Recipe of the Month: Nettle Smoothie

Gail Julius, a Lummi Tribal member and Northwest Indian College Traditional Plants & Foods Program Assistant (part of the Cooperative Extension Office), has committed to providing the community with a healthy recipe each month.

This month Julius is asking readers to focus on antioxidants to give their bodies a fresh start going into spring.

“It’s spring cleaning time, not just for you house, but also for you own temple: your body,” Julius said.

Nettles are a great source of antioxidants and are high in minerals, vitamins and amino acids.

“What better way to enjoy nettles this time of year than in a smoothie? With all the fruits and veggies coming into season, all you need to do is decide which combination of fruits you desire, add some nettles and reap the benefits,” Julius said. “I dare you to put down your energy drinks and try this smoothie recipe.”

INGREDIENTS
• 1-2 medium-to-large frozen bananas (assists in making smoothie more of a milkshake type of drink)
• 1 cup blueberries (frozen or fresh)
• 1 medium-to-large orange
• ¾ cup water
• 1 cup nettles (approximately 6-10 leaves)

PREPARATION
1. Place orange and blueberries into blender and blend on high until liquefied
2. Add water and nettles and blend until liquefied
3. Slice frozen banana/s into a few pieces and blend on medium until banana starts to incorporate into the mix, then blend on high until you get the consistency you desire
4. Drink and enjoy

Check out last month's recipe for some great harvesting tips from Gail.

In addition to antioxidants, this smoothie recipe contains several types of vitamin B, which is important for energy development and storage. Most of the above smoothie ingredients contain a variety of vitamin B:
Banana: B3 and B6
Blueberries: vitamin B complex
Orange: B5

For those looking for more antioxidant-rich foods and beverages, look no further than your tea drawer:
Black teas: slow the aging process; help burn fat and speed up the metabolism; lower cholesterol; contain fluoride that strengthens tooth enamel; are ideal for diabetics and diabetes prevention because they decreased glucose levels.
Note: adding milk or sugar decreases health benefits

White teas: contain antioxidants; help prevent cancer; decrease blood pressure; lower cholesterol; protect the heart: strengthen bones; are antibacterial and antiviral, which means they assist in fighting the common cold and flu, among other invaders of the body.

“Mix ‘em together and make it a tea party for your body,” Julius said.

For more information, contact Vanessa Cooper at vcooper@nwic.edu or (360) 392-4343 or Gail Julius at gjulius@nwic.edu or (360) 483-9967.