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smoothie

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A vitamin-packed smoothie is a great way to start the day, or works as the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Check out these great infographics with 5 easy steps to healthy and tasty smoothie.

how-to-make-a-smoothie-easy-steps

And another infographic about perfect smoothie.

5-ways-how-to-make-a-perfect-smoothie

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Kombucha is a microbiological food. It helps regenerate the bowel flora and is excellent for wellbeing.

Kombucha is a popular health promoting beverage and natural folk remedy made by fermenting tea. Kombucha is a colony or culture of yeast and other microorganisms embedded in a pure cellulose “pancake.” When the “pancake” is grown in a blend of tea and sugar, it transforms the liquid into a refreshingly lightly sparkling, sweet and sour drink with a fruity fragrance full of health giving acids and nutrients. The Kombucha culture feeds on the sugar and, in exchange, produces other valuable substances which change into the drink: glucuronic acid, glucon acid, lactic acid, vitamins, amino acids, antibiotic substances.

Kombucha tea has about 0.5% to 1% alcohol as do some fruit juices such as apple juice. Harold Tietze in his book KOMBUCHA, THE MIRACLE FUNGUS observes that Muslims and Buddhists drink it without concern. “Recovered alcoholics do not have to fear the small amounts of alcohol.” The Salvation Army is using Kombucha to help alcoholics.

Kombucha tea isn’t something you can buy in a bottle or a bag. You need to brew up a batch of kombucha starter culture and grow your own.

The health benefits of kombucha tea are many, and the taste is distinctively tart. The final product is lightly carbonated too. If you’re interested in trying some, be prepared to do a little work and to wait for the finished product.

Kombucha Tea Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 – 6 Tea bags (at least 2 are black)
  • 4 litres ( 140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White Sugar
  • 1 Kombucha tea fungus
  • 400 ml (1 3/4 cup//14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the mushroom / fungus – If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Boil the water in a stainless steel pot, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Recipes for Kombucha Tea with Pawpaw (Papaya)

Ingredients:

  • 100 grams (3.5 oz) Paw paw leaves and flowers
  • 4 litres (140 fl oz) Pure water, rain or spring
  • 300 grams (10 oz) White sugar
  • 2 Green tea bags
  • 4 Black tea bags
  • 1 Kombucha tea mushroom
  • 400 ml (1 3/4cup / 14 fl oz) Kombucha tea (mother tea), from your last brew or obtained with the fungus. If you don’t have enough mother liquid

Instruction:
Cut, clean and chop the stalks off the papaya leaves and flowers. Place in pot, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 1/2 hour. Let cool, strain and bring to the boil again, add sugar, turn off heat and stir sugar until dissolved. Add teabags and let soak for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow to cool. Strain (not necessary) and pour into fermenting jar. Add the fungus and mother tea to the jar. Cover and leave for one week in a place free from contaminants such as mould, cooking fats etc.

Ingredients:
The following quantities are for one litre.

  • 5 tablespoons = 1/3 cup
  • 3-5 tablespoons of white sugar.
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons black tea (organic).
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons green tea (organic).
  • 1 teaspoon elderflower tea (optional).
  • 1 tablespoon papaya leaf tea (optional).
  • 1 litre water (Grander water).
  • 100 mls of Kombucha tea, (as an acidic starter).
  • 1 piece of Kombucha plant. (about 4 inches in diameter.)

Instruction:
Add the sugar to a glass bowl, dangle the tea bags over the side, then pour on boiling water. Use the tea bags to stir the liquid and dissolve the sugar. Leave the tea bags to steep until the tea has cooled. If you are using loose tea then steep the tea in a teapot, then mix with the sugar and boiled water in a bowl. Some herbs such as papaya leaf will need simmering in boiling water for 2 hours. Strain the herbs through muslin cloth.
When the tea has cooled to below 25C, mix in the Kombucha tea, then float the Kombucha plant on the surface. Cover the bowl with a tea towel held in place with an elastic band and leave it where it won’t be disturbed for 2 – 4 weeks at 20-25C. The longer you ferment the kombucha the less sweet and the more acidic it will become. The Kombucha tea is ready when a new mushroom has covered the surface and all of the sugar has been digested. When the kombucha is ready, scoop the tea out the bowl with a small jug and transfer to bottles. Discard the sediment. Refrigerate the kombucha before drinking. Store unused kombucha mushrooms covered with kombucha tea in a jar in the refrigerator.

