With the warmer weather here in Northern California, we've been experimenting with different smoothies in our kitchen with our trusty vita-mix blender. We went a little crazy at our local farmers market over the weekend now that berries are in season, and decided to try this beautiful parfait as an afternoon snack. It was hit with all three of my kids and even my husband!
This recipe originates from Anthony Williams, Cleanse to Heal book which I highly recommend for anyone suffering from chronic inflammation issues or just looking to implement a whole foods/clean diet. I adjusted the recipe a bit and added 1 additional tablespoon of orange juice, a few slices of cucumbers to sneak in the veggie, and some chia seeds for an extra protein boost.
Research shows that berries carry a variety of benefits including increased mental clarity, decreased blood pressure, and prevents cancer. According to research in the Annals of Neurology, women who eat about two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who went without these nutrition powerhouses. In addition berries are high in antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties which are important for preventing disease as we age.
Mangos also pack a big punch in terms of nutritional value, and according to the National Board of Mangos, this super fruit contains over 20 different vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, C, folate, and fiber. One 3/4 cup mango provides 8% of your daily vitamin A, 50% of your daily vitamin C, and 8% of your daily vitamin B6....not to mention they are also high in anti-oxidants. Peak season of mangos runs from May-September so keep an eye out for them right now are you local grocery store.
2 cups frozen diced mango 4 tablespoons fresh orange juice
2-3 slices of cucumber 1/2 cup strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and/or blackberries
1/4 tsp chia seeds
Fresh mint for garnish (optional)
Place the mango, orange juice, chia seeds, and cucumber in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour a layer of mango-orange smoothie in a jar or bowl scraping form the sides of the blender as needed. Top with half the berries. Repeat with another layer of the smoothie then berries.
Garnish with a few leaves of fresh mint, if desired, and serve.