January 27, 2016

Banana split smoothie



I love recipes. They are a source of inspiration — new ideas, new ingredients, new techniques. Sometimes the hardest thing about cooking is figuring out what to make, and having a good collection of recipes to turn to can eliminate the mind-wracking search for a lunch, brunch or dinner idea. As much as I admire creative recipes, though, I often cook on the fly, inventing as I go. Or fall into a rut. The rut is especially apparent when it comes to breakfast. I can find an interesting recipe or create my own at dinner, but breakfast usually finds me in a muddle.

I'm not a morning person, and never have been. As a child, I could never bring myself to eat breakfast before leaving for school — it was just too early. Even, more recently, when I used to rise at 6 a.m. to get ready for work, it was only so I could leave the office earlier in the afternoon, not because I was at my best in the morning, or because I wanted time to make a good breakfast. Breakfast? Hardly. I'm all in favor of brunch recipes, but breakfast ideas are usually lost on me. If I can drink it from a mug or spread it on a cracker, it might get consumed. Most of the year, when it's relatively warm out (and in the house) smoothies are my breakfast of choice — throw stuff in the blender, pour it into a jar, and drink it. I have my set list of favorite add-ins, and vary the fruit a bit, but my smoothies don't change much from day to day.



Not long ago, on a mild winter day, I came across a recipe for a healing banana split smoothie at Lexie's Kitchen and Living that sounded so delicious I was willing to break out of my breakfast rut to try it. I had it three days in a row, but then I began to miss all the foods I had been adding to my smoothies to make them healthier and more filling, and I decided to incorporate my old smoothie ingredients with the new ones, and fall into a new, delicious smoothie rut. To the banana split smoothie ingredients in the blender, I added one tablespoon of chia seeds, two tablespoons of hemp hearts, 1/3 cup of uncooked rolled oats and a handful of raisins. I didn't add the thick slice of organic lemon (with skin) that usually goes into my smoothies because I didn't think the flavor would go well with the peanut butter and cacao. And I used an unfrozen banana since the cherries I added were frozen. It tasted great and kept me full for hours. This is my new 'in-a-rut' smoothie, and I love it!

Notes: When I make my usual breakfast smoothie, I use water or a combination of water and homemade soy yogurt for the liquid, though I've been using almond milk as called for in Lexie's recipe. And I use frozen organic fruit (from Costco) such as cherries, mango, blueberries, strawberries or cranberries, singly or in combination. If the smoothie is too thin, I add a few cubes of ice. My preferred brand of almond milk is 365 organic almond milk from the refrigerated case at Whole Foods because it seems to have the fewest noxious additives of the refrigerated almond milks. I should make my own, I know.

12 comments:

  1. I emphathise with the breakfast rut - it's all too easy to just make the same thing over and over again when you're short on time. I love frozen cherries in smoothies! Maybe if I can convince myself I'm having dessert, I'll remember to make this for breakfast!

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    1. I had the smoothie again today, but I forgot the peanut butter! I was so annoyed with myself, but not enough to put it back in the blender and add the pb. I was short on time this morning and still managed to eat something for breakfast — for me that's a win.

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  2. For as much as I love pouring over recipes, developing recipes, hunting down recipes... I must admit, I rarely actually follow them. There's a whole lot to be said for simply following your intuition and learning from taste and experience. Your no-recipe smoothie is an excellent example!

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    1. Although I don't follow recipes as a rule (except when testing recipes for a cookbook or using a complex or technical recipe for the first time) I do try to make sure the recipes I post are accurate, so people who do like to follow recipes get a good result. I often get my husband (a recipe follower by necessity) to try them out before I post. I agree with you that following your own intuition is more fun!

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  3. I'm a smoothie fan but really only drink them on days off as I don't have the time to prep and then wash the blender in the morning, nor do I want to start the day off with that noise.
    But this sounds like a good alternative to what I usually make.

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    1. Your smoothies tend to be more complex and green, while mine are frozen fruity and adding stuff from jars — very fast. The blender takes about a minute to wash out. The noise is another matter, and I agree it's not the most pleasant sound to start the day. Plus smoothies when it's cold out are too cold.

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  4. This looks like a great one to add to my repertoire (when it's warm). I too cannot eat first thing in the morning unless I sleep really late. This rarely happens with a dog that likes to snuggle on workdays but rise with the sun on days off.

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    1. My dog is very patient and waits for me to lead the way when it comes to getting up. She's never in a big hurry to go out into the rain. She also doesn't like eating first thing in the morning. We're well matched!

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  5. Love the "healing" additions to a smoothie, I'll have to try adding some of those. It's much too cold in the morning for me to have a smoothie but perfect for refreshing afternoon snack. :-)

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    1. Sometimes I reverse breakfast and lunch so I can have a smoothie! Chocolate as a healing food works for me. :)

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  6. I've been making smoothies using Sun Warrior, spirulina, and hemp powder. It's more of a vegetarian style smoothie because I add raw eggs but you can also make it without. I like to make my drink the same consistency as cookie batter.

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    1. I know some people really like to add protein powders, but although I add hemp seeds to my smoothies, I never add protein isolates because I prefer to eat whole foods. As for raw eggs, I though people avoided them because of the risk of salmonella.

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