Honey Kombucha Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1. Two cups of starter tea
  • 2. 3 quarts of water
  • 3. 1 cup of Liquid Honey
  • 4. 1/2 cup of sugar

Instruction:
Boil water for 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. Using a cooking thermometer monitor the temperature. When the temperature has fallen below 150 degrees F. add the cup of honey (or 1.5 cups to speed fermentation) and stir until the honey is dissolved. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. Once the tea reaches room temperature you can pour off the mixture (leaving the sediment on the bottom behind).

Kombucha Banana Strawberry Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 10 ounces orange juice
  • 4 ounces Kombucha tea.
  • One piece of fresh Kombucha colony (sized to palate)
  • 5-6 large fresh strawberries
  • 1-2 large banana

Blend all ingredients at high speed in your blender until smooth.

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    Soda – it’s everywhere! Even if you wanted to drink something else, you’d be hard-pressed to find it as prominently displayed in vending machines, at fast-food chains, and supermarket checkouts. You might not realize how ubiquitous Coke, Pepsi, and the like are in our society until you try to stop drinking soda.

    Ever read the ingredients label on that can of soda? Grab one now and read it. Surprising, isn’t it? Most likely the top ingredients are corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup, two very concentrated forms of sweetener, and a whole list of artificial ingredients. Like sugar-free? What does that label say? Anything “natural” in it?

    The supermarket has hundreds of delicious, refreshing alternatives to the nutrient-free soda.

    1. Club soda mixed with pomegranate juice. 160 calories per cup; still bubbly.2. Tonic water with a squeeze of lemon or lime. Only 80 calories; still bubbly.

    3. Light yogurt and fruit smoothie.. Creamy and sweet, high in calcium and only 174 calories per cup.

    4. Tomato juice or V8. Packed with flavor; high in vitamins C, A, and potassium and only 50 calories per cup.

    5. Flavored seltzer. Carbonated, but zero calories.

    6. Energy drink (such as Gatorade). Tastes sweet, 60 calories per cup, contains electrolytes.

    7. Apple cider. Has 120 calories per cup, but packs a tangy, substantial flavor.

    8. Milk, whole or skim. High in calcium and protein–and you need both. With 145 calories per cup of whole milk; 85 calories for skim.

    9. Ovaltine made with skim milk. It’s chocolaty, fortified with vitamins and minerals, high in calcium and protein and 170 calories per cup.

    10. Tea or coffee, unsweetened. Get a boost on less than five calories per cup, plus it’s high in antioxidants.

    Content provided by Revolution Health Group

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    Non-Alcoholic Mixed Drinks are often served to children, designated drivers and anyone else who wishes to enjoy a refreshing, (usually) fruity, drink without alcohol.

    Virgin cocktails are usually made in a similar manner as the traditional cocktails, adjusting the proportions of other ingredients as necessary to fill the same volume, while retaining the overall taste and feel of the drink.

    1. Amaretto Stone Sweet Mixed Drink Recipe

    • 2 1/2 oz Blanks® Amaretto (One of a range of non-alcoholic and lower-calorie liqueurs produced by Blanks.)
    • 2 oz Cherry Syrup
    • 4 oz Orange Juice
      Orange juice is one of the most important ingredients (and the most important fruit juice) to have when making cocktails. To get the most juice out of a fresh orange, bring it to room temperature and roll it under your palm against a hard surface before squeezing. Another method is to microwave them on high power for 30 seconds, let stand a couple of minutes before cutting and squeezing them.
    • 4 oz 7-Up® Soda
      Ice

    Blend with ice.

