How to use aloe vera and 6 health benefits

The aloe vera plant grows in the gardens here in Portugal and it's just so pretty. Even more, it's a really versatile plant with so many benefits it should definitely win an award. In the northern countries where it's too cold to grow, you can buy it in health stores or online here and here. Aloe vera has been used in skin products forever, for good reasons.The sticky gel inside the plant contains around 96% water, protein, and vitamin A, B, C and E (1). 

Aloe vera benefits

  1. It can help you with skin issues such as sunburns, scars, and cuts by just applying it directly
  2. It is anti-inflammatory which means that if you eat or drink aloe vera it may help with IBS or other digestive issues.
  3. If you struggle with constipation or bloating you can take one shot aloe vera each morning on an empty stomach and most likely you will notice the difference. Or, you can do like us and make a smoothie!
  4. It can help you against hair fall because it protects and repairs the skin on the scalp!
  5. It is said to aid you in reducing acne
  6. Mix it with some sea salt, and you have an amazing scrub that will leave your skin feeling baby soft

 Aloe vera smoothie 

(1 portion, 5-10 minutes)

  • 1 dl raspberries
  • 1/4 mango
  • 2 frozen spinach cubes
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup aloe vera cubes
  • 1 dl almond milk

Mix it all together and top it with your favorite toppings. Here pictures with raw cacao, granola, and coconut flakes.   

Açaí smoothie bowl

Açaí berries are originally from the wild Amazon, and they are small powerhouses of nutrients and energy. We both completely fell in love with this taste after spending time in Brazil, and have been trying to reconstruct the same taste at home. Açaí is very high in antioxidants and has a whole array of health benefits such as containing zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium. You can make açaí bowls in many different ways, and this smoothie is great for breakfast or after a surf session or workout. It's a bit bigger and less sweet than the bowls you can buy at the beach in Brazil, but it's still really good, although it makes you miss the sunshine.

Açaí smoothie (2 portions, 10-15 minutes):

  • 1 handful steamed and frozen cauliflower
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 dl raspberries
  • 1 organic açaí packet
  • 1/5 handful frozen spinach
  • 1 dl mango or papaya

Optional:

  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 1 tsp raw cacao powder
  • 1 tsp spirulina powder

Blend it all together and top your smoothie with your favorite toppings! Yumyumyumyumyumyum. We topped ours with a granola (recipe is soon to come), coconut shreds, cacao nibs, hemp seeds, Brasil nuts, pepitas and almond butter.Açaí packets or powder can usually be bought at health stores. We definitely recommend the packets, as long as they are 100% açaí, and not full of additives. We bought ours at Celeiro here in Portugal, and have seen them at Økohjertet, Life and Røtter in Oslo.

Warm, sweet potato smoothie bowl

Ice cold smoothies are really delicious in the summer, but when it starts getting colder outside it's also possible to make "warmer" smoothies. Also if you pack them with a lot of bananas they can get too high in sugar and sometimes you just need something a bit more settling. If you mix in sweet potatoes, cauliflowers or even zucchinis, you make the smoothies not also more blood sugar friendly but more filling. Usually when making a smoothie with sweet potato you don't need bananas or even avocados to make that creamy consistency. This smoothie is perfect after a work out or before bed time as it could make you sleepy.Warm smoothie bowl  

  • 1/2 baked or steamed sweet potato
  • 1 cup frozen berries (blueberries, blackberries or rasberries)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 avocado
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/5 dl coconut milk
  • 1 tsp spirulina

Chocolate and banana smoothie

This smoothie is rich in taste and full of good stuff. Raw chocolate is filled with antioxidants which is good for our cells.

Dette må være verdens diggeste smoothie når man vil slå litt på stortromma. Den er rimelig mektig og rik på smak og vil holde deg mett i en god stund. Rå kakao er full av antioksidanter som bekjemper de frie radikalene i cellene. Frie radikaler er kjemisk ustabile molekyler som konstant vil forsøke å inngå i reaksjoner med andre stoffer for å bli stabile igjen, men de vil ødelegge disse stoffene. Dermed kan de forårsake celleforandringer i kroppen. Frie radikaler lages i store mengder i for eksempel sigarettrøyk, ozon, radioaktiv stråling og forurenset luft, samt at de påvirkes av stress og kosthold. Altså, sjokkis (i form av ekte kakao) er bra for cellene.

  • 2 bananer

  • 1 dl rismelk

  • 2 spiseskjeer rå kakao

  • 1 neve frossne bringebær

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Toppet med

  • Bakte mandler

  • Bakte hasselnøtter

  • Mulberry

  • Kokosflak

  • Hempfrø

  • Chiafrø

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Blåbær og chili smoothie

SONY DSCDette er kanskje ikke den vanligste smoothieingrediensen du har sett, men den må bare prøves ut. Den sterke ettersmaken til chilien setter virkelig preg på smoothien, og det blir et kontrast til de andre søte smakene. Chili er kjent for å gi en real boost til immunsystemet, og den har også egenskaper som holder dårlige bakterier unna. Det kan være lurt å starte med litt og eventuelt tilsette mer etterhvert så man blir vant til den sterke smaken.1 porsjon:

  • 1/2 kopp vann
  • 1 neve grønnkål
  • 3 stenger stangselleri
  • 1 neve spinat
  • 1 moden banan
  • 1/2 chili
  • 1 kopp blåbær
  • 1 spiseskje kanel
  • 1/3 avokado

 Kjør dette i blender til det blir en fin konsistens. Hvis du skal flotte deg skikkelig, og lage en stor porsjon kan du legge til:

  • Mango
  • Ananas
  • 1 spiseskje mandelsmør

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Blackberry smoothie

Food is so much more than just something to satisfy your hunger. Take for example this smoothie that contains so many super health benefits!Turmeric is surprisingly one of the most nutritious spices you can find. It has been found to work anti-inflammatory and can prevent your body from cancer and other diseases. For ages, it has been used against digestive issues, cramps, liver problems, high cholesterol, and various skin diseases. Spinach contains loads of carotenoids which are transformed to vitamin A in the body, aiding your vision and skin. Antioxidants in the spinach can reduce the risk of heart disease by protecting our cells. In the berries, in addition to loads of vitamins, you get pectins (a type of fiber), that helps the food pass smoothly through the tummy.SAMSUNG CSC

Blackberry smoothie (2 portions, 10 minutes):

  • 2 bananas
  • A handful (organic) spinach
  • A handful frozen raspberries
  • A handful frozen blackberries
  • A small piece of ginger
  • Cinnamon, turmeric, fresh herbs
  • Fiberhusk
  • Optional plant-based milk (for a thick, creamy consistency we recommend coconut milk or oat milk)

Add all ingredients to your blender. Top the smoothie with homemade granola, nuts, goji berries, and cacao nibs.What’s not to love?SAMSUNG CSC