I arrived home in the wee hours of the morning yesterday from Cabo Pulmo Mexico, where I partied like a lobster at my best friend’s wedding, and ate pretty much the opposite of this low sugar smoothie every morning.
Those who watch my instagram stories are already intimately aware that I mean the first part literally. Even after two days out of the sun, my swollen sausage feet and ankles are still a tormented shade of magenta.
The whole ordeal taught me a few things: 1) face sunscreen should not be used for the body, 2) the good thing about natural sunscreen that doesn’t rub in is that you can actually remember where you’ve put it (next time I will remember to pack some of this), and 3) we autoimmune girls can’t catch a break! Even with something as simple as a sunburn my body finds extra reserves of inflammation that I didn’t know were possible.
In hopes of once again being able to fit into my shoes and tapered pants, I’ve been employing every natural sunburn remedy under the sun. Of the ingredients recommended to me were: yogurt, turmeric, honey, aloe (duh), witch hazel, calendula cream, white vinegar, Lipton tea compresses, and good old fashioned CBD salve. I’m obviously overdue for a post on these natural fixes, and luckily, as is the silver lining of all my medical ordeals, I now have even more first-hand experience to share!
The second part of this plan though is of course limiting inflammation from the inside out with my diet. It was a wonderful weekend chock full of fresh avocados and ceviche, but being Mexico, there were also ample amounts of tequila and very few raw fresh vegetables (that I wanted to risk eating, at least).
Besides loading up at the Feed Me Phoebe personal salad bar, my primary objective is to get in a low sugar smoothie for breakfast that packs a big veggie punch, has an evening effect on my hormone levels, and is certainly a more balanced option than the fully loaded huevos rancheros plates I ate this weekend.
I’ve been loving adding fresh hibiscus tea to my smoothie both for it’s beautiful color, tangy floral notes, and its detoxing qualities. If you don’t want to source the flowers yourself, you can easily use a sachet like this one. But you’ll get a much more vibrant, intense color and flavor with whole dried petals! Just steep a few cups worth and save the chilled tea in the fridge for future use.
This low sugar smoothie is definitely on the savory side and not for those whose sweet tooths are still in the process of being whittled down. It gets its body from zucchini instead of banana—the healthy hedonist trick du jour for sugar-free smoothies—but you can easily swap one for the other if you need more sweetness. Frozen raspberries give it the requisite fruitiness, while ginger creeps up in the background with a spicy zest. If Red Zinger tea was a smoothie, this would be it!
Read on for this low sugar smoothie recipe, and if you have any natural sunburn remedies, share them in the comments! I’ll put together a full guide for later in the summer.
With health and hedonism,
Hibiscus Ginger Zucchini Smoothies
This smoothie is on the savory side, but such a refreshing way to detox in the morning. Hibiscus flowers have a lovely floral, tart flavor and are perfect when paired with fresh berries. If you don’t mind added sugar, a little honey tastes wonderful in lieu of more fruit. If zucchini smoothies aren’t your bag and you don’t mind the added sugar, a banana is a great substitution. As is, this smoothie is low sugar and low FODMAP.
- 1/2 cup hibiscus concentrate see note
- 1/2- inch knob of ginger peeled
- 1 small zucchini cut into 1-inch cubes (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup frozen raspberries
- 1/2 cup coconut almond, hemp or oat milk
- Bee pollen hemp seeds, and raspberries for garnish
- Make the hibiscus concentrate if you haven’t already (see note).
- In a blender bowl, combine the ginger, zucchini, raspberries, milk of choice, and hibiscus concentrate. Puree until smooth, adding more hibiscus concentrate or nut milk until you reach your desired consistency. Pour into a mason jar and garnish with bee pollen, more raspberries and hemp seeds, if you desire.
- To make the hibiscus concentrate, steep 1 tablespoon dried crushed hibiscus petals or 1 bag of hibiscus tea in 1 cup boiling hot water. Allow to sit for 15 minutes. Strain and chill in the fridge until ready to use. You can speed up the cooling process by adding ice. Drink the rest as a tea or use it to loosen the smoothie if it's too thick!
- If your zucchini isn’t pre-frozen, add 4 cubes of ice to your smoothie.