Breakfast has always been kind of a problem for me.
As is the case with all good Moms, mine wanted us to all have a nutritious breakfast before going off to school. Sometimes that meant eggs, which I liked, but often it meant oatmeal which I didn’t like at all. To my way of thinking, Mom giving us oatmeal was a terrible injustice, since she wouldn’t touch it herself. My aversion to breakfast, which persists to this day, was not Mom’s fault though. It just comes too early for me – I really only want coffee until we get into brunch territory, and that isn’t a very good idea, because I actually do feel better all day if I eat something within the first hour or so after I get up.
And that is where smoothies come in. They are easy! Easy to make, even easier to drink, and not like oatmeal at all.
Plus, they are really very good for you. The action of blending the ingredients breaks down all the cell walls, and makes the nutrition they contain easier for your body to access. You still get the benefit if the fiber, and depending on the ingredients you choose, you can pack quite a lot of “get-you-through-the-morning” protein in there as well.
Mark Bittman wrote a book called “Vegan Before 6”, that I think is probably workable for a lot of people, but I have adapted the idea to more of a Low Carb before 6 approach. Obviously with all the stuff I bake, I am not very strict about low carbing, but I definitely feel better if I avoid carbs in the early part of the day. The point of saying that, is I need a fair amount of protein, or I get too hungry, and start paying attention to the siren songs of the latest batch of cookies I baked. So, my smoothies are heavy on the protein.
I use almond milk and Greek yogurt always – lots of protein in both of those. Flax seeds have plenty of protein, and I like how they taste too. And I do often use a bit of protein powder. Lately, I have been using this raw and vegan one: Sprout Living Epic Protein Powder. It’s a little pricey, but I don’t use very much, so it lasts a long time.
I like a lot of that good green stuff in there – spinach, baby kale, Swiss chard, even lettuce from the garden. For, a green smoothie, I like to use fruit that won’t turn everything an unpleasant color. My Berry Blast Almond Smoothie had just a small amount of spinach in it, so the berries didn’t turn it muddy looking the way they would this one. But there are plenty of stone fruits in the store these days, and nectarines are SO good with spinach – really! The color stays nice, and nectarines are a pretty good source of potassium plus vitamins A & C.
I also always add a good sized piece of fresh ginger – how much you like will depend on personal taste. It helps quite a bit with inflammation and joint pain, and I like the taste, so I use a good sized chunk – about an inch long or so. I peel it, because the skin doesn’t break down completely and I like my smoothies to be pretty free of chunks.
Finally – as mentioned in the previous smoothie recipe, I use a Nutribullet to make my smoothies. There are more expensive options out there, but for the money, I think the Nutribullet does a great job. Now – on to the smoothie!
- 1 nectarine, pit removed, cut into chunks
- about 1 packed cup spinach leaves, or other greens
- 1 tablespoon flax seeds
- 1 inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
- 1 - 2 tablespoons protein powder
- small drizzle of honey if you like it sweet
- 1 cup almond milk [or milk of your choice]
- ½ cup Greek yogurt [I used plain low fat, but any kind will work]
- Be sure to follow the directions for your blender or smoothie maker.
- I place the ingredients in the Nutribullet, in the order given, screw lid on tightly, and shake it a bit to get things distributed evenly, place it on the base and process for about 2 to 3 minutes, taking it off the base after a minute or so, and giving it a shake - the flax seeds tend to get stuck in the bottom of the cup, and return it to the base for another minute or two.
- Serve immediately, adding a few ice cubes to the glass if you like it nice and cold.
And that is it – breakfast solved!
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