Like most Paleo people I prefer to go low carb to protect that precious insulin sensitivity. Therefore I'm on the constant lookout for smoothie ingredients which are nutritious, have a low GI and are maybe even a bit sweetish.
Sometimes you try something unusual, it's a culinary success and you are relieved that you don't have to chuck half a litre of smoothie into the loo. At other times it just does not work and your taste buds are traumatized for the rest of the week. A radish-raw chocolate combo will do that to you.
But the ingredients listed here are very compatible and won't force your tongue into sensory shut down. Many of these are common ingredients used in Chinese sweet soups so it's actually not as perverted as it sounds. According to Chinese Traditional Medicine they are considered to be health foods, are fairly inexpensive and all go well with chocolatey or vanilla smoothies. So I'm one happy panda.
Looking a bit like the love child of a chilli and a cranberry, goji berries are packed with antioxidants and minerals. In Chinese medicine, goji berries are categorized under neutral foods, nourishing the kidney, believed to have the ability to reduce high blood sugar and improve eyesight. I often add 10-15 grams of dried goji berries into the blender for a 400-500 ml smoothie.
Organic goji berries at Green Dot Dot, iDetox, Just Green,
Laver is a an edible seaweed rich in dietary minerals especially iodine and iron. In Japanese and Chinese cuisine it is often used in fish soups. Because of the high iodine/ iron content it tastes faintly of olives which can be easily overpowered by other smoothie ingredients like raspberries. Usually sold in roundly pressed packs, just cut or pull out a small longish piece around 2 fingers wide, wash and throw into a blender for a shot of extra minerals.
Organic lafer at Green Dot Dot
Like laver it is also an edible seaweed rich in iodine. According to Chinese medicine it has cooling properties and is therefore usually found in sweet mung bean soup often served during summer to reduce heat in the body. Kelp goes very well with most smoothies since it is pretty much tasteless. Soak 10-20 g in water for 10 minutes before adding it to the blender.
Have not spotted any organic kelp yet.
Looking a bit like a small bath sponge and having no taste at all, Chinese like to add white fungus to savoury as well as to sweet soups since it said to be anti-inflammatory and rich in collagen. Therefore it is often referred as the Vegan bird's nest. It mostly sold dried. I like to use half a "sponge" to thicken my smoothie's consistency without adding any more calories. Just break a dry fungus apart, wash under warm, running water until it softens and it's ready to be smoothiefied.
Organic white fungus at Green Dot Dot
Cooked burdock root has a sweetish taste like lotus root and a nice crunchy consistency. Like many root vegetables it is full of minerals and said to be beneficial for the skin. Scrub the root well (entirely up to you if you want to peel the outer skin), cut in baby-carrot size small pieces and steam for 5 minutes. I often use 50-60 g of steamed burdock root in my smoothie. Add some cinnamon and you are all good.
Organic at ParknShop grocery stores, Green Dot Dot, ThreeSixty and CitySuper