I usually have a smoothie for breakfast, especially in the growing season when fresh greens and herbs are blowing up in the garden, and it’s too hot to want to stand in front of the stove.
Since we keep the air very high, around 85+ degrees, we rely on fans to keep from turning into puddles, and the only fan in the kitchen is the one that sucks air in, not blows air out.
My smoothies contain frozen fruit, so they’re a blessing, even in the morning these days, when temperatures start to climb from the moment I step out of bed.
More and more, my smoothies also become my big opportunity to cram in the most nutrition possible. I’ve discovered that if you blend a frozen banana in with just about anything and everything, it’ll taste, if not awesome, at least palatable. I peel and freeze them and use about a half a banana per serving.
The most recent add-in I’ve been using is hemp protein for a little staying power throughout the morning. I also add flaxseed, turmeric, and ginger. One change I’m planning to make is to use turmeric paste, a cooked blend of turmeric, coconut oil, and black pepper. It can be divided into mini ice cube trays and frozen, and a cube of the paste can be blended in with the other smoothie ingredients.
Combining turmeric with coconut oil and black pepper increases the bioavailability of the curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric which acts as an anti-inflammatory and apparently, nineteen other astounding benefits. I try to use about 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric per smoothie. I would double that for the paste to account for the added volume from the other ingredients.
I also cram in a bit of tulsi, a carrot with the top, a few leaves of French sorrel, and frozen berries or peaches. With enough juice or water to make it blendable, it’s a pretty big breakfast.
Here’s a general guide:
1/2 frozen banana
2/3 cup frozen berries or other fruit (peaches, mango, pineapple, etc.)
1 small carrot, sliced into chunks
about 2 cups packed greens such as kale, carrot tops, sorrel, spinach
several sprigs fresh garden herbs (tulsi, mint, lemon basil, lemon balm)
2 Tablespoons whole or freshly ground flaxseed (pre-grind if your blender can’t grind up the seeds together with the other ingredients)
1-2 Tablespoons hemp protein (I’ve started using this one)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric, or 1 tsp. turmeric paste
1/2 teaspoon ginger, dried ground, or a 1-in. piece fresh
enough water, coconut water or milk, or juice of choice, to get to where your blender can do its thing
That is, no complaints about the performance, especially since I keep a pair of earplugs right next to it to protect my ears. Probably a good idea with most kitchen appliances.
It’s only been about a week since I started adding in the hemp protein, but I think I feel less starving by lunchtime. That means even if I get started on lunch late, which is most of the time, I can concentrate on preparing food, not spoiling my appetite as I cook.
Do you have a favorite smoothie recipe? How about a favorite nutritional add-in?