“Three jujubes a day keeps the doctor away and keeps you young”
-Ancient Chinese Saying
Winter doesn’t have to be all roasted vegetables and soups. We know that we want our food to be warming and nourishing – but these qualities can go beyond temperature! Yes, salads and ice cream will imbalance you in winter – but you shouldn’t have to shun out healthy smoothies all season. It’s all about balancing the energy of the ingredients. Chinese Medicine, as well as most other holistic medical systems, recognizes that the quality of a food can be determined energetically as well. Certain foods can be ‘warming’ or ‘cooling’ – regardless of whether we cook them or not.
So if you find yourself missing your morning smoothie game from earlier this year – we’re bringing it back for you with this seasonal and balanced winter recipe.
Jujube-pecan-blueberry winter smoothie
1 pack of blueberries
5 jujube red dates
2 cups pecan milk – we love this one from MALK!
1 tbsp ground chia seeds
Why is this so balancing?
Pecan milk – besides being novel and delicious – is extremely strengthening to the kidneys in TCM – an organ that can get depleted in cold winter – as well as to the heart, brain, and reproductive system. TCM recommends nuts specifically in wintertime as they are ‘yang’ or ‘hot’ in nature and can help strengthen one’s qi in cold weather. Pecans are wonderful for their holiday flavor, and they are also high in manganese, copper, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous and more fiber than most nuts
Jujube! One of the most powerful superfoods out there, and one of the main therapeutic herbs in TCM. It’s a date, it’s delicious and it’s nutritionally packed with protein, fat, carbohydrates, carotene, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin P, calcium, phosphorus, iron, cyclic adenosine monophosphate, and other nutrients. It’s also very yang / warming in nature. Western scientific studies have confirmed these substances as powerful agents to: eliminate fatigue, prevent and treat cardiovascular diseases, combat anaemia, suppress tumors and allergies and even inhibits the proliferation of cancer cells! Magic. And TCM prizes jujube as a medicinal herb for nourishing the blood, strengthening spleen and stomach, and aiding in qi deficiency, weakness, insomnia, anaemia and menstrual health problems.
Blueberries are considered to be a yin food in TCM – but hear me out, they won’t necessarily make you ‘cold’. Blueberries nourish the yin of our kidney energy system – an organ that needs special attention in cold weather. Even if the weather is ‘yin’ or cooler, the body’s yin can still be out of balance. Adding blueberries to this recipe ensures a better yin-yang harmony. Blueberries are also helpful for constipation, painful bones, and joint pains – the common symptoms from a cold and dry winter. It’s important to pair blueberries with more warming ingredients in this recipe – (though if you’re eating them alone this winter, have some hot tea on the side!) They’re also a great way to boost the body with anti-oxidants in this immunity-compromising season.
We added some ground chia seeds to this recipe, too, for some added omegas and intestinal cleansing – sometimes winter can mess with the colon; chia seeds keep things healthy and moving.
Blend the ingredients together, and sip slowly through a straw – there’s so much nutrition in here, give the body time to process it all. Tip: We recommend skipping ice and using room temp berries to keep it extra winter-appropriate 😉