Whenever there’s a chance of catching a cold, I try to boost my vitamin C which can help the immune system. When I was in college, I relied to Emergen-C (the powdered drink) yet these past few years I’ve used my smoothies as my immune booster.
We often hear that we should drink citrus juice or eat citrus fruits to boost our vitamin C levels, which is good advice. Beyond oranges, the array of vitamin C-rich foods is vast and colorful. These gorgeous orange Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes contain over 100% of the recommended daily value (RDV) of vitamin C, which is essential for many functions within the body.
What Does Vitamin C Do?
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidants. It keeps the immune system humming along to protecting against damage caused by free radicals which may prevent certain cancers from forming.
Vitamin C is vital for protein metabolism. It also helps protect against heart disease, aids the absorption of iron and the prevention of scurvy. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen, L-carnitine, and some neurotransmitters too. And vitamin C is an integral part of wound healing.
Did you know…
Another name for vitamin C is ascorbic acid. Because vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin (easily dissolved by water) that is not synthesized by the human body. Vitamin C must be constantly replenished through a healthy diet or the aid of supplements. So let’s dive into ways you can get enough Vitamin C with a plant-based lifestyle.
Best Source of Vitamin C: Food or Supplements?
Studies show that taking a vitamin C supplement isn’t as effective as getting it from a diet filled with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. Grains typically do not contain vitamin C, but are added before being packaged and sold. You may see vitamin C listed on the nutrition labels of breakfast cereals, breads, and other grain-based products.
They typical adult requires 60 mg of vitamin C per day. Recommended amounts vary by gender and age, so you may require more or less than 60 mg. The established RDV account for beneficial amounts needed to maintain a healthy immune system and to protections against disease and/or a vitamin C deficiency.
We’ve all heard accounts of too little vitamin C as with sailors (arrrr!) or others who don’t have access to fresh fruit and vegetables. A severe vitamin C deficiency can result in scurvy. An overdose of vitamin C is very rare because it is regularly excreted in the urine. As it isn’t stored for very long in the body, it’s important to eat foods with vitamin C at every meal or several times a day.
Which Foods are High in Vitamin C?
The food known to have the highest amount of vitamin C is the kaduku plum which contains 5300mg vitamin C, over 900% of the RDV! Now, to be fair, I’ve never seen a Kaduku plum, which means there are hard to come by! So let’s take a look at those foods that are more easily found.
The ingredients in these yummy Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes contain the following plant-based goodness that are also high in this immune booting vitamin:
Orange, 1 navel orange (140g), 82.8 mg 138% RDV
Papaya, 1 cup (140g) cubed, 86.5mg, 144% RDV
Pineapple , 1 cup (165g) chunks, 27.9mg, 46% RDV
Mango, 1 cup (165g) sliced, 45.7mg, 76% RDV
Cauliflower, 1 cup (107g) chopped florets, 46.4 mg, 77% RDV
Other fruits and veggies are also high in vitamin C:
Sweet bell peppers contain some of the highest amounts of vitamin C, 1/2 cup diced bell pepper contains 95mg of vitamin C, a whopping 158% of the recommended daily value.
Other citrus fruits – lemon, lime, grapefruit, tangerine, etc.
Strawberries and other berries
How To Make Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes
First, smoothie cubes are something we love here at SGS. A smoothie cube is a concentrated blend of fruits, vegetables and leafy greens, liquids, and/or other ingredients (depending on the recipe) that we like to add to our smoothies for an extra boost of nutrients.
The Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes are great to add to your regular daily smoothie or when you feel a cold coming on. Four cubes is roughly equal to 1/2 cup fruit. So the cubes can be substituted for some of the fruit or added in place of the fruit – totally up to you!
Making smoothie cubes is very simple. Just blend all of the ingredients until smooth and pour into ice cube trays. Let them freeze until firm then store in the freezer to have on hand whenever you need an extra dose of the immune boosting vitamins.
Vitamin C helps your immune system function properly as well as having other benefits to the integumentary system (or skin) which also helps fight germs and disease.
2 large navel oranges, peeled and halved
1 cup papaya, cubed or sliced
1 cup pineapple cubes or tidbits
1 mango, peeled, cubed or sliced
1 cup orange cauliflower florets (see notes)
Place ingredient into the blender in the order given.
Puree until smooth. It should not need any liquid because of the oranges, but if it does, add a little water or orange juice.
Spoon into two 16-well ice cube trays, about 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons per well. Freeze until firm, at least 3-4 hours, or overnight. Transfer to an airtight, freezer-safe container. Will keep for several weeks in a normal freezer, or up to six months in a deep freezer.
