Sassy Red Smoothie (Day 7 – Red)
This recipe is part of a series of colorful smoothie posts to celebrate Pride month.
This is the last smoothie in my Pride challenge; and it’s about time I posted this recipe. Not to completely change the subject, but will ya take a look at this baby. This smoothie’s a complete stunner — with the style of a fashionista, the sass of a punk rocker and the audacity of a Kardashian. When this smoothie walks into a room (just work with me here), the lights dim and a single spotlight perfectly hangs overhead, waiting for it to croon some saucy tune.
You get my point.
But there’s more! This show-stopper drink’s got summer written all over it. It has ripe tomatoes, strawberries and raspberries (I used frozen ones), mint, basil, chia seeds and an apple. It has the perfect blend of sweet and tart, with just that fleeting waft of mint and basil that you get during a stroll through a garden patch on a summer’s evening.
I added chia seeds for a bit of fiber and good fat content (to steady the blood sugar and provide a satiety element), but you could instead add a little coconut milk, avocado or soaked cashews to do the same.
Finally, like any good summer drink, this smoothie’s flavors go really well with a splash of gin, tequila or vodka, a poolside umbrella, an impossibly blue sky and your favorite swim-wear!
Tomatoes are the star of this smoothie. They are a member of the nightshade family, also including potatoes, eggplants and peppers. This vegetable (technically a fruit) contains lycopene, the potent anti-inflammatory carotenoid (responsible for its red color), along with other phyto-nutrients; plus it is rich in vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, vitamin E and vitamin K. The combined antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power of of lycopene, vitamins C and E, make tomatoes an excellent protector of heart health. For one, these compounds aid in preventing the oxidation of lipids (fats) in the cell lining. In addition, they seem to help lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol AND triglyceride levels. Interestingly, these cardiovascular protective benefits seem to increase significantly when the tomatoes are cooked in olive oil.
Eating tomatoes is also associated with a lower risk of certain cancers – particularly prostate and lung cancer – thanks to the phytonutrient “alpha-tomatine,” which has shown to trigger programmed cell death in formed cancer cells.
However, tomatoes are somewhat controversial as they may trigger an allergic reaction, particularly in people with arthritic symptoms. If you love tomatoes but they don’t love you back, don’t eat them. Better yet, work with a nutrition professional to eliminate nightshades for a few weeks, or to test for food sensitivities.
Sassy Red Smoothie
- 2 tomatoes, chopped into large wedges
- 10 frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- 1 apple
- 1/4 cup mint leaves (adjust to taste)
- 1/4 cup basil leaves (adjust to taste)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup ice-cubes
- 1/2 avocado or 1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
- Wash and prep all ingredients and add to a high-speed blender with water.
- Blend at a low-speed for 30 seconds then gradually increase the speed until you reach the desired consistency.
- Thin it out further with ice-cubes or more water if needed.
- Pour, sip and enjoy!