    2. Avocado Milkshake Mixed Drink Recipe

    • 1 liter Milk
    • 2 – 3 Halved and Peeled Avocados
    • 1/2 cup Sugar

    Blend on medium for 3 to 5 minutes. (Use sugar, peeled avocado, condensed milk, and evaporated milk, and ice… works. delicious).

    3. Banana Grape Smoothie Mixed Drink Recipe

    • 2 Large Bananas
    • 2 Handfuls Red, Seedless Grapes
    • 1 cup Ice
      Ice is essential for all types of mixed drinks, and it should always be clean and clear. Usually you would add ice to a glass before pouring any ingredients into it. This cools the liquids and prevents splashes.
    • 1/4 cup Milk

    Place the bananas and grapes into a blender and mix until it is a “smooth” liquid. Add the ice and blend until crushed. Add milk, mix until smooth and pour into a hurricane glass. Serve.

    4. Black Cow Mixed Drink Recipe

    • 2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
    • 10 oz Root Beer (A non-alcoholic, carbonated drink, sweetened and flavored with a combination of artificial and natural flavorings).
    • 1 tbsp Chocolate Syrup (A sweet combination of unsweetened cocoa powder, corn syrup and sugar, amongst other flavorings).
    • 1 1/2 oz Whipped Cream (A type of cream containing sugar and emulsifiers. Whipped cream expands on release from pressurized cans).
    • Maraschino Cherries (A sugar syrup coated cherry, dyed red and flavored with almond).

    Pour root beer over ice cream and chocolate syrup in a large tumbler glass. Garnish with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry. Serve with a straw and a long spoon.

    5. Cherry Spritzer Mixed Drink Recipe

    • 2 oz 100% Cherry Juice
    • 4 oz Mineral Water
      Mineral water is water is considered spring water with a larger amount of dissolved mineral salts, that is, at least 250 parts per million of dissolved salts.There is no unpleasant taste in mineral water, and a neutral odor. Although, despite claims to the contrary, there is no proof that mineral water is any better for your health than tap water.

    Pour the cherry juice into the old-fashioned glass filled previously with 3 to 5 ice cubes and add the mineral water. Stir before you serve. You can mix the juice and the mineral water in the fifty-fifty percent relation too, but it is faster energy-delivering and even healthier this way.

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    In their rush to get only healthy drinks into schools, regulators have been ill-advised, say some drinks makers. Any school caterer serving to school-age teenagers will, from next month, have to follow new rules.

    There are new regulations concerning food and drink sold and served within schools, but it’s reasonable to expect that “goodness” in children’s drinks is a subject which will soon spread to other areas of out-of-home catering, even if only as a promotional angle.There is a problem, however – the rules are still not clear, and some people say they are plain wrong.

    The School Food Trust has laid down stringent rules for drinks sold in schools for consumption by pupils – apart from water, the only other drinks permitted in school will be milk, pure fruit juices, and yogurt and milk drinks. Drinks made from a combination of these will be allowed, together with low-calorie hot chocolate, tea and coffee. Fizzy and sugary drinks are out.

    On the face of it, it’s all well-meaning advice – but even Parliament has now questioned its accuracy. In June, Dr Ashok Kumar, MP for Middlesbrough and East Cleveland, told the House of Commons that, in their enthusiasm to do the right thing, the authorities had missed some aspects of general health.

    Big issue

    It has been shown that children’s ability to do arithmetic is impaired even if they are only slightly dehydrated, he said – and as 40% of teenage schoolchildren don’t drink the necessary 1.2 litres a day, hydration is a big issue in school. And yet, the School Food Trust guidelines have approved smoothies, because of their fruit content, although they are not good for hydration. On the other hand, low-calorie soft drinks, which can be helpful for hydration, are prohibited for being “fizzy”.

    “The ban should be based on the properties of the drinks,” says Kumar. “Smoothies are reasonably calorific and expensive, and are not always a realistic option for hydration allowing low-calorie drinks alongside smoothies would be a better overall approach.”

    Several fruit juice companies have said that the MP has done well in illustrating that the rules are well-meaning but wrong. “We’ve followed this closely, and we agree with Dr Kumar,” says Matt Crane, the ‘pure hydration director’ of Juice Doctor, the brand which claims to have invented the category of so-called functional hydration.