To use: add 4 Vitamin C Smoothie Cubes to your favorite smoothie to replace 1/2 cup fruit. Add more or less cubes depending on preference. Makes enough for 8 smoothies.
Substitute any vitamin C-rich fruit or vegetable, such as strawberries, sweet bell pepper, cauliflower, cantaloupe, kiwi, or others in place of 1+ of the fruits listed above. Nutrition information will change with any substitutions.
Frozen fruit and cauliflower can be substituted for the fresh fruit.
This is the second training from our new wellness series calledFuel your Metabolism: where I’ll show you how to boost your metabolism using plant-based whole foods.
The #1 question I get is…
Will a smoothie help me lose weight?
There are TONS of smoothies and shakes out there claiming to do this, but forget the labels and ads… and think about what’s gonna work for YOU.
When it comes to a weight loss smoothie, it’s gotta hit 3 things for me to call it a winner:
It must be affordable to continue doing this every single day.
It has to deliver the results it promises: boost my metabolism, keep me full and not hangry, must actually nourish my body, etc).
It’s gotta taste great (and not be loaded with tons of sugars or “fake sugars” to trick your tastebuds and ravage your cravings). I want to crave this day after day and feel better when I have it!
Metabolism Booster Chocolate Weight Loss Smoothie // Simple Green Smoothies - YouTube
Homemade weight loss shake
Today, I want to share a weight loss smoothie that I’ve been using as a breakfast meal replacement smoothie. And yes, it’s a green smoothie because these are the BEST way I’ve found to lose weight naturally.
Unlike most “weight loss smoothies” (which require expensive powders, artificial ingredients and taste chalky and nasty… and leave you hungry) this one is the complete opposite. It truly tastes good and is good for you. You can drink they smoothie every morning for breakfast, which is a great way to set a healthy routine for your day.
I’ve also had this for lunch as a meal replacement smoothie too. Some days I just don’t have time to make lunch and a quick smoothie is the way to go. Other days, I’ll sip this down while doing dishes, driving the kids to practice, running errands, after a long trail run, you name it— the beauty of a smoothie is you can “eat and run.”
Weight Loss Foods for Smoothies
Here’s why each ingredient is in this weight loss smoothie:
Spinach: Full of phytonutrients and fiber to minimize any blood sugar spikes from the natural sugars in the smoothie.
Almond milk: Contains a little bit of protein and promotes a creamy smoothie base.
This is one of the recipes that helped me lose 7 pounds when I was a young exhausted mom of 2 under 4…with no energy and a few post baby (by a few generous years) extra pounds I needed to lose. They say “you’ve gotta exercise to lose the weight”, but when you’re too tired to do that— you’ve gotta try something else. And this is the secret sauce to jump start my energy levels and my weight loss journey.
Giveaway: Enter to win!
You know how much I LOOOOVE doing giveaways… and this week is extra special. We’re kicking off our RAWK THE YEAR: SUMMER COLLECTION enrollment with a giveaway to score the entire Summer Collection ($99 value) for FREE! You’ll get weekly plant-based meal plans, access to our Thrive Summer Live Community Reset, Wellness Coaching and a blueprint to live your best life. Winners will be announced next week.
How to enter:
Make the Weight Loss Smoothie recipe (it takes just 7 minutes!)
Leave a review in the comments below telling me how you liked it
Take a pic of you with your smoothie and tag us on Facebook or Instagram (@simplegreensmoothies)
To get your metabolism ramped up— you just need what we’ve always needed: rest, nutrient-dense foods and movement. This is really how we take care of our bodies— it’s that simple.
( Yet I know it’s easier said than done and I struggle with this every single day. Which is why I’m here to share with you what works best for me in hopes that’ll it help you too )
Embracing simple daily food habits is where I’ve had the most success with my health. From a morning metabolism tea to a green smoothie— I have set the foundation to have the body I want: strong & energetic.
What foods boost your metabolism?
Getting a healthy amount of greens, legumes, proteins, vegetables and fruits is essential to supporting the metabolism (1). Slow burning carbohydrates will help you maintain a stable metabolic rate and keep you active and nourished throughout the day. Stick with foods like:
Refined sugars and simple starches do the opposite, spiking insulin production and throwing the whole system out of whack. This can cause the metabolism to slow down and to store sugar as fat rather than burning it as energy. Yet it’s not easy to say no to them, so I prefer the method of adding in more good stuff so it crowds out the bad.
