By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time. #WildYourSmoothie
First, a quick biology lesson:
Free radicals are unstable, highly-reactive molecules which play important roles in the human body. Some free radicals work to kill bacteria on a cellular level, while others play a part in regulating the various systems of the body, or help with the body’s natural healing responses. On the other hand, there are types of free radicals (specifically those that are derived from the oxygen molecule) that can cause damage to, or death of, cells when present in excess (which can then result in cancer or other serious illnesses). Just as the human body produces antibodies in response to pathogens, it also produces its own antioxidants to combat free radicals… the problem is that the body doesn’t always produce enough.
But wait, don’t fear – fruits and vegetables are here! Antioxidants that naturally occur in many fruits and vegetables can be extremely effective in neutralizing the excess free radicals in the body, thereby protecting cells from unnecessary damage.
Wild blueberries are an excellent choice for increasing your antioxidant intake. These little purple-blue gems have one of the highest antioxidant capacities per serving, when compared to other antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Wild blueberries have been determined to have a positive impact on health of the heart, brain, urinary tract, and vision, as well as cancer prevention.
For this smoothie recipe, I decided to go with a theme of “vision health.” Considering that my own eyesight has slowly declined a bit over the past few years, and one of my uncles is legally blind, it seems like something that I should focus on. Since both carrots and mangoes are known to contain antioxidants and other nutrients that have positive effects on vision health, I chose to combine both of those with wild blueberries for a triple-threat of sorts. Plain Greek yogurt is added for creaminess, chia seeds for a nutrient boost, and agave nectar for some natural sweetness (but you can feel free to skip it if you’d like). The resulting smoothie is a pleasant balance of sweet and tart, much like the wild blueberries themselves.
Prep Time: 5-10 minutes
Active Time: 1 minute
Yield: one 12 fl oz (1 1/2 cup) serving
1 mango: 3 thin slices reserved for garnish, remainder roughly chopped (approximately 1 cup chopped)
1/4 cup / 2 fl oz 100% carrot juice
1/8 cup / 1 fl oz freshly-squeezed lime juice (approximately 1-2 limes)
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries, plus extra for garnish
2 tsp chia seeds, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tsp organic agave nectar
Blend the chopped mango with the carrot juice and lime juice until thoroughly broken down, 30-60 seconds depending on your blender. Add all remaining ingredients and blend for 30-60 seconds, stopping and stirring if necessary, until very smooth. Pour into your glass of choice and garnish with the reserved mango slices, a few wild blueberries, and a sprinkling of chia seeds. Enjoy!