One of my intentions for the year ahead is to continue to optimize my gut health. Probiotic foods such as kombucha have become part of my daily routine. If you are new to kombucha or don't love the taste straight-up, consider adding it to a smoothie. Here I have combined it with pineapple, spinach and ginger to make a tangy & tropical digestion-improving green smoothie that is guaranteed to make you do the happy dance!!
While it may be a new trend here, kombucha is actually an ancient elixir with origins in the Far East around 2000 years ago!
Kombucha is a naturally carbonated, fermented tea-based probiotic drink that promotes gut health and helps to detoxify the body. More studies are needed, but it is believed that consumption may also promote healthy weight loss, strengthen the immune system, boost energy, and reduce cholesterol, inflammation & joint pain as well as the risk of certain cancers.
And ginger and pineapple bring additional gut-friendly benefits to the party! Ginger adds a slightly peppery kick and has been widely used for centuries for its anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea benefits. Pineapple is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as well as a complex enzyme called bromelain that aids digestion.
For more information on the importance of gut health and gut-friendly foods like probiotics, please see "The Gut Microbiome & the Gut-Brain-Axis".
For 2 servings, blend together until smooth:
- 1.5 cups ginger-flavoured kombucha
- 1/2 cup canned organic coconut milk or 4 frozen coconut milk cubes*
- 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 scoop unflavoured protein powder*
- 2 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 to 1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger (optional)
- 1 tsp chlorella powder (optional)
- raw honey (nonvegan) or stevia to sweeten as desired
*Notes: To make coconut milk cubes, pour well-shaken canned organic coconut milk into a standard ice cube tray and freeze overnight. I used Genuine Health unflavoured fermented vegan protein.