Bottom line: a mostly plant-based whole foods diet is gonna do your metabolism some serious good.
To even get your body excited to head in this direction, you have to create simple habits that’ll get you craving these lighter, cleaner foods. And that’s where my Metabolism Tea comes into play.
Watch this video to see how I make it…
Morning metabolism tea that kickstarts your metabolism & helps you naturally burn fat - YouTube
What is a metabolism tea?
Activating your metabolism will help you burn more fat and give you more energy throughout the day. This is something we all want and can get! It can start with this tea recipe using plant-based ingredients that are high am have nutrients that naturally boost your metabolism.
Trying to change all your eating habits at once is really hard. I remember years ago hearing about the Atkins diet and I got super excited at the thought of eating all the cottage cheese and cheese. Well, that lasted 2 days and then I was dreaming about biting into a piece of fruit.
To get you to crave the right foods for your body, we have to set the foundation for that every day. This tea uses a splash of apple cider vinegar, fresh lemon juice, cayenne pepper and cinnamon to wake up your metabolic system naturally. We’ve added some raw honey and ginger root to make it taste better and help your digestive system as well.
When trying to shed a few pounds, I encourage you to drink this Metabolism Tea 1-2 times a day. It has all the fresh, natural ingredients to activate your metabolic system at a SUPER affordable price. I’m all about making a healthy lifestyle affordable.
The best time to have this is upon rising as it will activate your digestive system and help relieve any bloating or digestive concerns. Once the tonic settles in, it’ll get your metabolism burn happening as well.
As the day goes on and you’re feeling hungry in between meals, sip this before you have a snack. Sometimes huger is actually your body telling you it’s thirsty (the wires do often get crossed in our minds).
What a healthy metabolism really means
I hope I’ve inspired you to try this simple morning routine to kick start your weight loss journey. Yet what I hope for even more, is that you don’t focus on the numbers on the scale, but more on what being lighter will allow you to do.
‘Set goals beyond pants size or pounds— run a 5k, hike a trail, run the Grand Canyon (true story!) kayak with your kids, dancing with your loved ones— allow your weight loss success to just be a launching pad to a more active energized version of you.
If you’re looking for more support with how to make healthy choices, check out our Thrive Summer Reset program— where you’ll have a 7-day plant-based program to help you lose weight naturally. No diet pills…. No expensive potions— just recipes you can make from your local grocery store using lots of fresh, nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and grains… and spices.
Yet not all green smoothies are created equal… and some are filled with some pretty awful things that ruin the health benefits. I’ve got a few important green smoothie tips to help you get started with the green smoothie lifestyle. This is the good stuff. The stuff we wish we knew about when we first starting blending and drinking our greens. This is how you make a green smoothie good for you.
5 Ways to make a Healthy Green Smoothies
1.Follow the 60/40 formula.
When you’re making your first few green smoothies, don’t just throw things in the blender. Chances are, it’ll taste nasty if you wing it right out of the gate. To save you a few smoothie-fails, bust out those cute lil’ measuring cups learn how to make your own green smoothie.
Blend in stages to avoid leafy chunks.
Chewing your green smoothie is no fun! To get a “smooth” green smoothie experience, blend up your leafy greens and liquid-base first. Then add your remaining fruits and blend again.
Ditch the ice and freeze some fruits.
Want your green smoothie to be extra chilly? Freeze your favorite fruits like ripe bananas, grapes, pineapple or berries. This is also a great way to not waste ripe fruits (like those brown bananas on your counter). You can also freeze your leafy greens in a freezer-safe bag. Just make sure to add your frozen greens straight to the blender (don’t defrost these fragile lil’ guys).
Use raw natural sweeteners.
Add naturally sweet fruits to any smoothie that tastes bitter or a bit too “green.” By sticking with naturally sweet fruits like bananas, mango, apples, pears or pitted date, we avoid artificial sweeteners and processed sugars.
Add naturally sweet fruits to any smoothie that tastes bitter or a bit too “green.” By sticking with naturally sweet fruits like bananas, mango, apples, pears or pitted date, we avoid artificial sweeteners and processed sugars.
Make smoothies ahead for the perfect fast food.
We know life can get crazy busy— especially in the morning. That’s why we think green smoothies are the healthiest fast food for people who are constantly on the go. You can prep your green smoothies and blend the night before and store it in your fridge (up to 2 days). Use an airtight lid to limit oxidation and keep it as fresh as possible. When ready to drink, give it a good shake before you open.
