As I was creating my morning smoothie, (chocolate-banana-strawberry, w/cacao power) I realized it might be helpful to share a bit more information about some of the ingredients I incorporate into my everyday “Breakfast in a Cup”. Warning…if you have children, do not share the details of these ingredients with them. In fact, lie to them! When my kids ask me if there are any “sticks, twigs or dirt” (aka, health food) in the smoothie, I respond with only the basic ingredients-fruit & milk. Now keep in mind, I am not encouraging you to lie to your children on a daily basis…just in the beginning. Once you have them hooked on this outstanding breakfast choice, you can slowly begin to tell them about all of the nutritious ingredients you have been hiding in their smoothies! By the way, I recommend sharing this truth at about age 20!
As you become hooked on hiding as many healthy foods in your smoothies as possible, you will probably become filled with excitement and want to tell your spouse and/or friends about these amazing ingredients…DON’T! Keep in mind, your ultimate goal is for your family to be as healthy as possible, right?! And, we all know that change can be difficult the older we become. Take this process slowly…one healthy step at a time!
Wifey gives me more excuses than the kids do about why she does not like smoothies. In fact, just for fun, I have created a list of her top 10 excuses…
Wifey’s Top 10 Excuses for not Liking Smoothies
- She does not like the consistency. (She loves milk shakes and malts!)
- She is not a fan of almond milk. (She eats almonds for a snack every day!)
- She does not like bananas. (Last time I checked, there were other fruit options!)
- She is afraid of too much fiber. (Really…?)
- She is afraid the chia seeds will stick in her teeth. (She owns a toothbrush.)
- She believes that anything green belongs only in salad.(Salad for breakfast??)
- She refers to spirulina as duck food. (It is 3.5 billions years old! It has to be amazing!)
- She prefers “chocolate” in the form of PB M&Ms. (M&Ms are not guiltless chocolate!)
- She refuses to eat something with “germ” in the name. (Wheat germ is not a germ!)
- She calls hemp “mushy green mash” that is used for making rope. (I have no words)
I think it is time to clear up a few misconceptions about these superfoods…
For some of the more difficult to find products, I have included links to Amazon.com. I order many of these products through Amazon, for the prices are much cheaper than my local market.
Chia Seeds: The word chia is derived from the Mayan language, meaning “strength”. These powerful seeds were used by Aztec warriors to increase energy and stamina. Chia seeds have a mild, nutty flavor. They can be used in smoothies, pudding, sprinkled on salads and added to baked goods. Most importantly, they are loaded with Omega -3 fatty acids!
Flaxseeds: The Latin translation for the word flax means “most useful”. Since ancient times, flax has been used for intestinal problems. These wonderful seeds are packed with Omega – 3 fatty acids, while also providing fiber and protein.
Wheat Germ: Wheat germ has a nutty flavor and is the heart of the wheat berry. It is a great source of daily fiber and folic acid. Wheat Germ is also packed with numerous vitamins and minerals. It is known to boost the immune system and has anti-aging properties. Wheat germ can positively affect muscle development, stamina and healing. Add this healthy goodness to your smoothies, baked goods or as a breading for chicken and fish.
Hemp Protein Powder: Hemp seeds are a wonderful plant-based protein supplement. Hemp contains 21 essential amino acids and is a powerful source of fiber. This protein powder is perfect for smoothies, as well as baked goods.
Spirulina: Spirulina is a single celled organism that is classified as a blue-green algae. It is over 3.5 billion years old and known to be one of the most complete food sources on Earth. It has antioxidants that will strengthen your immune system and over all heath and wellness. Spirulina is known to detoxify and help balance PH levels, while providing fatty acids, vitamins and minerals to the body. Holding over 60% protein, this superfood is the most digestible source of veggie protein. This can be tricky to find. I order organic spirulina from Amazon.com. Here is the link, if you are having trouble finding this in your local market: Organic Spirulina Powder – Vegan Protein, USDA Certified
Matcha: Matcha is powdered green tea. When you consume matcha, you ingest the entire leaf and receive 100% of its nutrients. Matcha has 137x more antioxidants than brewed green tea. Matcha is know for improving skin health, burning calories, detoxifying the body, enhancing mood/focus, preventing disease and lowering cholesterol/ blood sugar. Once again, if you are having difficulty locating organic matcha, here is the Amazon.com link for Enzo’s Organic Matcha: Matcha Green Tea Powder 4oz – Organic Vegan Milky Taste USDA Certified
Cacao Powder: I like to think of Cacao powder as chocolate without the guilt! Cacao powder is unprocessed and does not contain added sugar, thus retaining its key nutrients. If you love chocolate, this powder is perfect for smoothies, shakes, coffee and baked goods. Yum!! I love this brand and have not been able to find it where I shop. Thank goodness for Amazon.com! Viva Naturals – Certified Organic Cacao Powder, 1 LB It also comes in “nibs”, which are a great replacement for chocolate chips in baking! Viva Naturals – Organic Raw Cacao Nibs, 1 lb Bag
Now you see exactly why these superfoods are worth a little fibbing to your family! Keep in mind, there are many wonderful brands for these products. The ones pictured above just happen to be my favorites!♥
Watch for my 3 favorite smoothie recipes in next Friday’s blog entry!
Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…