Santa brought me a new “cook”book…Smoothies for Life! (ok, well actually it was my Brother and SIL). I say “cook” because there’s nothing you actually have to cook, but it’ll give your blender some great exercise. I love how the book is organized into recipes that support specific physical and emotional needs…like stress reduction, weight loss support, balance, energy, healing, etc. It also gives some great tips and tricks for creating your own smoothie combos and details the plethora of ingredients that are available to make your smoothie healthier and more nutritious. And while I don’t really to the new year’s resolution thing, it’s always a good idea to use the dawn of a new year to renew my commitment to trying to eat well and take care of myself. A smoothie is a great way to cover some nutritional ground and enjoy the process. I’m sold.
I’ve just started to work my way through the recipes, and I’ve already gone “off script.” Using some of the tips and a few other recipes in the book I came up with this delicious breakfast smoothie using what I had in my pantry. Its got unsweetened cocoa (for caffeine and antioxidants), wheat germ (for folic acid, fiber, and Vitamin E), flaxseed (for omega-3 and fiber), and stevia (for a little sweetness). Certainly not rocket science, but so easy that this one really should have already been in my breakfast recipe arsenal.
And speaking of having things in your arsenal…Hubs and I go through a lot of soy milk and I typically buy it cold in 3-packs so there’s always some in the fridge. But I’ve definitely been caught a few times fresh out of soy with a naked bowl of cereal (and sad hubs). Here’s a tip I learned from the authors of this fantastic book (that’s another no-brainer): Buy a box of rice, soy, or almond milk in aseptic packaging that’ll be stable unrefrigerated in your pantry. Duh! There’s something about keeping a box of milk in my pantry that doesn’t really sit well with me, but in a pinch it’s better than nothing and it’s certainly better than having to drive to the grocery store when you’ve just gotten out of bed! It’ll keep for up to a year unopened…and while we’re on the subject of pantry milk, I’ll make a note to extol the virtues of dry milk in an upcoming post. I’m learning to really love that stuff for baking and homemade cocoa mix.
A delicious, and healthy, way to start your day!
Chocolate Nanner Smoothie
Inspired by Smoothies for Life
Serves: 1 (can easily be doubled or tripled if your blender is big enough)
2 Tb unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 Tb wheat germ
1/2 Tb ground flax
1 packet stevia (.035 oz or 1g)
9-10 oz plain soy milk
1 frozen banana
I freeze my nanner in their skins, so in order to peel, I defrost in the microwave (on defrost setting) about a minute. Just enough to make the banana peelable without warming it. So, pop your nanner in the micro while you assemble the rest of your ingredients. If you haven’t frozen your banana, don’t let that stop you…just throw some ice cubes in the blender.
Start with your powered ingredients (cocoa, wheat germ, flax, and stevia) at the bottom of the blender pitcher so that they don’t splatter everywhere when you turn your blender on. To that, add your soy milk (rice or almond milk would work too if you don’t do soy). If your blender has a “stir” function, give it a quick pulse to get your powders incorporated into the liquid.
Peel your nanner and break it into about 1 in pieces as you add it to the liquid. Give it a good blend so that the nanner gets pulverized (chunky smoothies are gross).
Pour it into a glass (or to-go cup), grab a straw, and start your day!
[Cook often and eat well!]