Feel Good Berry Smoothie

by Susan Smith in

Bio-tiful’s organic kefir is made from organic whole milk from my beloved Riverford Organic Farmers’ own dairy herd. Kefir is a two thousand year old, bio-live, smooth, tangy, cultured milk drink that’s long been revered in Russia and Eastern Europe for its health benefits because it’s full of beneficial bacteria a.k.a ‘friendly’ or ‘helpful’ bacteria (the good guys) that help displace the harmful bacteria (the bad guys) in your gut. 

For people who are less than vigilant about eating healthily, the bad guys have no problem invading your body via your bloodstream causing chronic inflammation and ultimately disease. The good guys in kefir (known as probiotics) help to protect the delicate cells lining the gut, to efficiently move food through the gut, to synthesise certain vitamins and to ferment indigestible foods. In short, they are essential for good digestive health, strengthening the immune system, improving nutrient uptake and the absorption of minerals.

In addition to organic kefir, I’ve used raw organic milk (you can use goat’s, cow’s, coconut or homemade nut milk), fresh organic blueberries and frozen organic mixed berries. I then supercharged my Feel Good Berry Smoothie with a powerful antioxidant powder to create the most delightfully cool and luscious, nutritious drink. 

The word kefir means ‘feel good’ in Turkish. Precisely so. I find this quick-to-make Feel Good Berry Smoothie the most cheerfully delicious, fruit-packed way to energise my day. 

Feel Good Berry Smoothie (makes 2 large glasses)


250ml Bio-tiful kefir (or natural coconut yogurt)

250ml organic raw whole milk (or other milk of choice e.g. coconut, almond, tiger nut cashew etc.)

150g organic mixed frozen berries (I used Duchy Organic Berry Mix)

125g fresh organic blueberries

2 small/medium organic bananas

2 tsp organic Berry Radical Antioxidant Powder or organic Amla Powder (Indian Gooseberry powder)

2-3 drops natural liquid steviaoptional



Using a high-power blender, whizz all the ingredients together for about 30 seconds until smooth and creamy. 

Pour into two tall glasses and don’t wait to enjoy!


Carbohydrate 43g Protein 20g - per large glass serving

'In The Pink' Vegetable Juice

by Susan Smith in

I’ve recently been watching a 9-part educational series called ‘The Truth About Cancer’, which has been my inspiration for today’s super juice recipe. Ty Bollinger’s self-learning programme offers hope for anyone diagnosed with cancer and for the people who love and care for them. It’s currently estimated that half the world’s population will be diagnosed with cancer at some time in their life and the truth is, there are many powerful, natural cancer preventions that we’re not being told about.

It’s by no means the full story, but it comes as no surprise to me that one of the most powerful and simplest ways to avoid cancer, or beat it if you have it, is through super nutrition and diet.

Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” The trouble is, the food industry pays no attention to health, and the health industry pays no attention to food.

The convenience foods most people are sold on and the allopathic medicines we’re routinely prescribed are chock-a-block with unnatural, man-made chemicals that are alien to the body. Namely; herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, growth hormones, preservatives, refined sugar, glutamates, artificial colours, flavour enhancers as well as chemically-engineered crops and genetically modified, hydrogenated seed and vegetable oils. No wonder we get sick.

If you want to stay healthy and protect yourself against disease and premature ageing, your best strategy is to take control of what goes into your body. Let the recipes on this site be your inspiration. Eat real, organically-grown food and stop eating sugar and sugar-forming foods (high carbohydrate food and too much meat). We all have cancer cells in our body all of the time, which are normally kept under control by our immune system. However, when you’re getting too much sugar, insulin levels in the body rise and over time, your body cells’ insulin receptors burn-out and you end up with high blood sugar. High blood sugar is the precursor to Type 2 diabetes, cancer and other scary diseases. Eating too much sugar not only feeds cancer, it causes cancer cells to replicate and curbs the immune system that would otherwise attack and destroy abnormal cells.

Switching your body’s energy supply from sugar to fat makes sense because cancer cells cannot use fat for fuel.

Healthy fats, e.g. organic grass-fed butter and ghee, cold-pressed coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, wild salmon fish oil, avocado, walnut and macadamia oils are in fact vital to health and well-being.

Once you’ve eliminated the crap from your diet, it’s time to overdose on nature’s disease-fighting foods to build, or re-build, a healthy immune system. Eating a rainbow of raw, fresh, organic fruit and vegetables will kick-start the process. The way to get the maximum possible amount of vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amazing phytochemicals into your body is by juicing (I use the Angel cold-press juicer) and for soups and smoothies, a high power blender (I use a Vitamix machine). These machines are expensive but for good-value nutrition, they’re worth every penny.