If you follow these five green smoothie tips, we pinky promise your green smoothies will be love at first sip! Want more tips and resources to help you become a green smoothie rawkstar? Sign up for our weekly newsletter!
Sponsored by our friends at Vitamix | Scroll down to get my go-to Vitamix blender ($439 retail value) for just $279 with a secret deal no one else knows about!
When I started blending green smoothies (over seven years ago!), I did so because I need to keep my family healthy when we didn’t have health insurance. We didn’t have a lot of money, and I needed to do something to help nourish my kids and boost their immune system. We couldn’t afford to get sick.
That’s when I realized that I wasn’t making myself a priority.
See, I made the decision to go all in on green smoothies because I loved my kids… but not because I loved myself.
It’s not that I DIDN’T love myself, but I just put my own health lower on the priority list. It can be tough for us moms to balance the needs of our kids and the needs of our own selves.
One act of self care that changed my life
Knowing that I needed to view my health (my life) as an investment, I decided that once my cheap-o, wedding gift blender died, I’d get a Vitamix. This was the blender everyone was talking about.
Even though we barely had the money, and it hurt like crazy shelling it out… I found the BEST deal I could possibly find on a Vitamix blender and went for it. I justified it in my head as I could either spend this money on doctors visits OR I spend it on a blender that would excite me to make green smoothie to help us boost out immune system (so we don’t get sick).
Vitamix Reconditioned Blender
I know it’s not easy to fork over $$ on a blender, but I promise you this one is worth it! There were two things that helped me justify spending big bucks on a blender like this:
I bought a Certified Reconditioned Vitamix, which is like a refurbished blender that’s been inspected to the max. It’s just as powerful and reliable as a new machine, and saved me hundreds of dollars right out the gate.
I knew that I wouldn’t need to buy another blender for at least seven years. Not only has this blender stayed strong over the last seven years, but it came with a seven-year warranty. I was set for a LONG time.
It doesn’t seem like a kitchen appliance should revolutionize a family’s eating habits, but it did for us! We started blending green smoothies daily. We made soup from scratch (yes, you can heat it in a Vitamix blender!). We experimented making hummus, almond milk, sorbet, cashew cream… we even made our own almond butter!
You are worth investing in your health
Green smoothies were how I truly started taking care of myself… and I’ve literally blended thousands of them with my trusty Vitamix blender.
Here’s something I’ve discovered over the years… investing in yourself isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
Now more than ever, I truly believe this. Since our family committed to blending green smoothies seven years ago, we have not been on antibiotics one single time! We’ve been able to fight off any cold or flu that comes through with a strong immune system and natural remedies like green smoothies. It’s also given me the body and the energy to go after my own passions— like trail running and adventure traveling.
I want you to know that I personally set up a phone call with Sandy over at Vitamix to see about making a special Mother’s Day discount just for our rawkstars. And guess what? They said yes!
By using this special Mother’s Day link, you’ll get an additional $160 off their Certified Reconditioned Next Generation blenders + free shipping. Yep! It’s the same blender I’ve used for years AND LOOOOOOVE! If you bought it yesterday it wouldn’t cost you $439… but today it’s only $279.
You won’t see the discount until it’s added to your cart since this is an exclusive offer for the SGS community. The page will say $439, but once you go to pay the price will be reduced to $279. It’s like magic!
A NutriBullet blender is known as a “bullet blender” or an “inverted blender.” It works pretty much the same as any other standard blender. So, is it better than a standard blender? It depends on what your needs are. If you’re blending for a family, then this probably isn’t the best choice because of the 32 oz jar. Most standard blenders have 48 oz jars or larger. But if you’re looking for something that has a significant amount of power and is compact, then this blender is for you.
Which NutriBullet is best for smoothies?
NutriBullet has several types of blenders. You might be more familiar with the long-standing Magic Bullet blender (which I believe is their original model). There’s also the standard NutriBullet, NutriBullet Balance, NutriBullet RX, and of course… the NutriBullet Pro.
Our recommendation is the NutriBullet Pro. It has the best price point and is so simple to use! I’ve tried other NutriBullets that have power buttons, bluetooth settings, and more, but I prefer the simplicity and dependability of the pro version.
Who should get this blender?
Anyone can get this blender, though it works best for small families or people that are single. As far as smoothies go, it can make a maximum of two servings. It fits nicely in smaller kitchens that have limited storage, and also works nicely on-the-go (for all you van-lifers out there!).
I hope you learned a lot through this NutriBullet review! Now it’s your turn to share…
What blending hacks should we know when using a bullet blender?
