Banana Almond Smoothie

Banana Almond SmoothieMornings have never been my thing…ever. Even after a full night’s sleep, or several full night’s sleep, I am still bleary eyed and nonfunctioning in the morning. Nope, caffeine doesn’t really help. I like coffee but it doesn’t help my functioning unless I’m suffering from lack of sleep or working graveyard and it has no immediate effect on my alertness. Once I drag myself from bed, I get out the door in the morning based on adrenaline and preplanning. I make my lunch the night before, I generally lay my clothes out the night before (or at least make sure acceptable options are clean), anything that has to go out the door with me is by the door (or better yet, in the car). I’m not that organized, really, it’s a survival plan based on years of experience of running out the door late and forgetting everything but my clothes. If I don’t do these things then I have no lunch and I forgot whatever it was I was supposed to take with me.

Given my aversion to mornings (aka, any time of day after I wake up), you can imagine that breakfast isn’t really my thing. I’m not usually hungry until I’ve been awake a couple of hours, and then all of a sudden I’m starving. My body still doesn’t really like much to eat even at that point. Skipping breakfast completely is not an option, I can get cranky and my blood sugar may do weird things if I don’t eat. It’s not pleasant, it really isn’t.

Smoothies have become my savior. They’re tasty, healthy, easy, and filling. I put my smoothies together the night before. You just combine all the ingredients in the blender and set it in the fridge, a couple of minutes of blending the next morning and voilà! Breakfast is ready.

Many smoothie recipes call for ice, because I put mine together the night before I don’t use it. Most of the time I don’t follow a recipe just a ratio, I don’t measure most of the time either. While I have had a few smoothies I haven’t been able to drink (usually the combination of fruits or under ripe fruit), smoothies a pretty forgiving meal. The basic recipe follows:

1 banana, sliced
1 cup fruit (diced) or berries
¼ cup creamy protein (yogurt, tofu) or 2 Tbsp. nut butter
1 cup juice, milk (dairy, soy, or nut), or coffee
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

The fruit can go straight from the freezer to the blender, it will thaw overnight. I pretty much go with whatever is on hand or in season. I haven’t had any luck with canned fruit, it’s left a funny taste in the smoothie; however, I might try home canned fruit. I usually use plain yogurt, the other ingredients have so much natural sugar that you don’t need flavored yogurt.

One last tip, dried smoothie is really hard to remove. I hated the thought of buying nice containers and then possible having to throw them away because they wouldn’t come clean. My mom drank a lot of Snapple and I finally got the idea to reuse the bottles one day. Since they are glass I don’t have to worry about plastic leaching, they last a long time, can go through the dishwasher, and if they don’t come out clean then I just recycle them. There are many different drinks out there that come in glass bottles and my smoothie ratio is thin enough that it will pour out of the narrow openings.

The Banana Almond Smoothie recipe below is a bit different than my ratio, but I’ve really been enjoying it. Dates are a great way to add sweetness to something without altering the overall flavor. If you’re using a fairly dry ingredient like dates, the overnight maceration will help them incorporate.

Banana Almond Smoothie (1)Banana Almond Smoothie

4 dates, diced
2 Tbsp. silken tofu
2 Tbsp. almond butter
1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
1 cup almond milk

Combine all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate overnight. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!1 banana, sliced

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