    This is a concept part-founded by Olympic rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave, and it holds that not just schoolchildren but three-quarters of the entire UK population are in a state of perpetual dehydration, which is the number-one cause of headaches and daytime fatigue.

    As most people dislike drinking plain water, says Juice Doctor, the best remedy is a flavoured beverage which provides hydration, minerals and vitamins. Juice Doctor’s “hydration fix” drinks are based on fruits such as blackcurrant, pomegranate and lemon, with minerals which encourage water to be held in the body for longer.

    However, they fail the school guidelines on sugar. “In a very simplistic way, the trust has sought to say that kids should drink water or fruit or dairy,” says Crane. “Smoothies are OK, although we now hear talk of certain smoothie drinks having the same amount of sugar as a Mars bar. By contrast, we’re a juice which uses a very small amount of beet sugar, so we’re ruled out.”

    Support for Juice Doctor’s position comes from Frobishers, the fruit juice company which handles a vast amount of supermarket own-brand juicing. There is illogicality in the ruling, says commercial director Ray Tyrrell. “We see that some smoothies are now made from concentrated fruit juices packed with additives and e-numbers – so the rule cannot concentrate on the type of drink,” he says. “It should concentrate on the properties of the drink.”

    Among the big names, Britvic has joined the hydration side of the argument with two product moves. One is the launch of The Really Wild Drinks Co, a range of six natural juice drinks available only through vending and over-the-counter sales in schools, and designed to offer more “street-cred” than plain water. “We invested to create an appealing product that secondary school students would want to drink,” says Britvic sales director Andrew Richards. “Our research showed that teenagers thought Really Wild was cool.”

    Britvic has also redesigned its Drench bottled water on the same theme, claiming “a new marketing concept – mental hydration”. The pack talks of staying “mentally and physically hydrated all day”, and a future marketing line will be: “Your brain is 75% water – keep it topped up.”

    Variety of drinks

    The British Soft Drinks Association has also spoken out on the same lines as Kumar. “We would like fluid intake targets to be included in the standards, as children risk the side effects of dehydration,” said its response to the School Food Trust. “Providing children with a variety of drinks to choose from is important.”

    Variety is the point which really has been missed, says Richard Canterbury, managing director of Love Smoothies. “The majority of smoothies contain natural fructose, not artificial sweeteners, and give children vital nutrients and vitamins in an easy-to-drink format,” he says. “One of Love Smoothies’ beverages provides 2.5 of the five-a-day [fruit servings] that a child requires, which is something water and cheap carbonate drinks can’t do. So smoothies should be consumed in addition to water, not instead of it, thus giving children both the nutrients and the hydration.”

    He adds: “Because smoothies are made from pure fruit, they’re more expensive than we’d like them to be, but we are looking at ways to make them more affordable. And we continue to supply state schools.”

    The confusion over sugars and additives in children’s drinks has been most robustly raised by the Big J, the first company to propose a legal definition of a smoothie.

    “As there is no definition, cheap impostors have infiltrated the market, charged pure smoothie prices and confused the consumer,” declares managing director Josephine Beach. “A smoothie should adopt the same guidelines as 100% ‘pure’ juice – anything that is added to dilute or artificially enhance is not pure, and should be labelled a ‘smoothie drink’. Today’s consumer knows the difference.”

    The Big J has said that it doesn’t need to change any of its products in response to the School Food Trust guidelines, but has launched an aggressive campaign against additives, measuring the contents of several competitor juice drinks and rating them with a skull-and-crossbones mark.

    Simplistic rulings are not enough, says the trade, and an example comes from Paul Bendit of Metro Drinks, whose Juice Patrol product has been approved by the Hyperactive Children’s Support Group. Research has shown that 87% of children diagnosed as hyperactive had adverse reactions to artificial colourings, and 72% were sensitive to artificial preservatives. A psychiatrist reports having obtained consistently positive results in treating hyperactive children by removing artificial additives from their diet.

    This, says the soft drinks trade, shows just how much there is to think about when laying down the rules.

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