Do you ever have one of those mornings when you’re in such a gigantic rush that you can barely even THINK about throwing something together to eat? When you pat yourself on the back just for taking the time to make a quick coffee before you hit the ground running? I don’t have to tell you that skipping breakfast is a very, very bad idea when it comes to health, to energy, and certainly when it comes to weight management.
When I’m really pushed for time a quick smoothie is one of my favorite pick-me-ups. And you know I’m not talking about just any old juice-bar smoothie (usually chock full of sugar in the form of excess fruit and add-ins). I’m talking about a real power smoothie – a complete meal with all the nutrition you need for a truly healthy start to the day. Not to mention an exceptionally yummy taste.
Here’s my tried’n’tested recipe for a truly delicious and healthy breaky to go. The key to making it a super-quick option is to prepare the dry ingredients the night before and have the fridge/liquid ingredients ready to go first thing.
- 100ml of raw, full-fat milk. If you can’t access raw dairy (ask your local organic store – especially at the market), go for organic and preferably non-homogenized full-fat milk. Always buy dairy products as close to their natural state as possible.
- 100 ml filtered water.
- 1 scoop of quality organic whey protein powder. If you’re lactose intolerant, have 2 scoops instead, and use water instead of milk for step one (this particular brand of protein powder contains only 0.6% lactose and is also soy and gluten free). If you choose not to use the protein powder, use 200ml of milk and no water for your base – but remember that protein is the key to a truly healthy meal and is particularly important first thing in the morning. Please don’t add raw eggs as they can create food intolerance. Boil an egg the night before to have on the side if you like!
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil (this will give you long-lasting energy and is a FANTASTIC metabolism kick-start)
- 1 teaspoon Stevia (or more depending on your preference). Stevia is a naturally sweet herb up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, and with no adverse effects on your blood sugar levels. It truly is a guilt-free sweet treat! Find Stevia in your health food or organic store.
- 2-3 tablespoons raw or organic full-fat plain yogurt
- 4-6 ice cubes
Make it interesting
- Being the choc-loving gal that I am, I love to add 1-2 flat tablespoons of raw or dark cacao powder. Good quality chocolate is a fantastic source of minerals and antioxidants, and has wonderful weight loss benefits.
- EITHER: A handful of fresh seasonal berries – again, a wonderful source of antioxidants and pretty much the only truly healthy fruit option in my opinion. Frozen berries (preferably organic) are an okay back-up.
- OR: 1-2 tablespoons of nut butter. A variety of tasty nut butters are available in most health food and organic stores.
- 1-2 tablespoons organic flaxseeds (whole, preferably unhulled) for an Omega-3 and fiber boost.
- A couple teaspoons organic ground coffee for an added pick-me-up and antioxidant boost (it’s your call whether you’d combine this with a nut butter smoothie, or stick to a choc-coffee mix!)
Of course you’re going to need to invest in a good blender – this baby won’t come out too smooth if you try to put it together in a hand-held shaker! I make this shake once or twice a week when I really need to move fast. I wouldn’t recommend a liquid breaky everyday as there is some evidence that this can elevate cortisol (stress hormone) levels over time. But it’s certainly a great back-up for a busy morning or post-workout meal, and is a far better option than that coffee and low-fat muffin!
Do you have any smoothie recipes of your own that you can share? Or any ideas for variations?
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