I’m all about finding new ways to fuel my family with plant-powered foods. I recently was introduced to Lori Pollard and her family through their new recipe book, Mostly Plants, which is beautiful AND does a wonderful job of showing us how to choose foods wisely and celebrate the plant kingdom!
If you’re wondering why the name “Pollan” is kinda ringing a bell, Lori is the sister of Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, which influenced a lot of how I choose to fuel my body (and probably you too!).
I’ve been drawn to Lori’s story and her passion for plant-powered recipes. I hope you enjoy this interview we did together…
What’s your favorite smoothie and why?
favorite smoothie is mango, banana, almond milk and either spinach or kale. The
why is simple–mango is probably one of my all time favorite foods and spinach
and kale are my most go-to greens; I use them in as many recipes as I can.
What’s your favorite book of all time and how has it impacted your life?
is a hard one–I read a lot and so many books have impacted me greatly at
different times of my life. To choose one right now I’d say East of Eden by
John Steinbeck. It’s a big sweeping family saga–very juicy. And at the same
time it’s very profound. I love in particular its major theme––timshel, which
means “thou mayest”. This idea means we have a choice; it’s on us how
we want to live our lives because “the way is open”. It’s a very
powerful notion that we can chose to live our lives as the persons we want to
Did you have to take any risks to get to where you are right now? Can you share a little bit about that?
my professional life I’ve always been an entrepreneur, which is inherently about
taking risks. As cookbook authors, my sisters, mom and I really just jumped in
to the unknown with our belief in what we were doing. We had no idea if all the
unpaid hours and hard work would lead to having our books published but taking
those risks has really paid off.
If you couldn’t do what you’re currently doing, what would you want to do?
love what I’m currently doing–writing cookbooks with my sisters and mom–so
it’s really hard to imagine doing something else. If I had to do something else
I think I would really focus on my wellness and health coaching. I get a lot of
fulfillment in helping people improve their satisfaction in life and I feel
that I have good, simple, common sense advice to impart.
What’s your favorite room in your house and why?
favorite room has to be my kitchen. It’s where I spend a lot of time nurturing
the people I love, creating for my professional life, and sharing the joy of
cooking with my family and friends.
If you could go anywhere in the world for a month completely paid for, where would it be (and why) and what would you do while there?
would be a dream come true– I love to travel and a month would be amazing! I
would go to Asia–first to a 10 day mindfulness mediation retreat where I would
turn off all the crazy to-do lists of life and just be quiet and recharge. Then
I would travel: back to counties I’ve loved like Myanmar, Thailand, Japan,
and/or new ones like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos. I would immerse myself in the
sights, and cultures, and, of course, the cuisines! Then I would make my way to
a stunning beach for a few days–my happy place.
If it was your last meal here on earth, what would you want to eat, where would it be and with who?
could chose, my last meal on earth would be a typical Pollan family dinner. It
would be my mom and sibs, all of our spouses and children, and all the extended
significant others. It would be our usual joint endeavor–everyone contributing
dishes favorite recipes from our two cookbooks.
At Simple Green Smoothies, we talk about “fueling your passion”, aka: eating healthy foods that allow us to go after the things that matter most to us. What’s your greatest passion & how do you incorporate it into your life?
my family, my greatest passion is for learning new things and for
traveling–which can often go hand in hand. I think that getting out of your
comfort zone keeps life exciting and fulfilling. It can be a little scary but I
try to keep this quote by writer André Gide in mind; “One doesn’t discover new
lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.”
Let’s talk about your latest project. Why it is important to you and why should it matter to our Rawkstar Tribe?
Our new cookbook, Mostly Plants is something we believe in wholeheartedly. Eating a diet of mostly plants is the best way to eat for so many reasons: it prevents illness such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes; helps you lose extra pounds and drop your BMI; it helps reduce depression and anxiety; it helps boost your memory and improve your cognitive ability; and it’s so good for the environment.
We know that eating this way is a goal for so many people including the Rawkstar Tribe, but sometimes people don’t know how to go about achieving this goal.
Our cookbook features delicious, simple, and healthy recipes, as well as tips and advice which will help anyone who wants to eat the Mostly Plants Way.
Grab your copy of The Pollan Family’s new book, Mostly Plants available now!
For a lot of people, choosing what and how to eat has gotten so complicated: whether to go vegan, paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, no carb, low or high fat, the advice is endless.
In actuality it’s really pretty simple: to quote my brother, Michael Pollan, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”
You can also follow Lisa Pollan and her family here here: