Monday, May 11, 2015

Energizing breakfast smoothie(GF, vegan); Meatless Monday.


Smoothies if done right can be a great accompaniment to a breakfast or could substitute the whole breakfast itself. Smoothie can also be a refreshing/re-energizing mid-day drink replacing the mid-day snack. The reason I mentioned " if done right" is because smoothies can become just additional calories that are drunk if not done right. How so??There are several  different ways to make smoothies. You could make it with fruits and vegetables, yogurt . Add healthy ingredients like berries, chia seeds , protien powder or wheat germ and flax  and it becomes healthy;or you could make it with  added sugar, ready made chocolate syrup, any other flavored syrup and it is just additional  calories consumed! Therefore it is important that one is being mindful of the kind of smoothie that is being consumed. It should have all natural ingredients with no added sugar/additives or preservatives. 

Smoothies can be easily made at home. This particular smoothie has the goodness of fruits like papaya, watermelon, cantaloupe and banana, the protein, omega-3 fatty acid and fiber from the chia seeds, flax seeds and almond milk . It is gluten free and vegan as it is made with almond milk and not regular milk or yogurt. The thickness and richness of the smoothie comes from the frozen bananas.It has no added sugar and the sweetness comes from the inherent sweetness of the fruits. It is fat-free! It is filling, nourishing and refreshing! What more can one want?? Read more regarding the health benefits of the key ingredients in the tip for healthy living section of this post.

Servings:  makes two 8 oz glasses


Frozen banana: 1
Papaya pieces: 1 cup
Cantaloupe pieces: 1/2 cup
Spinach leaves: 1/4 cup
Chia seeds: 1 tsp
Flaxmeal: 1 tsp
Unsweetened original Almond milk: 1 cup ( can add more if you desire a more liquid consistency)
Ice cubes: 6-8


Add all the above ingredients to a blender and blend until it is a homogenous mixture.

Serve on additional ice cubes or as is.

Serve immediately as if kept for a while, the smoothie thickens due to the presence of chia seeds and Flaxmeal. If you intend to serve/ drink it slightly later, add additional 1 cup almond milk or coconut water and keep refrigerated until ready to drink.


Cooking made easy:

For the above smoothie you could change the fruits based on your taste and availability. Instead of papaya and cantaloupe you can add other fruits like mango, pinapple, watermelon etc. You can use other greens such as baby kale instead of spinach. Mint may be added. Frozen banana is a must but you can add fresh banana in addition to it.

Tip for healthy living:

Fruits are abundant in vitamins and minerals. The vitamins that they mainly contain is associated with usually to the color of the fruit.

Flaxmeal and chia seeds are both rich in omega-3 fatty acids and therefore very healthy. They are also rich in fiber and add bulk to any meal. This helps create and maintain a sense of fullness thereby reaching satiety early and preventing hunger pangs . It also helps maintain the blood sugar level and prevents spiking and dropping . The dietary fiber also helps prevent constipation and irregularity thereby maintaining good GI health.

Almond milk is a good source of protein and makes for a great dairy-free substitute for milk.

Food for thought:

Unless a tree has borne blossoms in spring, you will vainly look for fruit on it in autumn. Walter Scott.