When I think of the color orange, I automatically picture a big, juicy orange split into wedges. However, there are other orange fruits and vegetables out there that provide Vitamin C as well as a whole host of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. A good way to incorporate these into your diet is to put them in smoothies. And I have an Orange Vegetable Healthy Smoothie Recipe to help you do just this.
First, let’s take a quick look at three of the top nutrients found in these orange gems:
- Beta-Carotene: This power-packed antioxidant not only gives these fruits and vegetables their beautiful color, but is good for eye health, skin health, and also slows or delays cognitive aging.
- Vitamin A: Commonly referred to as retinal or retinol, this antioxidant helps to neutralize those free radicals that damage the body; thus, Vitamin A is crucial to the immune system.
- Vitamin C: This popular antioxidant boosts our immune systems, protects against heart disease, and helps rebuild collagen in the skin. It also helps wounds heal faster.
Orange fruits and vegetables are some of the healthiest foods on the planet. These include oranges, peaches, cantaloupe, mangoes, papaya, persimmons, and kumquats. Vegetables include carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash.
For this smoothie recipe, however, I have chosen the following four to include:
This power-packed fruit just keeps on giving. With so many vitamins and antioxidants in a single orange, they provide health benefits for a whole host of ailments such as bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even arthritis.
There’s often confusion over whether to peel an orange or not to get the full benefits. While we often use zest in recipes, the peel is usually discarded or thrown in the compost pile. While the rind and the white pith are on the side of bitter, before you toss them out, consider what they contain. These include more antioxidants, bioflavonoids, calcium, potassium, and more vitamin C.
Granted, if you do decide to add peels to your smoothie, it is better if they are organic. Either way, be sure to scrub them well.
I like to add a little of the white pith along a bit of zest to my smoothies.
Carrots are perhaps the sweetest vegetable on the planet. Just imagine, one medium-size carrot has up to 3 grams of sugars, all natural, and up to 2 grams of fiber. It’s a perfect sweet treat! Raw carrots provide their natural sweetness to smoothies of all kinds, even green smoothies.
You only need one carrot a day to meet the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A. As a matter of fact, one carrot has twice that amount. Instead of having to eat the daily carrot as raw carrot sticks, or cooked carrots (I prefer its taste when it’s roasted on pellets), or perhaps pureed into a soup, you can now add one to a smoothie.
And, once again, if that’s not enough to convince you to add these lovelies, then consider that they are also beneficial in reducing cholesterol and also the risk of developing heart disease. If you or any of your loved ones are diabetic, carrots can also assist in the control of insulin levels.q
Orange Bell Pepper
Although green and red peppers get the most attention, it’s the orange ones we want. Low in calories, and jam-packed with health benefits, orange bell peppers are a great addition to any smoothie. With these, you get a beneficial dose of vitamins A and C, as well as folate, iron, potassium, and fiber.
These glorious orange gems contain Vitamin B-6 as well, which helps your body’s immune and nervous system properly function. B6 is also important in warding off anemia.
The nutrient-packed sweet potato often gets overshadowed by other potatoes, but it’s loaded with health benefits. These starchy root vegetables are considered a carb however, so if you are avoiding carbs, you may want to lower the amount of sweet potato you put in your smoothie or leave it out altogether. Ultra-rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, they add an earthy sweetness to any recipe. Often these are pureed for smoothies, cool soups, and sauces.
Now that we know that orange fruits and vegetables are not only delicious and sweet but also jam-packed with healthy benefits, let’s get to that Orange Vegetable Healthy Smoothie Recipe I mentioned earlier.
Orange Vegetable Healthy Smoothie Recipe
Total Time: 15 minutes to 1 hour
Prep Time: 10-50 minutes, depending on how you prepare your sweet potato (boiling may take 15-20 minutes, while baking can take 50 minutes)
Level of Difficulty: Medium
Ingredients You Will Need:
- 2 oranges, peeled (may include a bit of pith and zest if you like)
- 1 cup carrots, sliced or diced
- 1 orange bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1 sweet potato, cooked
- Almond milk, plain, unsweetened
- 1 teaspoon ginger (powder works best)
- Boil or bake your sweet potato.
- Cut up carrots (can also use baby carrots).
- Core and chop orange bell pepper.
- Combine pepper, carrots, cooked sweet potato, and ginger in blender
- Add small amount of almond milk to begin with (can add more later if smoothie is too thick).
- Squeeze juice from the two oranges, and also add zest and pith if desired.
- Blend on high or medium, depending upon the type of blender you have, until all ingredients are blended
Yields: 2 1/2 to 3 servings
You may want to substitute the almond milk with coconut water, depending on the thickness you prefer, and which nutrients you want to include. While the coconut water provides electrolytes, the almond milk provides more protein.
A couple of additional tips:
- Use frozen fruit to make the smoothie cold, such as by adding frozen pineapple to this recipe.
- Feel free to add plant-based protein powder.
- Add vanilla-flavored almond milk if you want a bit of a creamsicle taste.
Whether your favorite color is orange, you want a break from green smoothies, want to boost your immune system tenfold, or want to be energized, this orange vegetable healthy smoothie recipe can do the trick.
This smoothie will have you seeing orange in a new way.