Last week, I shared my Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes. A TON of you went wild over them and it made my day! Now, I want to build upon this hack and help you boost your smoothies with homemade smoothie cubes using antioxidant foods that are plant-based. These are going to be our “Forever Young Smoothie Cubes.”
Some of the most vibrant of fruits and vegetables are ruby-hued beets, pomegranates, cranberries, strawberries, and cherries. Their beautiful colors come from being rich in antioxidants, which are vital to us aging more gracefully. (and I need all the help I can get right now!)
Do antioxidants help our body?
Absolutely! Antioxidants help protect against disease and illness by counteracting or protecting cells from damage done by free radicals. Free radicals are the toxic by-products of oxidation and damage healthy, living cells by creating “oxidative stress.”
Did you know that bright, jewel-toned fruits and vegetables are high in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This antioxidant gives these foods their gorgeous color and may help improve eyesight, reduce inflammation, prevent certain cancers, lower blood pressure, and protect the liver.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that 95% of adults don’t consume enough red and orange vegetables. That’s pretty much ALL OF US! Let’s change that statistic right now! The addition of even just one red fruit or veggie into your day is beneficial.
With that said, these Antioxidant Berry Smoothie Cubes can help you do just that – blend everything up and freeze the concentrate to add to your daily smoothie.
Antioxidant Powerhouse: Beets
Beets are a little different than their anthocyanin counterparts. They contain betalain, the phytonutrient (phyto = plant), that fights disease and inflammation.
Betalain has been shown to be a powerful Phase II detoxifier in the body. It hooks onto toxins and makes it possible for your body to flush them out.
In addition to folate, beets contain iron, potassium, copper, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamins B6 and C. The fiber in beets has been shown to be extra beneficial for the digestive system.
Bottom line: you should be eating (or blending!) beets on a regular basis.
Berries, Cherries, and Pomegranate
Berries are one of the best sources of anthocyanin. The vibrant or dark purples, fuchsias, reds, and oranges are jam-packed into these sweet, juicy fruits. Here’s a few that we’re using in the cubes…
Strawberries are very high in vitamin C and may even help lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol levels.
Cranberries are on of nature’s superfoods with the highest concentration of antioxidants. They are low in sugar and calories, high in fiber, and great for helping improve blood sugar levels. Cranberries help protect the urinary tract by helping prevent E.coli from adhering to the walls of the urinary tract. The antioxidants in cranberries provide anti-inflammatory benefits for UTIs and other ailments.
Cherries are one of my favorite summer fruits! The antioxidants in cherries provide many of the same benefits listed above. A special thing about cherries is that they are a natural source of melatonin, the hormone that helps regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Cherries are anti-inflammatory and may improve memory and blood sugar regulation.
Pomegranate originated in modern day Iran and India and are one of the Plant Kingdom’s greatest sources of protective antioxidants. Studies are showing that drinking 100% pomegranate juice may help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease like arteriosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Pomegranate has three (three!!!!) times the amount of antioxidants of red wine and green tea.
As we wrap this up and dive into the actual recipe, I just want to make sure you understand how beneficial these smoothie cubes are for your body. Rather than buy supplements, turn your kitchen into a FARM-acy and have fun doing it! I really hope you enjoy this recipe…
Print Antioxidant Berry Smoothie Cubes ★★★★★ 5 from 2 reviews Author: Lindsey Johnson Prep Time: 4 hours Total Time: 4 hours Yield: 8 servings Category: Smoothie Method: Blending Cuisine: Healthy Print Pin Description
Take advantage of the antioxidant benefits found in red plant-based foods by making a batch of these tasty, nutrient-dense smoothie cubes.
Ingredients 1 cup pitted cherries, sweet or tart 1 cup strawberries, hulled and sliced (can sub raspberries) 1 medium raw or cooked beet, peeled and roughly chopped 1 cup raw cranberries* 8 ounces bottle 100% pomegranate juice Instructions Place ingredients into blender in order listed. Puree until smooth. Pour liquid into two standard 16-well ice cube trays. (Each well holds about 2 tablespoons liquid.) Freeze until solid. Remove from trays and store in an airtight, freezer-safe container for up to several months. To use add 4 cubes to replace 1/2-1 cup of fruit in your favorite smoothie recipe. Notes
*1/2 cup 100% unsweetened cranberry juice
Keywords: beet, beet smoothie, antioxidants, red foods, smoothie booster, berries
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How to use Antioxidant Berry Smoothie Cubes Add them to any smoothie recipe you’re already making to get a boost of antioxidants and a tart berry flavor. Create an entire new smoothie using them as your base. I’d recommend pairing with oranges or bananas, they compliment the flavors really well. Find recipes that includes cherries, berries, beets or pomegranates and swap out for a few smoothie cubes. Here’s a few I would work from:
Cranberry Kale Cooler
Spinach Berry Smoothie
Cherry Pineapple Smoothie Bowl Add them to a vanilla protein shake to add some fresh plant-based goodness. PLEASE RATE THE RECIPE BELOW!
Now, I’d love to know what you think of the antioxidant berry smoothie cubes. Are they helpful? Inspiring? Doable? Maybe you have your own “forever young” rituals you’d like to share with the community in the comments below. Or maybe you have some other antioxidant foods you love most. Please share! You never know who your own experience can help!
Sources: “Biological Activities of Plant Pigments Betalains” by
Gandía-Herrero F, Escribano J, García-Carmona F. “Effects of anthocyanins on cardiovascular risk factors and inflammation in pre-hypertensive men: a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover study.” by Hassellund SS, Flaa A, Kjeldsen SE, Seljeflot I, Karlsen A, Erlund I, Rostrup M. “Systematic Review of Anthocyanins and Markers of Cardiovascular Disease.” by Wallace TC, Slavin M, Frankenfeld CL. “A Review of the Health Benefits of Cherries” by Darshan S. Kelley,Yuriko Adkins, and Kevin D. Laugero “Pomegranate: A Heart-Healthy Fruit Juice” by Arpita Basu and Kavitha Penugonda
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