Thursday, 27 February 2014

Morning Chia Seed Smoothie

I’m a huge smoothie advocate. They’re nutritious, delicious and have helped me cut unnecessary carbs from my morning routine! Before I was a toast and coffee girl, now I get dairy, fruit and vegetables in my morning meal and I stay full until lunchtime! Although juicing is all the rage right now blending (in my opinion) actually provides more nutrients and sustenance because of all the things you can add to a smoothie. Today I’m going to share my morning smoothie recipe with you. The great thing about smoothies is there is no right and wrong; you can add or subtract anything from my recipe to make it your own. I make mine in a magic bullet but any blender will do just remember not to fill it too full or it will get bogged down. 

My standard ingredients for smoothie making are: yogurt, fruit, greens and a healthy fat. Any combination of these will work! If you want to add a sweetener I would recommend adding honey however I find this smoothie sweet enough as is!

  • 0% non-fat certified organic plain yogurt
  • frozen organic whole strawberries
  • 1 large organic banana
  • a handful of organic blueberries
  • a handful or organic spinach (or kale)
  • 2 tbsp. chia seeds (or ground flax)

       I recommend consuming organic produce. If you’re not an organic eater I would at least invest in organic frozen fruit because strawberries are sprayed heavily and I doubt conventionally grown berries are washed before they are bagged and frozen. 

I love to add green to my smoothies. Dark leafy greens are an essential part of a healthy diet and can be hard to incorporate. Spinach is a source of iron, antioxidants (vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, zinc, selenium and manganese), Vitamin K for bone health,  also has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents (Worlds Healthiest Foods). Spinach has recently been somewhat de-throned by the popularity of kale. Kale is a "super food" high in fibre with zero fat and low in calories. Kale is also high in vitamin K, antioxidants, omega-3, vitamin A, C & calcium (Mind Body Green). Either one is great; I like to alternate between the two. Unlike spinach, kale has a strong texture that can overwhelm the smoothie. Buy young kale with small leaves for a more tender leaf and mild taste. Again, I recommend buying organic spinach and kale because they are both the Environmental Working Group’s “dirty dozen” (EWG) list of fruits and vegetables that are the most contaminated by pesticides. 
I just started incorporating chia seeds into diet by adding them to my smoothies. I kept hearing about these magical little seeds and finally decided to try them out. They are small, tasteless and the health benefits are plentiful! Two tablespoons of chia seeds provide your Omega-3 requirements for the day! Used by the Aztecs and Mayans, chia seeds are an important source of protein, fibre, amino acids, calcium and more! I bought the Prana brand this time and their website has some great information: Always buy high quality, certified organic seeds and do your research before consuming them to make sure you’re well informed (as you should with everything you consume). Risks include allergies and the possibility of becoming addicted to the seeds! Ground flax is always a great alternative to chia seeds.

 I hope you enjoy your smoothie and tweet or comment any suggestions or recipes you like!

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