How to Make Superfood Shots for a Nutrient Boost
Whether you're falling short on fruits and veggies for the day, or just craving a concentrated hit of nutrients, superfood shots can be a quick and easy solution. You've likely seen the 2-oz. shots line the shelves at your local health food stores and wondered what the hype (and high price point) is all about.
Superfood shots are marketed to cover a spectrum of wellness needs. Some are intended to sharpen mental focus or boost mood, and others to bolster immunity and improve digestion. And while the claims seem alluring, wellness shots should not be considered a cure-all, or used to remedy a poor diet. Instead, they should be used to complement a well-rounded, balanced diet and perhaps even fill in nutrient gaps.
It also probably comes as no surprise that the health claims come at a cost. Most superfood shots average $3.99 per 2-oz. bottle, which could quickly consume your monthly wellness budget. Fortunately, it's super simple (and much cheaper) to make them at home, and you don't need a professional-grade juicer. All you need is a high-power blender, some cheesecloth and a couple standby recipes. Here's how to make them:
Step 1: Choose a Liquid Base
If you're using a juicer, this isn't necessary, however blenders will need some form of liquid to lubricate the blade and get things churning. The best options are 100% fruit juice with no added sugar, coconut water or unsweetened green tea.
Step 2: Select Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Choose an assortment of seasonal fruits and veggies to pump up the phytochemicals of your superfood shots. These can include berries, apples, stone fruit, leafy greens, celery, beets and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice. If you're using a fruit or vegetable with an edible peel (such as an apple or peach), it's best to leave it on. The peel often contains lots of good-for-you nutrients.
Step 3: Add Nutrient Boosters
If you're looking for an anti-inflammatory boost, add a pinch of turmeric and black pepper. Or if you need some digestive support, consider a mix of ginger and apple cider vinegar. Pre-workout pick-me-up? Look to matcha and cayenne pepper. Or, for a blast of antioxidants, try spirulina or wheat grass.
Step 4: Blend, Strain, and Sip!
Blend all of the ingredients until completely liquefied. Next, arrange a double layer of cheesecloth in a strainer, and place strainer over a shallow bowl or large glass jar. Gently pour the juice mixture into the strainer and let the liquid gradually seep through the cheesecloth and into the storage vessel. Once all of the liquid is strained, discard or compost the remaining solids and transfer your batch of superfood shots to the fridge.
There are a couple different ways to enjoy your freshly blended superfood shots. The first is, as their name implies, as a shot in one swift swig. Alternatively, you can mix the shot with 6 oz. of sparkling water or just-boiled water and casually sip on your superfoods. Either way, you're in a nutrient-charged treat that will save you a trip to the local juice shop.
Tart-Cherry Superfood Shots
Get the Recipe: Tart-Cherry Superfood Shots
Tart cherry juice is rich in heart-healthy polyphenols and anthocyanins, which can help fight free radicals and thwart inflammation. Some researchers also found that regularly consuming tart cherry juice may improve one's cognitive abilities. Much of this is attributed to the fruit's inflammation—and oxidative stress—fighting compounds that can improve blood flow to the brain. You can find 100% tart cherry juice in the juice aisle at most large chain grocery stores.
Green Spinach Superfood Shots
Get the Recipe: Green Spinach Superfood Shots
Spinach is a nutrient powerhouse, rich in vitamin A, folate, calcium, iron, and potassium. And by pairing it with vitamin C-rich lemon juice, your body has a better chance of absorbing the iron in the leafy green. Another big antioxidant player is apples, which hold a lot of their cancer-fighting antioxidants in the peel. And although you may glaze over the celery juice trend at this point, there may be some validity to its health halo. These crisp green stalks contain the antioxidant apigenin, which can promote the death of cancerous cells, according to lab research from Ohio State University.
Get the Recipe: Ginger-Turmeric-Carrot Shots
This refreshing shot captures the sweetness of carrots—rich in vitamins A and K—and coconut water—which delivers electrolytes and manganese—with a slight hint of heat from fresh ginger. Ginger not only helps to add fresh flavor but also contains antioxidant compounds, called gingerols. Some research suggests that eating 1 gram of ginger daily—or 1 teaspoon—may help reduce markers of inflammation in the body. If your blender is big enough, this would be easy to double and have in your fridge, ready when you are.
Get the Recipe: Lemon-Ginger-Cayenne-Apple Shots
This quick and easy shot packs a punch to wake the senses. Apple and honey make it naturally sweet and are balanced by tart lemon juice and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper that brings on the heat. This shot delivers 11% of your Daily Value for vitamin C—a nutrient that helps to keep our immune system healthy and works to remove free radicals in the body to help fight inflammation—and even more ginger that the last superfood shot—around 2 teaspoons per serving.