The Zingiber Revival!


What a weekend!  The weather turned out much better than expected and my sweetie and I got to spend some QT together again.  Two weekends in a row, a rarity these days.  Friday he Officially published a paper that he has been working on for 4 years.  This was a completely separate project from his work at UW, so it was a weekend and after hours project for him on top of everything else; I’m so excited to have some extra time with him for a bit!!  Let me tell you, Celebration was in order.  (For those of you interested, see his paper here.)

We had tickets for Cafe Flora’s 20 year celebration so we put on our cocktail best and headed over for creative cocktails, incredible vegetarian food, local beer & wine, live music, lots of good vibes and wonderful, inspiring people.  Good times after another hectic week!  I was much in need of some inspiration after this stressful week, which led me to share ….

The Zingiber Revival.  This is my goto drink when I don’t want to leave the house because the Seattle rain has me chilled to the bone.  I typically push through some modified sun salutations (due to my wrist injury) to get my blood flowing and then blend one of these puppies up.  Yum!  It is also an ideal recipe for athletes looking to speed up muscle recovery time between workouts or after an event.  (Check out Boston blogger OmGal’s video on Sun Salutations here and here.)

some treats from last night’s gift bags and one Zingiber Revival topped with flax!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups spinach (kale works too)
  • 1 banana
  • fresh ginger (to your liking, I use about 2 Tbs but I love love ginger)
  • fresh turmeric (again to your liking, I use about 1 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup water
Blend up all ingredients and
  • top with 2 Tbs of fresh ground flax

The Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum):  You know I’m a Blueberry girl.  I even had them in my wedding bouquet and around the barn where we had our reception.  (They were all from plants that my dad planted, it was a very nice touch to the Big Day.)  Anyway, I adore them.  See my last smoothie post for more deets on blueberry & here is one more recent study showing blueberries ability to speed muscle recovery after workouts.  As if we needed another reason to eat up?

The Ginger (Zingiber officinale):  This smoothie’s namesake.  Oh Ginger, where do I begin?  This magical rhizome is great for overall detoxification, digestion, poor circulation and to reduce inflammation in various conditions.  It can help with speedy recovery from colds and flu, and can also help you recover faster in between workouts.  It is a wonderful and tasty digestive aid.

Spinach:  I usually use Kale, but we ran out, so I’ll give you some info on both.  Spinach contains lots of vitamins and antioxidants.  It’s also very high in oxalic acid, which sometimes bothers my teeth when raw (strips the enamel off and leaves me with an odd feeling).  Spinach has lots of Iron & Calcium, but neither are absorbed well because of the oxalates.  Oxalates mostly just cause problems for people with Calcium Oxalate kidney stones and are not generally of concern to those if us sans CaOx stones.  If this is a concern for you, simply opt for Kale.

Kale:  Rich in Iron, Calcium, Fiber, Vitamin K and can enhance the immune system and provide anti-inflammatory benefits.  With all the hype around kale these days, (likely stemming from the paleo diet fad …) I think most of you know lots about kale.  I think it’s one superfood we can all agree on, n’est-ce pas?  Let’ hear it for the Kale!

Turmeric (curcuma longa):  Okay, same goes here for the oxalates, turmeric is high in oxalates.  BUT, if you don’t have that problem, then don’t sweat it and cook liberally with it.  It’s best to cook it with fats, like coconut milk, to increase absorption and get full benefit from it’s anti-inflammatory properties.  It’s also an anti-oxidant, anti-neoplastic, increases bile secretion, and is traditionally used for liver and digestive complaints as well as skin and joint complaints (like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis).  Yogis traditionally used it to increase flexibility and to purify the chakras.  Please see a previous post by my friend Alison here, she did a great job at explaining the benefits of this awesome herb. Please see this past post of mine for details on the benefits of flax, and some more on blueberry.

and the last ingredient …..

A touch of magic:  It’s such a good feeling to be surrounded by people who inspire you, see the best in others, don’t take things personally and aren’t waiting for occasions to be offended or annoyed.  Consider yoga, meditation, basketball, surfing … whatever it is that brings out your inner zen, to help you start to see the beauty in others, instead of magnifying faults.  When the people in your life inspire & support you, it is one of the best feelings ever.  On the heels of Cafe Flora’s awesome party, a restaurant where I can actually taste the good vibes in the food, I’d like to suggest adding a touch of that to your next culinary creation. You might just unleash a culinary genius.  See if you can embody this:  ‘Today, try to find the love and light in everyone that you meet!’ quote from fellow ND blogger Sarah, check out her blog here.

Springtime Risotto @ Cafe Flora ‘ … when the food you’re eating was grown down the street … I think you can taste it …’ – words from the owner last night.

Hope you all have a reviving weekend, please let me know how the zingiber smoothie turned out for you!!

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As always my Disclaimer applies.