Jazz Up Your Healthy Smoothies With These 11 Unusual Smoothie Ingredients (Part 2)
By: Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum
1 December, 2012 by
Jazz Up Your Healthy Smoothies With These 11 Unusual Smoothie Ingredients (Part 2)
Sun Chlorella USA

There is nothing quite like smoothies for helping you get dense nutrition in a delicious package. But don't get stuck with the usual fare. While fruit and yogurt are nice, "nice” can get boring. Why not go for amazing!

To help inspire your creativity and assist you in boosting your smoothie's nutritional prowess, we've put together a special 2-part article on somewhat unusual (and very nutritious) smoothie ingredients.

Ready to get mixing? Here's the next set of super smoothie components. . .


Nut or seed butters and milks
If you're a PB and J lover, you'll love adding nut butters to your smoothie. Just like in this sandwich standby, nuts' creamy smoothness melds perfectly with the sweet tang of fruit. Better yet, nuts contribute heart-healthy fats, protein, minerals and vitamin E to the mix.

Choose your nut and seed butters carefully. Look for ones that simply give you the smooshed nuts and nothing else - no sugar or oil added (although a little salt is okay). Good ole peanut butter goes well in anything. And if you want a seedier option, try a couple spoonfuls of sesame tahini.

Finally, for a real hunger-killer, try adding almond milk to your smoothie. In addition to its incomparable creamy taste, almonds seem to quell the hunger hormone ghrelin. A little almond may help your smoothie go even further to keep your appetite in check.

First a warning: Not everyone will feel safe with this ingredient. Raw eggs can bring on a bout of salmonella, a bacterial infection that can become fatal. Nonetheless, people have eaten raw eggs safely for generations. Many traditional smoothie recipes (like eggnog) have been built on a raw egg foundation. If you have access to eggs from a flock you know is healthy and feel confident about using eggs this way, you might like to try this favorite ingredient of prizefighters.

Eggs add lecithin for your brain and protein. And if you get some free-range eggs - which you'll know by the glorious orange yolks - you'll get a hit of omega-3's and carotenoids too.

How to use them? Simply crack it on the side of the blender and add it in.

Hemp seeds
While it's a distant cousin to marijuana, hemp has none of its psychoactive effects - no matter how much you eat. Instead of recreational use, hemp has been used for fiber, rope and now food due to its good nutrition. Extremely rich in protein - with some of the most complete proteins in the plant world - hemp is also very high in omega-3 fatty acids. These fats can help your body fight inflammation.

A warning to smoothie makers: Hemp is also very high in fiber. This can help your digestion but it will also thicken up the smoothie if it sits for a while in the fridge. If you like eating your smoothie with a spoon, this may not be an issue. But for all smoothie-sippers, make sure you drink your hemp-infused smoothies pronto.


How about something earthy to balance out the light sweetness of fruits? Root vegetables offer the perfect solution.

How could you leave this nutrition powerhouse out of smoothie making? Especially when it has such a sweet side!

Carrots are known for bringing the bright orange antioxidant, beta-carotene to your diet. In fact, beta-carotene is named for carrots. Beta-carotene can be cleaved in half to make the true, natural form of vitamin A. Vitamin A has been linked to supporting skin health, immune health and reproductive health. Recently a large scale epidemiological study demonstrated carrots above all other vegetables seemed to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease. Eating lots of carrots could reduce the risk by as much as 32%![1] No wonder Bugs Bunny was so lively!

As long as they're kept humid and cool, carrots can store for a while and still maintain their good nutrition. To add them to a smoothie, if you have a powerful machine like a Vitamix, you can just drop them in. For other blenders, try grating them first.

Combine it with some creamy coconut and nutmeg and you'll have a cool carrot cake in a glass!

Spicy, peppery radishes in smoothies?! Really?!

Of course!

First, radishes bring some great nutrition power to the mix . . . Another member of the cruciferous family, they also contain sulfur-based compounds which work to help increase your body's cancer-fighting and detoxifying processes.

In addition, as suggested by their peppery bite, they help loosen up mucus-clogged passages if you're a little stuffed up.

On top of all this good healing power, radishes open the door to some new arenas in smoothie flavor combinations . . .

Some smoothie aficionados love their zing in traditional sweet and fruity combos. But they also invite you to try a more gazpacho-like approach to smoothie making. Instead of just going for sweet and mellow, consider adding radishes to tomatoes, kale, cucumbers and a little lemon juice for a more savory vegetable medley.

It's hard to beat beet's blood red appearance for drama. You can't help but wonder what beets do for your health when you see the stains they leave on the counter. And certainly, beets have special compounds we all could make good use of.

Research has linked beets to fighting inflammation and cancer. Beet juice has recently been discovered by athletes as a powerful way to extend stamina and power. And because beets increase your body's production of nitric oxide, they may help increase blood flow and reduce blood pressure.[2]

Smoothies offer an excellent way to enjoy beets' nutrition. You lose out on beets' special antioxidants, betalains, the more you cook them.

Ginger root
A cousin to the antioxidant powerhouse, turmeric, ginger claims its own reputation as a powerful healing root. Not only does it improve circulation, clear up the respiratory system and soothe sore muscles, but it helps other herbs work better. [3]

Perhaps it's due to its circulatory boost, but ginger is known by herbalists as root that magnifies the power of other herbs. Imagine what this can mean for your smoothie nutrition!

You can add dried ginger spice to your smoothie. But for super spicy ginger flavor, consider adding the fresh root to your mix. Wash and peel it first. And if you don't have a power mixer, grate it first for best results.

Spice It Up

Once you've created a nice base, why not spice it up? Spices bring not only high notes of flavor but also symphonies of nutrition.

Orange turmeric has one of the world's best antioxidants - curcumin. In India, turmeric and milk (a smoothie precursor) is a common cure-all.

Cinnamon helps with blood sugar metabolism and nutmeg used in moderation helps with anxiety and concentration.

Make Your Smoothies Rock!

So don't get stuck in a smoothie rut. Let your creative juices flow as you mix and blend. With these somewhat unusual smoothie ingredients, you can blast open new avenues of taste and nutrition.

Ready to discover new tastes of smoothie heaven? Toss some of these in your blender!

About Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum, M.D.
Dr. Michael E. Rosenbaum is a 35-year veteran and widely recognized pioneer in the field of nutritional medicine, alternative healthcare and medical acupuncture. As one of America's most respected experts in natural health and healing, Dr. Rosenbaum has been a frequent lecturer to professional medical groups and has participated in numerous television and radio talk shows. He is also an esteemed member of the Sun Chlorella Advisory Board, which helps guide the medical innovation behind Sun Chlorella products.

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[1] Oude Griep LM et al. Colors of fruits and vegetables and ten year incidence of CHD. British Journal of Nutrition / Volume 106 / Issue 10 / November 2011, pp 1562-1569 
[2] A. J. Webb, N. Patel, S. Loukogeorgakis, M. Okorie, Z. Aboud, S. Misra, R. Rashid, P. Miall, J. Deanfield, N. Benjamin, R. MacAllister, A. J. Hobbs, A. Ahluwalia. Acute Blood Pressure Lowering, Vasoprotective, and Antiplatelet Properties of Dietary Nitrate via Bioconversion to Nitrite. Hypertension, 2008; 51 (3): 784 
[3] Yance, D. Adaptogens in Medical Herbalism: Elite Herbs and Natural Compounds for Mastering Stress, Aging, and Chronic Disease. Healing Arts Press, September 21, 2013. P. 435 

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