From the Spice Girls to my sometimes spicy attitude, you could definitely say that I have an affinity for all things spice related; but in addition to adding a little je ne sais quoi to the aroma of food, spices are also a natural method of preventative health care. Did you know that before we were using spices for culinary purposes, they were used medicinally? Yup, the very spices that you and I have been using to create delicious and appealing meals, come from plants whose traditional uses included acting as remedies for preventing and/or treating disease for centuries!
Ah nature- ain’t she beautiful?!
If you’ve ever eaten at an Indian restaurant, then you have most certainly come across cardamom before. This aromatic citrusy floral flavored seed with menthol undertones is actually the dried and unripened fruit of the perennial member of the ginger family; oh yes, cardamom keeps great company.
Cardamom is known for stimulating bile flow for liver health (healthy liver, healthy body) and fat metabolism; which is why it has been used as a digestive aid since ancient times and is also known to relieve stomach cramps, stimulate digestion and cut excess mucous. And for those of us, who find themselves gassy from time to time, which happens to the best of us, cardamom is carminative; meaning this agent induces the expulsion of gas from the stomach and intestines, making it a fantastic remedy for flatulence. For those gaseous moments eat some cardamom, those around you will be grateful.
This mango smoothie recipe was born out of my newfound love for cardamom. I was testing masala recipes, which require a significant amount cardamom and in the process fell head over heels for this vibrant spice. The conventional manner to use cardamom is in Indian dishes, but I love balking convention.
Mangoes, although delicious, are relatively high in sugar; but I had a craving. So I asked myself, how do I make this mango smoothie recipe healthy? By adding spinach that’s how! You see when you consume a high sugar fruit with a vegetable, you minimize the spiking effects on your blood sugar; and since the spinach is virtually indiscernible in this mango smoothie recipe, you still get the sweet, tropical flavor, without the blood sugar spike. And the cardamom helps us digest all the deliciousness- it’s genius really!
Greens, spice and everything nice- this mango smoothie recipe has got it going on!
½ cup frozen mango
¼ cup frozen frozen spinach
¼ cup kefir
1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
1 tsp shredded coconut
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup almond milk
5 fresh mint leaves
Combine all ingredients in a blender until completely smooth.