Earthy yet sweet-tasting, this vibrant looking ‘In The Pink’ Vegetable Juice packs a powerful punch of cancer-fighting nutrients like vitamins C, A and E, beta-carotene, folic acid and potassium that will boost energy levels and help safeguard you from cancer and other diseases. It’s truly a way to drink yourself better and to stay young.

‘In The Pink’ Vegetable Juice - makes 2 servings


4 organic carrots - unpeeled

1 organic beetroot (with leaves if possible) - unpeeled

2 sticks organic celery (with leaves if possible) 

1 organic yellow pepper - including stem and seeds

1 organic red pepper - including stem and seeds 

I thick wedge of organic green cabbage

1 organic cooking apple - unpeeled and uncored 


Roughly slice all the vegetables into largish pieces that will fit the feeder tube of your juicer, then juice away as per your machine manufacturer’s instructions. N.B. We find alternating between soft and hard veggies and fruits makes the juicing process easier. 

Pour into 2 tall glasses and drink immediately to retain all the life-enhancing vitamins, minerals and phytochemical goodness (the washing-up can wait!)


In most cases, when you’re preparing organic fruits and vegetables there’s no need to peel, trim or core before juicing. Just a quick wash or wipe over and you’re ready to go. 

For several years I stopped using my Angel juicer and making multiple-fruit smoothies in my Vitamix. The reason? I suffered an acute inflammatory response to the massive hit of fruit sugar in my daily smoothie, which developed into a painful, itchy, debilitating skin-rash. This only went away when I started eating a low-carb, Primal diet, which is how I came to start writing Primal Plate’s blog. In retrospect, there was no need for me to throw the baby out with the bath water! Learning from my mistake, I now make predominantly vegetable-based juices because too much fruit = too much fructose (fruit sugar) = insulin resistance = disease! 


Carbohydrate 24g Protein 4g - per serving

Raw Chocolate Banana Milkshake

by Susan Smith in

Oh heck! I never meant to get into nutritional science but fear I have to in order to persuade you to eat your carbohydrates!

A food blogger that champions all things ‘low-carb’ and then, on the face of it, appears to do a u-turn by subsequently suggesting you eat high-carb, starchy foods might seem to have gone a bit ‘bananas’. Which is, as I shall reveal later in this post, quite literally true!

There are three increasingly popular buzz-words flying around at the moment that are relatively new as far as my understanding goes - probiotics, prebiotics and resistant starch - all three are absolutely essential for a healthy digestive system and long-term health. Here’s why…

Probiotics are types of ‘living’ friendly bacteria, like those that inhabit your gut. They’re found in cultured and fermented foods such as yogurt, buttermilk and sauerkraut. Probiotics help control the bad bacteria in your gut and allow the good bacteria to proliferate.

Prebiotics are ‘non-living’ carbohydrates that feed probiotics. They’re found in legumes (non-Primal) whole-wheat products (non-Primal) Jerusalem artichokes, chicory root, onions, cabbage, asparagus and leeks - although you’d need to eat a significant amount of these prebiotic foods in their raw state to achieve the recommended daily amount of prebiotic fibre. Not the easiest, nor the most pleasant, thing to accomplish!

Resistant starch is a prebiotic that has unique health benefits. Basically, it is the undigested part of starchy carbohydrate food that passes through the digestive tract unchanged, which is why it’s called ‘resistant starch’. It is good news for people following a low-carbohydrate diet or those trying to lose weight, because resistant starch can’t be digested and absorbed as glucose (like other carbohydrates are), instead it becomes food for bacteria. Nevertheless, it does increase a sense of fullness, which helps people eat less. It also improves insulin sensitivity, lowers blood sugar levels and improves metabolism. 

To be perfectly honest though, it’s taken me a while to get to grips with the idea that starch of any description can be good for you. Having eschewed all high-carbohydrate food for almost two years I was borderline paranoid in my resistance to resistant-starch - such is my fear of carbohydrates and the havoc they have wreaked on my body over the years. 

Sarah still has to be persuaded, though I’m hoping that this blog post might convince her that it’s not only okay, but actually advisable to eat resistant starch. There are 4 types:

RS Type 1 – is found in beans, grains, and seeds, which can’t be digested because the starch is bound-up within fibrous cell walls. 

RS Type 2 – found in raw potatoes and unripe bananas, which in their raw state are intrinsically indigestible.

RS Type 3 – found in cooked and cooled white potatoes and white rice, the cooling process (called retrogradation) changes the structure of the food so that digestible starch becomes resistant starch - that’s a green light for home-made potato salad and sushi then!

RS Type 4 – an unnatural, man-made chemically modified resistant starch (sounds unpleasant!)

