Friday, October 28, 2011

Super-Lunch Smoothie

Dear speed reader and full-day-keeper, 

This smoothie is my absolute favorite lunch.  I must have made it a hundred times by now, but I never get tired of it.  I think you'll enjoy it as much as I do - it is refreshing, delicious, creamy, and nutritious.  What else could we ask for?  

I use a few ingredients that you may not recognize right away: maca root and bee pollen.  I bought the maca powder in our local health store and the bee pollen from Azure.

Why these strange ingredients, you may ask?  Here are some notes from a wonderful cookbook I've mentioned to you before, Raw Food Real World:

Bee pollen is granulated pollen gathered by the bees and is one of nature’s most complete, nutritious foods.  About 40% protein, half of which is free amino acids, bee pollen supplies humans with almost every essential element we need to survive.  It is also markedly high in folic acid, vitamins, and nucleic acids, and is though to help cure chronic digestive and autoimmune diseases.  And women, listen up: not only has bee pollen been tapped to stimulate the production of eggs from ovaries, it also plays a role in preventing and treating such cancers as breast and uterine

Peruvian Maca is a powdered supplement that comes from the Peruvian maca root.  It contains amino acids, complex carbs, vitamins B1, B2, B12, C, and E and minerals, including calcium, phosphorous, zinc, magnesium and iron.  Among many other purported benefits, it is said to be excellent for balancing hormones, building muscle, enhancing stamina, and increasing fertility.  Maca tastes a bit funny, almost like powdered sweet potato. It goes best in shakes with plenty of banana or other strong flavors.  If you don’t love the taste, you can also find the powder in capsule form.  

I love the creamy, rich flavor the maca adds to my shakes (it is not overpowering in any way) so much so that I can't even stand a shake without it any more!  It's like a super-food version of malted milk powder.  Bee pollen can be tasted if you put in too much, but I put in so little that I can't taste it at all.  Once I dumped an overfull teaspoonful into a small bowl of oatmeal and it lent a very buttery flavor, and I wouldn't care to try that again! 

The protein powder that I use is called Spiru-Tein.  This as my protein powder of choice because it is vegetarian and so doesn't contain animal product, or whey, fructose, maltodextrin, genetically modified ingredients, or sucralose like many other protein powders do (including the popular Muscle Milk!).  You can read the ingredients of my favorite flavor, chocolate, here!  

Super-Lunch Smoothie 

10 - 13 ice cubes 
Protein powder of your choice (I use chocolate Spiru-Tein)
Pinch of bee pollen
1/2 teaspoon maca powder
Approximately one cup soy or almond milk, plain or vanilla flavored
1 large banana, peeled

Everything into the blender in the order listed.  You will need to vary the amount of milk and ice required based on the power of your blender, and how thick or thin you like your smoothie.  

Blend on high power until it is fully smooth, stopping occasionally to shake the blender if necessary or add more ice or milk.  Enjoy!

Variation: If you don't have milk, you can substitute water or coconut water, and add an additional banana to maintain the thick creaminess.  However, once you've had  the original smoothie with milk, you will know that this still-delicious runner-up is just that - a runner-up, not the real deal!  

Sipping daintily, 

Mrs H



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