I, like many of you, finally found myself sick with the first cold of the season last week. The combination of travel and lack of sleep did me in. Also, it's that time of year. I found myself sitting at home with a stuffy nose and a foggy head trying to pull myself together enough to be able to teach. Working while sick is rough, but when your work is teaching yoga, complete with demonstrating handstands and not being able to excuse yourself to blow your nose because that would be both awkward and really embarrassing, it's really rough. So I do the best I can, sub out classes, and attempt to heal myself with food.
The more I think about food, and specifically seasonal food, the more I marvel at how masterfully designed our planet is. Am I getting too spacey for you? Hear me out, because maybe, like myself, you've never really sat back to think about it. It's no coincidence that watery cooling fruits like watermelon and juicy peaches pop into season when everyone is parched by the heat of Summer. It's no coincidence that when the sun goes down early and the seasons change to windy, often turbulent Fall that grounding, hardy, root vegetables like squash, carrots, and potatoes spring up to give us the exact stability most of us lack in the Fall. And it's no coincidence that citrus explodes right during the time of year everyone has colds and needs that extra boost of vitamin c. The earth literally gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it. It's growing all around us, we just have to open our eyes and utilize it's resources. Mind blown? Mine was. And don't even get me started on how much money you save when you embrace what's in season. Strawberries in February? Common Valentine's day, get it together. This year we did pomegranates .
But seriously. It's all about the citrus right now and the timing could not be more perfect. Thank you God/Universe/Divine Spirit/Whatever you choose to believe. It's no coincidence I tell you.
So today I'm sharing my favorite green citrus smoothie packed with mandarins, spinach, kale, and frozen pineapple. I've been making some version of this pretty much all winter, throwing whole oranges and grapefruits in my vitamix. Because whole citrus can be finicky, I've had the best luck with clementines and mandarins, probably because they have less pulp and fewer seeds. I'll occasionally throw in additional fruit I have on hand, and sometimes add greek yogurt for creaminess - though when I have a cold I avoid dairy like the plague. And this smoothie is fantastic for cold season. You've got your vitamin c from the oranges, and bromelain from the pineapple which apparently helps reduce mucus and clear sinuses (yum!), and spinach + kale which are packed with protein and vitamin A. Woohoo!
Green Citrus Smoothie
Makes about 1 quart
1 medium banana
1 small handful Kale, de-ribbed (about 5 large leaves)
2 large handfuls baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen pineapple pieces
4-5 small mandarins or clementines, peeled
1 1/2 cups almond milk (or any other non-dairy beverage)
Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.