich in antioxidants, may have the same highly touted health benefits as red wine. Like pomegranate juice, grape juice may help reduce bad cholesterol, lower blood pressure and support heart health. Tip: just like wine, grape juice varies in quality. Go for the name brand. It tastes better.

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Put in 3 to 4 large frozen strawberries. Fresh berries will work as well. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C and other vitamins, antioxidants and fiber.

Optional: Put in about a half cup of mixed frozen berries. You can often find a bag of frozen berries that includes blueberries and raspberries, but any mix will do. Fresh works as well. More berries add a more coplex flavor . . . and more antioxidants.

Optional: Put in half a banana. Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas are rich in potassium, which is essential for proper muscle contraction and thus helps the rhythmic pumping of the heart. Some studies link low potassium to high blood pressure and increased risk of stroke.

pomsmoothie70Add about one fourth cup of plain or vanilla flavored protein powder. Athletes and body builders make protein powder shakes because protein contains the essential building blocks for muscle. Many of us do not get enough protein in our diet, so adding protein powder to a smoothie is a great way to make the drink a more complete source of nutrition. Many brands and formulas are sold in health food stores and at markets like Trader Joes. You can research the differences in protein powder online.

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For extra health benefits, add half a packet of a vitamin supplement. I use Emergenc-C with zinc. Zinc promotes a health immune system and helps with healing. Many believe it helps prevent premature aging of the skin and muscles of the body.

Add about a half cup of yogurt or yogurt drink. Yogurt comes from milk and provides animal protein, plus several other nutrients found in dairy foods, like calcium, vitamin B-2, B-12, potassium, and magnesium. It also has the good bacteria. I like using a yogurt drink product in a berry flavor, but any good yogurt will do.

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Turn on the blender for about half a minute. Then add ice. If you have a blender with an ice shaver, add 4 or 5 cubes to the top. Shave then blend. For a regular blender just toss the ice cubes in before blending.

Enjoy. You will be amazed how delicious this smoothie tastes. And you can really enjoy it knowing it is packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.

You can vary the ingredients to your liking or to provide variety.

If you find you made too much smoothie, no problem. Put the leftovers in a closed container in the freezer. You can eat it frozen with a spoon as a dessert, or you can put it in the microwave on low for a few seconds and then stir to turn it back into a smoothie.

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My ehow version of this recipe

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