Thursday, March 25, 2010

Superfood Smoothie

I've been making smoothies lately. When made well, they are an excellent snack, breakfast item, or a fill in when the left-overs just don't cover our lunch needs.

I use the phrase, "done well," relatively. Sometimes we just need to have something yummy for yumminess' sake. And even if we are striving for better health, we don't always have on hand nor can we always afford, those things we'd like to use. I'll give a basic recipe, the amounts are kind of a guess. Then I'll talk about why I used certain ingredients and what I'd prefer to do differently.

I use an immersion blender, but if you don't have one of these handy tools, go get one. I mean, you may use a regular blender. Just dump the ingredients into the blender top instead of a 3-4 c container.

I find the cleanup on a conventional blender is a deterrent to using it. I found my immersion blender second hand for a couple of bucks and I really like it. I also have found that used yogurt or sour cream containers of the 3-4 c size work very well with the immersion blender. The things you're trying to break apart don't skitter all over the bowl.
Superfood Smoothies
  • 1 banana
  • 1/3 c plain yogurt
  • 1/8 c mesquite powder
  • 1/3 can coconut milk
  • 1 T raw honey
Open your coconut milk and dump it into a container of slightly larger volume. Stir components together and then stir to combine components of milk.

Break the banana into chunks and put in the bottom of a 3-4 c container.

Dump in the remaining ingredients and whip together with an immersion blender, if you have one.

If you want a thinner smoothie, add a bit of milk.

This makes about 2 c. I usually make it serve three kids.
Now, why I do what I do.

Bananas are chock full of goodness. They are an easily digested source of good carbs, and fiber to help sustain the energy. They have lots of potassium for healthy bones and kidneys, not to mention balancing electrolytes after exercise or illness. They have tryptophan for your moods. They also have significant amounts of vitamins C and B6, and also magnesium. Essortment and The Dao of Good Health have good banana information.

Mesquite, is an excellent food for those wanting to use less or better sugars. It has a low glycemic index of 25 and the sugar in is fructose, which does not need insulin to digest. It is high in fiber. And it's sweet to the taste, so those things to which you add it need less sugar to seem sweet. Mesquite is also a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and zinc, and protein, especially lysine, which the body cannot manufacture itself. For more information, see Chet Day's Health and Beyond and Hubpages. Mesquite gives food a kind of nutty, chocolaty taste.

Coconut, coconut oil and coconut milk got a bad rap for a time, but further research has shown them to be very beneficial to health. Coconut milk is an important source of many vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and E, and calcium and potassium. It is one of few sources of lauric acid which has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. Lauric acid and the other short and medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil promote heart health, healthy cholesterol levels and healthy sugar levels. And coconut oil is a good source of antioxidants. See HealthMad and eHow for coconut milk health summaries.

Yogurt gives you all the nutrition of milk, but adds the probiotic effects of its good bacteria.

Raw honey is easy to digest and has anti-fungal, anti bacterial and anti-viral effects. Some people also experience a lessening of airborne allergies when they use local raw honey.

Although I used store bought yogurt, I'd prefer to make my own using whole, fresh milk. Better yet would be kefir, with its additional nutritional boosts. I don't have all those factoids in my brain, and my kids are needing me, but see Dom's Kefir pages for more Kefir info.

See also the Weston A Price Foundation if you want to know more about most of the above topics. But be prepared as a search on that website will yield you tons and tons of articles chock full of health related information. I always find a search there a bit intimidating. And sorting through the articles to find the ones you are most interested in is somewhat time consuming.

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