How is it possible that it is already November? And that I forgot to hit publish on my last letter of the CMT alphabet – Z? No worry – I will get to that tomorrow. But today, more important things.
Yes I know. They say don’t drink your food. But I live by my Vitamix and I love my smoothies. And it is possible to make a smoothie that is more than just fruit in one gulp. Particularly helpful if you are like me and occasionally find it very difficult to process “solid food” in the mornings (this is particularly common in people with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome).
Case study: meet my Saturday morning smoothie…
Now I hear you saying… What makes this smoothie any different than all the others? Here are my tips for bulking up a smoothie, for creating a more balanced breakfast in a glass.
1. Avoid the dairy
For many people this is anathema. Smoothies equal yoghurt. But not for me. Dairy can mean discomfort. So I have found alternatives.
I do the following to avoid dairy, making the smoothie more digestible for me, but also keeping me satisfied through the added fat content.
* Use coconut yoghurt instead of dairy yoghurt. I am a latecomer to this revolution, but I love coconut yoghurt as a dairy substitute. It helps my stomach to feel better and process breakfast better, and it also fills me up (I am told this is due to the fat content of coconut).
* Create nut milk in your blender. Use either soaked almonds or cashews (soaked to make them soft and easier to blend) or macadamia nuts, and simply blend with water to create nut milk. I am told the fat content of the nuts keeps me satisfied, but all I know is that I really like the flavour in my smoothies. And, it’s dairy free so easier for my stomach.
2. Add seeds
The first time I remarked I added seeds to my smoothie I got all sorts of replies, things like “EW! Grainy!” But no, this is not the case. With a good high speed blender, adding a heaping spoon of seeds is a great way to supplement a smoothie. In particular I add flaxseed, high in Omega 3 and a good anti-inflammatory supplement.
3. Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder
I know. Turmeric. You mean I am recommending to turn your smoothie into an Indian meal?
No way. You can’t even taste the turmeric. And centuries of use have been supported by research that shows that turmeric is a potent natural anti-inflammatory. Trust me about this.
Not only for hot meals or flapjacks, you can just add oatmeal to your smoothie and blend it into a part of the thicker consistency. I used to be a skeptic, but now adding a quarter cup of uncooked oats to my smoothie is all a part of how I create my breakfast in a glass.
Finally, I add a teaspoon of vanilla. One of the things that makes vanilla so neat as a flavour is that it activates the same taste receptors as sugar. So with added vanilla (use only the real stuff!) you can sweeten your smoothie without any added sugars (of either the refined or natural variety).
Weird enough for you?
I know. None of the above is particularly strange. But maybe you wouldn’t think to add it to your smoothie, which you think of as just fruit and yoghurt. These are tips to just comfortably stretch out of a comfort zone way of thinking.
And I also know that many people say not to drink your calories. But for me, sometimes the only “food” that works is that which has been broken down in a blender before I eat it – especially at breakfast.
So go on. Try it. And let me know what you think. And let me know if you have any tips on other “not expected to be seen in a smoothie” ingredients.
PS: my smoothie ingredients on Saturday (as seen in the blender above):
– frozen banana (freezing bananas: what I do with all the super dark bananas when I buy too many and can’t eat them all)
– frozen strawberries
– macadamia nuts
– coconut water (because why use regular water if you can add extra electrolytes)
– heaping teaspoon of ground flaxseed
– quarter cup oatmeal
– teaspoon vanilla
– teaspoon turmeric
Blend in the Vitamix on an increasingly higher speed until smooth and pulverised, for me that is about two minutes.
Special thanks to Williams-Sonoma for reaching out via email and asking me if I would consider participating in their Smoothie Week and writing a post about smoothies and the strangest ingredients I put in mine. I decided to post not because my ingredients are strange – they are common but maybe you haven’t thought about adding them to your smoothie. Instead, I decided to post because I am looking to expand my smoothie recipe collection, and look forward to seeing the ideas that others have shared. Thanks for asking me to participate! And no, this post is not for compensation, nor is it for freebies. It is just because I like Smoothies and Williams-Sonoma asked me to share! Sometimes all it takes is a friendly ask. If you are interested in checking out their range of blenders, click here. I use a Vitamix and purchased mine in 2011. One of the many things that my kitchen would not be the same without (the other big item is my coffee machine – who me, a liquid breakfast? Um, I resemble that remark!)