A (Not-Too-Sweet) Fall Breakfast Smoothie

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After yesterday’s post regarding fruit juice, I felt an obligation to throw something more positive out there, a liquid fruit/veggie drink I back and drink periodically. To be honest, I was a little surprised the “no juice” post was at all controversial; I thought most people knew juice was on the “NO” list if you were trying to limit unnecessary sugar/calories (which we all should, generally speaking). But a lot of good questions came up. Before I jump into the recipe, here are some answers:

Q: What about juicing vegetables?

A: Based on the little I know, this is better but I’d also say it’s unnecessary. Personally I would get rid of the juicer and use the blender instead. The general rules I’d follow would be: Eat the whole food. Don’t separate fiber from sugar. Don’t drink more volume than you would eat just because it’s been changed into a form that’s easier to consume. Carrots, for example, are a sugary veggie to start with. Would you eat fifteen of them? I hope not. So why drink them? Probably better to eat one whole carrot and have some sauteed kale with your eggs for breakfast.

Q: What about soup?

A: Assuming you’re using whole foods in your soups they don’t have the same issue as “juicing”. It depends completely on what you’re making the soup out of, of course, but soups are not made with a juicer so the “don’t separate the fiber from the sugar” rule doesn’t really apply.

Q: What about fermented, aged, grape juice?

A: Aka, wine, right, Kyle? I love wine. I drink it, but not every day, and I’ve cut back how often I drink it considerably. The effects of Resveratrol are hotly debated. My take is you can look at a glass of wine as 100-150 calories. If that’s how you want to spend those calories today, go for it.

I hope that helps. Thanks for reading, and for the questions.

When I’m in a rush for breakfast I’ll throw together a green smoothie in the blender. It’s easy to make smoothies tasty, just add a couple bananas, a bunch of honey or agave, and some dates. But as mentioned above, I try to keep the composition of my smoothie in the realm of something I would be ok eating if it weren’t all blended together, something that isn’t a carbohydrate/calorie bomb. Here’s my latest invention, featuring persimmons, in-season and available at fully 50% of all farmer’s market vendors at my local market this past weekend:

In a blender, combine:

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup Spinach/Kale
  • 1 Persimmon
  • 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 tbsp Hemp Powder
  • 1/4 cup Blueberries
  • 2 fresh Dates
  • 1 tsp Green Vibrance

Blend. Drink. Enjoy.

What’s your go-to smoothie recipe? Leave it in the comments, please. Thanks! Please be safe as you head where ever it is you’re going for Thanksgiving.

ian

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Comments

  1. George Howard wrote:

    Ian,

    Great posts. Agreed on all parts (except the yogurt – doesn’t work for me). Important to have the right blender. Spend the $ (and it’s a lot of $$) on a vitamix.

    here are some of my go to green drinks, and a recipe for almond milk (and, no, i didn’t sit here and type these – i keep a text file on my devices and add as i try/like new ones – copy and paste, baby!!):

    Best,

    George

    Apple and Arugula
    1 handful of arugula
    1 apple
    1 c water
    1/2 inch cucumber
    1/2 avocado
    juice from 1/2 lemon

    blend

    -

    Kale, apple, Pear
    2 c kale
    2 c water
    1 apple
    1 pear
    3 dates
    1 T acai

    Blend

    -

    Bluberry, almond milk, kael
    1-2 c Kale or spinach
    2 c almond milk
    1 T honey
    1 t vanilla
    1 T dried lavendar (optional)
    Pinch salt

    Blend

    -
    Apple, honey, almond milk
    4 or 5 apples cored and cut into chunks
    1-2 c almond milk
    1 T honey or agave
    1t cinnamon
    1t vanilla
    Pinch salt
    Fresh rosemarry (optional)

    Blend

    -
    Greens and apples (or pears) and avocado
    2 c spinach, kale, or red leaf lettuce
    2 c water
    2 celery stalks
    1 pear or 2 apples
    3 T hemp
    2 T lemon juice
    1 avocado

    Blend

    -
    Kale, pomegranite, almond milk
    Handful of kale or spinach
    1/2 cup to 3/4 cup pomegranite seeds
    2 c almond milk (could sub water, i suppose)
    1 T acai powder

    Good Morning Green Drink

    Serves 2

    2 C Spinach
    1 1/2 C Grapes
    2 Carrots
    1/2 Cucumber
    1/2″ piece of ginger
    1 Stalk Celery
    2 Dates
    Handful Ice
    1/2 to 1 C Water
    Combine all ingredients in blender or vitamix. Start with 1/2 cup water and add more to desired thickness. Blend until smooth.

    -
    Kale, Apple, pear, ginger, acai
    1 pear
    1 apple
    1″ ginger
    2t agave
    2 cups kale
    1-2 c water


    Milks

    almond milk
    1 c almonds – soaked for 4-6 hours
    4 c water
    2 T extra virgin coconut oil
    1 t lecithin
    1/4 c agave
    1 t vanilla
    pinch salt

    blend and then strain
    keeps for 2 day

  2. bill T wrote:

    Organic honey 2 tbs
    fistful of blueberries
    pineapple chunks
    2 bananas
    3 eggs
    protein powder
    strawberries
    blackberries

  3. Lindsay wrote:

    Love smoothies! I like your whole foods approach to it. I’m going to have to try that. My breakfast usually rotates between smoothies, 2 eggs, or turkey breast (you can have lunch foods for breakfast!). I have a magic bullet which is awesome for single servings when you’re on the go. I usually make it with the following ingredients:

    -ice
    -1 cup unsweetened almond milk
    -1-2 scoops Whey Protein Powder
    -1/2 banana
    -handful of spinach

    The spinach is great because you don’t even taste it. Sometimes I throw a bit of avocado in there, too.

    Protein powder isn’t paleo or whole foods friendly, but it works for me so I’m going to keep doing it for now.

    I do think juicing whole vegetables is good, too. Yes, you are not getting the fiber but it does allow your body to digest and absorb the nutrients more easily. Very helpful for those with GI issues. The greener the juice the better. Veggies like beets and carrots are high in sugar so you have to be careful because it can cause your blood sugar to spike.

    How were your results from the Whole Foods Challenge?

  4. Julie I. wrote:

    Wow, awesome recipes! Ian, which/whose nutritional philosophies/rules are you subscribing to for your health regimen? There are so many nutritional ‘camps’ I’m curious where your beliefs fall.

  5. Dan Polaske wrote:

    - 1 apple
    - 1 banana
    - 3 celery hearts
    - 1 tomato
    - 1 carrot
    - handful of strawberries
    - handful of blueberries
    - 1 cup orange juice
    - 1 cup almond milk

    (Makes about 64oz)

  6. iancr wrote:

    Julie,

    I like the Michael Pollan, “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants,” school of thought, where anything with more than five ingredients doesn’t qualify as “food”.

    Also, I love this line that I read yesterday in Peter Kaminsky’s “Culinary Intelligence”: “Good cooking with real ingredients is the only way to eat a healthy, satisfying diet.”

    You?

    ian

  7. Julie I. wrote:

    Thanks for sharing! I find people tend to be calorie counters, carb counters or sugar counters. But I too like Michael Pollan and generally subscribe to that thinking with regards to food. Simple, organic, whole foods, not processed. Which is why I love raw veggie juicing so much. My favorite is:

    3-4 carrots
    1 yellow beet
    2 small apples
    3-4 stalks of celery
    ginger
    lemon

    Serves 2. Delicious!

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