Delicious Vitamin C Immune Boosting Smoothie is made with strawberry, banana, red bell pepper and is the perfect start to your day. Naturally vegan, dairy-free and kid-approved!Jump to Recipe
I am lucky enough to call sunny Southern California home. And while it is known for its truly beautiful beaches, sunsets and near constantly perfect weather, it is also full of creative edible creations that speak to the healthy foodie in me.
For example, this little hole-in-the-wall smoothie joint that is down the street from the school I taught at for the better part of a decade. I liked to pop in on my lunch breaks to get a chilled veggie-loaded blend to fuel my afternoon. I was never disappointed by what awesome fruit + vegetable smoothie they thought up and often recreated them at home.
One of my all time favorite smoothies of theirs had an ingredient I had never thought to add to a smoothie before: bell peppers!
Now, I don’t know why I never thought to add naturally sweet, vitamin C packed bell peppers to a smoothie before. Because, guys, it is pure magic! Especially if you are new to this whole veggie-loading thing.
Bell peppers (especially the sweet red ones) have such a mild flavor and beautiful color they totally enhance a smoothie situation. I’ve combined them with naturally sweet strawberries and banana in this Vitamin C Immune Boosting Smoothie for a totally heavenly morning blend. I personally like to add a glob of natural peanut butter into the mix and find that this smoothie basically tastes like a PB&J!
So guys, I’m just saying that you haven’t really lived until you’ve added a bell pepper to a smoothie.
Did you know that bell peppers have more vitamin C than an orange?!
True story. A small orange has 51.1 mg of vitamin C while a large sweet red bell pepper has 209.4 mg (source USDA). Talk about a powerhouse! And to think we have been nomming on oranges all these years to help our immune systems.
Why is vitamin C important to the immune system?
While vitamin C might not help you kick a cold, research shows that people who have diets high in it have a better chance of fending off germs in the first place! (source) So, basically this Vitamin C Immune Boosting smoothie won’t fix your sniffles, but it can be a great thing to add into your routine to help give your body the tools it needs to keep you healthy despite the germs that might be surrounding you. So, get blending!
- Switch out the banana for mango! Can’t eat bananas or they are simply just not your thing? Mangoes are a great alternative that help give the smoothie and creamy texture and a swap that I often use. AND, they are high in vitamin C!
- Up the protein. I like to add collagen powder to my smoothies to enhance the protein and make it stick to my bones a bit longer. An excellent plant-based, smoothie-friendly alternative would be hemp hearts!
- Use whatever milk you like. We primarily eat dairy-free, so I use plant-based milks or water in this smoothie. But whatever milk your family enjoys (or you have on hand) will work just fine.
- Adjust the amount of liquid use to your personal preference. I like my smoothies thick, but still pourable. If you prefer them a bit closer to an ice cream consistency, use less liquid. If you like them thinner, add more!
- If you are using all frozen fruit, your blender is in for a workout. This might not be an issue if you are using a high-speed blender like a Vitamix. Otherwise, try blending this smoothie in stages. The liquid + bell pepper + 1 type of frozen fruit. Blend. Then add the other frozen fruit. This will help make for a creamier smoothie without a bunch of chunks….or a stalled blender that can’t move its blades.
Other recipes you are going to love:
- Creamy Cauliflower & Blueberry Smoothie
- Creamy Zucchini Smoothie
- Sunrise Butternut Squash Smoothie
- Healthy Peanut Butter Chocolate Smoothie (with greens!)
Vitamin C Immune Boosting Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cups strawberries fresh or frozen
- 1 sweet red bell pepper washed and deseeded
- 1 banana very ripe
- 2 tbsp nut butter
- 1 cup plain almond milk
- Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- If not using a high-speed blender, like a Vitamix, consider blending ingredients in stages to ensure an even blend.