Smoothies to the Rescue!

written by Nicole Boyd

 

We are doing a kitchen renovation at my house right now and I gotta tell ya.... the place is in absolute shambles! It is difficult to find a plate let alone cook proper meals right now.

 

What is a gal to do when she wants to fill up on nutritious food that is quick and use very little utensils? Answer: Make a smoothie!

 

Now, I am not suggesting to make a smoothie for breakfast, lunch and dinner because that would be boring but they are a great way to supplement a meal.

 

BUT you have to make it yourself  to ensure it is a nutritionally balanced smoothie. I have yet to find a smoothie place downtown Toronto that doesn’t load their smoothies with sugar-filled frozen yogurt or concentrated juices. Let us know if you know of a venue that sells decent smoothies ....The type I am talking about provide all the basics of a complete meal.

What a smoothie meal should include:

Protein:

Add protein from an easily digested and preferably whole food source (such as hemp). Or there are lots of protein powders out there to choose from. I prefer something with a balanced amino acid profile such as ones made with yellow peas and rice or hemp based.

Carbohydrates:

Add carbohydrates in whole food form such as fruit or vegetables. I usually add fresh, local, organic fruits. Right now, peaches are in full swing and berries are winding down this season but still available at the market. Bananas are also great in a smoothie... Tip: pre-cut the banana, then put them in the freezer so you can use at any time. Smoothies are a great way to include dark, leafy greens. Go on... throw in kale, spinach or collards!

Additional fibre can be added in the form of ground flax, dates or chia seeds.

Good fats:

We love good fats, such a flax oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, avocado, nut butters or hemp oil.

Other ideas to add more nutritional value:

maca, probiotics, goji berries, honey, cinnamon (my fav) or other spices, cocoa, spirulina,  chlorella Here is one of my go-to smoothie recipes. I don’t really measure in real life but for these purposes I eye-balled it.

Banana Almond Vanilla Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 tbsp almond butter 1 tbsp ground hemp seeds ½ banana 1 C almond milk 2 soaked dates (pitted) ¼ vanilla bean seeds (or ½ tsp vanilla extract) Ice cubes Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Put all the ingredients in the blender and blend very well.  The vitamix blender works great for smoothies but a regular blender will do the trick. My Kitchen Aid blender sometimes leaves things a little chunky but that is fine for me. Enjoy and try not to drink it all in one gulp!