Charcoal… Why Bother?

Apparently charcoal drinks are a New Thing. I know that charcoal capsules/pills have been on the market for quite sometime but I haven’t seen a drink containing it …yet. It was an article I just found on the LiveStrong website (see here) that alerted me to them and the very same article has helped to turn me right off them, before I’ve even glimpsed any in food outlets. Turned me off consuming charcoal, full stop, in fact. (But it’s fun to draw with…)
Why?
Well, it seems that one of the primary reasons to take it is because it helps to remove toxins from your body. But the problem is, it takes ‘everything’ – the Good and the Bad.
Food FervourSo apparently ‘timing’ becomes a crucial factor, and this includes ‘placement’… If the charcoal enters your system too soon after eating a nutritious meal or taking medication, all of the benefits are lost: the charcoal snatches them up and carries them away. So consider how much money you’d be throwing down the loo if you spent your bucks on a ‘nutritious’ drink in which the charcoal is a star ingredient? Purpose (entirely) Defeated. Press the flush button.
For my money, a diet high in fresh, plant-based foods will do. Apart from naturally supporting the liver in its job – detoxification – some plant foods actually help to remove toxins from your body in the course of normal digestive & absorptive processes …without kidnapping the ‘Good Stuff’ at the same time. The cruciferous (eg broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts) and allium (eg onion, garlic) plant families are known to do this and the wonderful little herb coriander is also often nominated as a great toxic warrior.
Save your money, eat well and stress less: there’s your answer. Or mine. Take a look at the article and decide for yourself! 😉
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Blueberry Broccoli Leaf Smoothie

I have to admit that my broccoli plants here at home are a little bit of a disappointment. They haven’t really ‘performed’ yet – I’m still waiting for a ‘crop’. Sure, a few florets have popped up here and there, but they’re hardly enough for one meal.

So in the meantime, I’m culling the foliage (…um, also because I’m fighting a seemingly never-ending battle with aphids…) and rather than discard these nutrient dense leaves I try to find ways to get them into my body. Most people wouldn’t consider using broccoli leaves, but they are actually quite healthful: think kale. They’re very similar in texture (they actually belong to the same plant family – Brassica) …and like kale, one of the easiest ways to consume them quickly is to break ’em down in a blender.Food Fervour

Unable to find any exciting smoothie recipes that specifically included broccoli leaves, I ended up tweaking one I found on the site Pop Sugar, that asked for the vegetable itself. (Take a look here if you’re curious.) I substituted blueberries for the strawberries and completely forgot about adding yoghurt …but I think that was a blessing in disguise. The kicker was the peanut butter: I’ve never used it in a smoothie before, but …wow. I totally think it made this drink. One hundred percent.

Besides your trusty blender, you’ll need 1 frozen banana (chopped into chunks) 2 heaped teaspoons of peanut butter, ½ cup frozen blueberries and about 8 broccoli leaves (I used more because mine varied in size).

Throw it all in the blender with at least 1 cup of cold water (I added more after the first mix) then guzzle with glee.

It did occur to me that those with peanut/nut allergies could try substituting with tahini but having a much stronger flavour, I’m not sure if it would end up as tasty. If anyone decides to give it a go however, please let me know what happens!