April 18, 2012
banana hemp spice smoothie
spring is springing, and the petite meyer lemon treelet i bought last fall is budding like mad! excitement of the week :) no lemons yet, just the promise of them, but we shall see. there might be a tea-party-sized meyer lemon vinaigrette in my future, you never know.
and in even more exciting news, i made one of my favorite breakfast smoothies of all time, and it's not even green! a simple and tasty combination of banana and some go-to spices, vanilla, and bee pollen. since i didn't have any almond milk on hand, i whipped up a creamy hemp-coconut milk for the base.
smoothies are one of the best ways to get anti-inflammatory, immune-boosting spices into the morning meal, and i included cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and fresh ginger here. delicious! bee pollen is quite the nutritional powerhouse, too. it's rich in amino acids and antioxidants, myricetin (helps keep LDL cholesterol in check), quercetin (a natural antihistamine), rutin (supports healthy veins), and trans-cinnamic acid (supports the body's natural antimicrobial defenses and supports detox processes in the liver).
i always add a heaping spoonful of bee pollen to smoothies, and have noticed that my allergies, which have been really acting up this spring, are less severe on the days i've had my morning smoothie. the quercetin, maybe? just an idea...
and, have you tried any of the chia drinks on the market? or made chia pudding, which is all the rage lately? if you like either of those, try this. stir a spoonful of chia seeds into the smoothie (after blending it), and wait for about 15 minutes for the chia seeds to become hydrated.
the seeds plump up, get slightly chewy (and yes, a little slimy - weird at first but i've grown to love it), and provide nice little pops of textural contrast throughout the creamy drink. (note, the pic above was taken before adding the chia; once you mix them in you'll see the tiny seeds throughout.) the chia makes the smoothie even more satisfying and energizing.
banana hemp spice smoothie
makes one ~16 ounce smoothie
1 cup water
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp peeled, chopped fresh ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon bee pollen (optional)
a couple of ice cubes
2 teaspoons chia seeds (optional)
blend water, hemp seeds, and coconut in high-powered blender until smooth, 20 to 30 seconds. add the rest of the ingredients (except chia seeds) and blend until smooth and creamy.
if using chia seeds, stir them into the blended smoothie, set aside for about 15 minutes, and shake well before drinking.