I love lemonade. I don’t eat enough carrots. So I thought I would combine the two and create a Carrot Lemonade Smoothie for this week’s smoothie recipe. In fact, I’ve decided to make March a month of lemonade smoothies so get ready for a new lemonade smoothie each week. This Carrot Lemonade really came out great and I was way pleased with the taste.
I started to think about what ingredients would work well with a carrot lemonade. I have never tried mixing carrot and lemon together in a juice or in a smoothie so I had to go into the “smoothie test kitchen” (lol) and get to work. This is an interesting smoothie because it works two ways: either with carrot juice or with the whole carrots. I’ve provided both options in the recipe below.
After playing with some carrot lemonade combos over the past week, I found a combo I liked but wanted to add a second herb of some description (I already had ginger in the recipe). A few weeks ago I was on a call with Penni from the Upgrade Your Plate Facebook page and she mentioned that there is a great book called “The Flavor Bible” that I should pick up for the culinary library. So I bought the book and low and behold, parsley goes great with carrot and lemon! Bingo – high five to Penni!
This smoothie also welcomes the first time I’ve used hemp seeds in a green smoothie. It seems that fitness trainers push hemp seeds like crazy! So we will give them a try – they are supposedly an awesome source of protein which is important after a workout.
I knew carrots are healthy but I had no idea just how many health and nutrition benefits they provide. Check out some of the health benefits below about the various ingredients in this smoothie.
Carrots Health Benefits:
- Carrots are rich in beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is transformed in the retina, to rhodopsin, a purple pigment necessary for night vision.
- Studies have shown carrots reduce the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer.
- Studies show that diets high in carotenoids are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. Carrots have not only beta-carotene but also alpha-carotene and lutein.
- The fibers present in carrots help clean out the colon and hasten waste movement. (source)
- A review of several studies has concluded that ginger is just as effective as vitamin B6 in the treatment of morning sickness.
- Ginger has long been used as a natural treatment for colds and the flu.
- A study done on diabetic rats found that those rats given ginger had a reduced incidence of diabetic nephropathy (kidney damage). (source)
- Lemon being a citrus fruit, fights against infection.
- Lemon is found to be anti-carcinogenic which lower the rates of colon, prostate, and breast cancer.
- Lemon lowers blood pressure and increases the levels of HDL (good cholesterol) .
- A few drops of lemon juice in hot water are believed to clear the digestive system and purify liver as well. (source)
- Hemp seeds are an incredible vegan source of biologically available and easily digested protein. Hemp seeds contain all 10 essential amino acids. And 3 Tablespoons of Hemp Seeds = 11 grams of protein?
- Hemp seeds are rich in disease-fighting, plant-based phytonutrients and anti-aging antioxidants such as vitamin E.
- Hemp provides a rich array of minerals including zinc, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. (source)
- 4 carrots (peeled and cut)
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 lemon (juiced)
- ¼ bunch parsley
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- ½ inch knob of ginger
- 1 cup water
- stevia (optional to taste)
- place all ingredients in a high-speed blender
- reserve a small amount of the hemp seeds to top the smoothie
If you want to use fresh carrot juice, make the following changes: replace 1/2 cup of water and the 4 carrots with 1 cup of carrot juice and add 1/2 additional banana to help keep the smoothie smooth. As for the stevia level, I recommend blending the smoothie first, taste it and then add some liquid stevia as needed to make your desired sweetness level. I barely used any and next time I don’t think I will add any as the carrots really are pretty sweet.