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Dissecting the Perfect Smoothie: What's in a Blueberry Birch?

52 North Birch Water and blueberries

By Darren Brown

The Blueberry Birch (more on what it is later) is super cool way to start your day for a lot of reasons, and my friends over at the Living Produce Aisle thought so, too. They'll be running this as a feature for the rest of the month, so you don't have to make it yourself at home.

Here's what makes it cool: 52 North Birch Water, the super hydrator and energy recovery gold. It's a product that's not well known in North America, but it's growing fast.


So what's The Blueberry Birch?

It's got home-grown nutrient-packed microgreens for potassium and calcium from your nearest Urban Cultivator...
... fresh ginger and turmeric for zip...
... hemp seeds for protein...
... some banana—just because...
... and local blueberries, because they're awesome.

In our house, we believe you do whatever you have to do to keep a ready stock of super food antioxidant bomb blueberries in your freezer at all times. We're big fans of these big fat organic berries from Hare's Farm blueberries in Pemberton—I just placed my 100 lb-end-of-season order today, so that's going to be a major component in our smoothie.

Birch sap

52 North is a super cool company and even cooler product—you'll see me talking about them lot in the near future. For ages, Eastern Europe has recognized birch water for its restorative power. In fact, birch water is the endorsed recovery drink of the Russian Federation of Sport, and the word on the street is that you'd probably even find 52 North here in the dressing rooms of our own athletes close to home...

The folks at 52 North have partnered up with a fellow up in Williams lake who's been tapping good ol' Canadian trees for this birch water.

For years, he's been snowshoeing out into the forest harvesting silver birch water for his Russian wife to remind her of home, until recently, when he partnered up with the folks at 52 North, and now far as I know it's the only Canadian birch water on the market.

52 North Birch Water

For myself, I see it as a great alternative to coconut water, with very similar properties but less than a quarter of the calories, plus a little cleaner taste.

Birch water is loaded with phytonutrients, trace minerals, electrolytes, saponins, and antioxidants, and there's none of that lingering mustiness that I frequently associate with coconut water. Instead there's just a hint of sweetness, but nothing too pronounced.

This has quickly become a staple in my pre & post workout plans, and my kids absolutely freak out about the raspberry flavoured one. In a world where we mostly have to chase them around trying to keep them hydrated, it's been hilarious to me that we now need to limit them to one 750mL bag at a time.

This is pretty much what led to the birch water finding its way into my smoothies. It's a great hydrator and my morning smoothie is usually trying to accommodate both prepping me for a big mountain bike ride, and getting as much nutrient and hydration into my kids as I can before I go. Those add up to a win-win when they see me pouring the 52 North into the blender.

I'm also a huge fan of my Urban Cultivator; as are my kids. So it was inevitable that we'd be incorporating our house grown greens into the smoothie. In fact, 50% of what we grown is typically smoothie bound.

fresh herbs

We settled on arugula and kale for the greens in this one. We got some freshness from the kale, and the arugula brought a peppery, nutty tone that worked really well with the blueberries.

Nicole Fetterly is a registered dietician that I've had the opportunity to work with on another project, developing cold press juices and nut "mylks," where she guided me through how to formulate with a mind for the nutrient values as well.

We were creating recipes for her to be able to develop a cleanse program, so in addition to tasting great, they had to make sense from a nutrition standpoint. I'm now picking her brain constantly, so here's her feedback on this one:

"This smoothie is packed with fibre. It provides 7 grams—or almost 30%—of your daily fibre needs. It's also very high in vitamin C, about 50% of your daily needs.

"These two nutrients contribute to heart health and improved immunity. As well, this smoothie is very hydrating, packed with electrolyte potassium to help you absorb fluid, as well as anti-inflammatory properties from the cucumber. The antioxidant capacity is extremely high to help boost immunity and protect against disease."

The Blueberry Birch smoothie

So, without further ado, here's my recipe for the Blueberry Arugula and Birch Water Smoothie:

6 oz birch water
4 oz cucumber
5 oz frozen blueberries
6 oz banana (1 small banana)
1 tbsp hemp seed
1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tsp chopped fresh turmeric
1/2 cup micro arugula
1/2 cup micro kale

1. Combine all ingredients in a high speed blender and puree for 60 seconds
2. For best results, blend while blueberries are still frozen

Learn more about birch water


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