I originally thought combining cooked and chilled potato (chilled = refrigerated) and green banana flour would be a clever way to get a double-whammy of resistant starch in a Primal/Paleo-friendly potato gnocchi recipe. However, I’m still in the process of working this through. Subjecting resistant starch to temperatures exceeding 130℉ degrades it. On the other hand, retrograded starch (the cooked and chilled type) is supposedly maintained if it’s subsequently re-heated - at least when re-heated gently. Whilst all the banana flour nutrients including potassium are retained during cooking, I don’t want to risk nullifying the resistant starch in my potato gnocchi so, until it’s tried and tested, the jury’s still out. If it does work - meaning my gnocchi cooks and stays intact in less than barely simmering water - I’ll be posting the recipe soon!

Meanwhile, supplementation is the easiest way to reliably get enough resistant starch into your diet. To this end I have developed a totally moreish Raw Chocolate Banana Milkshake - a delicious milk smoothie that contains a healthy quota of green banana resistant starch, and tastes so good that it has quickly earned its place as my preferred breakfast. Must be addictive, because it’s the thing I most look forward to before falling asleep at night! 

I have been trialling green banana flour for the past week. I started with a full tablespoon (about 10g -15g) as a supplement from Day 1. Caution: If you are suffering with any digestive issues such as gas, bloating, cramping, diarrhoea or constipation, build your tolerance slowly - start with half a teaspoon and gradually increase the amount up to the optimum (15g to 30g) over a few weeks. 

After several days, I get a sense that everything is functioning better and moving more efficiently - although I have developed one side-effect, which is rather loud, persistent tummy ‘gurgling’. I like to think that this is my hitherto half-starved friendly bacteria expressing relief at being properly fed, rather than my gut protesting!

Whatever, I intend to persist with my resistant-starch-enhanced smoothie regimen because, in a nutshell, resistant starch is a superfood for the digestive system. It ends up in the large intestine where, as far as the friendly bacteria are concerned, it's like manna from heaven. As they use the resistant starch for energy they release small carbohydrate molecules, which feed other bacteria, which in turn excrete butyrate. Ta dah!  Butyrate is where it’s at! The preferred fuel for the cells lining the colon, butyrate is a potent anti-inflammatory that encourages blood flow and helps keep the cells healthy, which in turn reduces the risk of colorectal cancer.  

Not only does resistant starch and it’s by-product butyrate promote healthy gut flora and optimise digestive health, any surplus butyrate not used by the cells in the colon is carried by the bloodstream to the liver and other parts of the body, where it has other beneficial effects including enhanced immunity, increased metabolism, weight loss, satiety, decreased inflammation and improved stress resistance. 

Sounds good to me, especially when all these health benefits are contained in an indulgent chocolately drink! Who knew that feeding your hungry microbiomes could be such fun?

Raw Chocolate & Banana Milkshake (Serves 1)


180ml whole milk (preferably raw), very chilled

1 under-ripe banana, peeled and cut into several pieces (about 200g unpeeled weight)

1½ tbsp raw cacao powder

1 tbsp green banana flour

1 dsp pure vanilla essence

Large handful of fresh ice cubes (about 60g)

Liquid stevia, to taste



Put the milk, banana, cacao, banana four and vanilla essence into a blender jug. Blend until well combined - my Vitamix (*see note below) takes about 30 seconds to do this.

Add the ice cubes and blend again until smooth, cold and creamy - another 15 to 20 seconds. 

Taste, then add 2-4 drops of organic liquid stevia to sweeten. 

Pour into a tall glass and decorate with whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate curls, if liked.


Carbohydrate 48g Protein 12g - per glass



I am happy using up one-third to a half of my daily carbohydrate intake in one generous glass of Raw Chocolate Banana Milkshake because I’m already at what I consider to be my ideal weight (just over 7 stone). Generally, I find this milkshake is enough on its own to sustain me until I sit down to eat my main meal of the day, which I always try and do before 6pm. If I get peckish, I might snack on some cheese, a small piece of fruit or some nuts, but basically everything I eat in a day never adds up to much more than 100g of carbohydrate, which is considered low-carb (100g to150g per day). If you want to lose weight by eating very low-carb (50g-100g per day) try substituting 125g of fresh or frozen berries e.g. blueberries, raspberries or strawberries for the banana and cacao. This will reduce the grams of carbohydrates in your milkshake by about 18g. 

I use a Vitamix C-Series blending machine to make healthy drinks, smoothies, hot soups, sauces, frozen desserts and more, in a matter of minutes. If you are using a different blender or container size, you may need to make adjustments to the processing time, and/or ingredient quantities. To be honest, if I had to choose just one kitchen gadget to magically bestow on cooks everywhere, it would be this Vitamix!

For people who are lactose intolerant, vegan or who suffer from a nut allergy, I will be developing more non-dairy, nut-free, resistant starch milkshakes and smoothies shortly. Watch this space!