Sunday, November 8, 2009

Breakfast Smoothies

Occasionally I'm asked to suggest breakfast recipes. This is difficult for me to do because I don't eat breakfast in the traditional sense. Instead, I start every day with a high-fiber, protein smoothie that often incorporates fruit or chocolate (cocoa powder) that satisfies and keeps me going for hours! About a year and a half ago, I gave up cereal, toast, oatmeal, bagels, muffins or anything else many people turn to for breakfast because these items just don't contain the same nutritional density that my smoothie does and all are downright "carb-age" and would do my body more harm than good. I give my morning smoothies a lot of credit for my initial weight loss and I continue to drink them to maintain my weight. I want to be clear: I don't have a smoothie with breakfast, the smoothie IS my breakfast. But it doesn't need to be used only as a replacement for the morning meal, it can be used anytime of the day as a meal replacement.

Most of the products I use in my smoothies are easily found in your grocery store, such as frozen fruit, fresh fruit, cocoa powder, creamy nut butters and almond milk. There are other ingredients that may need to be ordered on the Internet. For example, to boost the fiber content, I add PaleoFiber powder which contains 10 grams of fiber per tablespoon! (If you don't have a fiber powder, substitute Ground Flaxseed Meal or chia seeds which are good sources of Omega-3 fatty acids.) Also, for flavoring, I often add Sweet Leaf flavored stevia drops. My favorites are Vanilla Creme, English Toffee, Lemon Drop and Dark Chocolate. For my protein powder, I have used almost exclusively collagen hydrolysate and highly recommend it for this purpose. It is pure, unflavored protein that contains all of the essential amino acids without other additives or fillers. It dissolves in cold, warm or hot liquids. If you're in the weight loss phase and wish to purchase another type of protein powder, I suggest purchasing a low-carb one made especially for weight loss which will help you accomplish this goal.

Green Smoothies are the craze these days. My mother has one every morning and she swears by them. If you're lucky enough to own a Vitamix high-power blender or another brand with a 2-hp motor or higher, try one soon. A regular blender will work, but you may have to blend for a longer amount of time. Green Smoothies are a mixture of fresh or frozen fruit, leafy greens (such as spinach, kale and collards) and water that has been liquefied into a smooth, vitamin-packed drink. The fruit adds sweetness and disguises the taste of the greens. It's a great way to get two or more servings of vegetables in one sitting. Here's a link to a video that will show you how easy it is to make one: Green Smoothie Video. If you want to learn more, search YouTube.com for other excellent demonstrations and testimonials about green smoothies.

Finally, before I post a couple of my own recipes for smoothies, I would like to recommend a few low-carb smoothie recipe books that I use for flavor ideas:


2. Low-Carb Smoothies by Dana Carpender. (This one is out of print, but very good if you can find it.)



My Breakfast Smoothie Recipes


Strawberry Banana Smoothie (Makes 1 serving, pictured above)

In a blender, blend on high until well mixed together:

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
½ cup unsweetened plain yogurt (or unsweetened plain kefir)
2 packets stevia (I use Sweet Leaf brand)
1/4 small banana
1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
1 tablespoon PaleoFiber powder (or substitute chia seed or ground flaxseed meal)
1 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate (or Vanilla protein powder of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Information per serving: 276 calories, 44.7 g carbohydrate, 2.6 g total fat, 14.3 g fiber, 16.7 g protein.

Snickers Smoothie (Makes 1 serving)

In a blender, blend on high until well mixed together:

1 cup almond milk, unsweetened
½ cup unsweetened plain yogurt (or unsweetened plain kefir)
2 packets stevia (I use Sweet Leaf brand)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
5 drops English Toffee stevia
1 heaping tablespoon creamy peanut butter or almond butter (no sugar added)
1 tablespoon PaleoFiber powder (or substitute chia seed or ground flaxseed meal)
1 tablespoon collagen hydrolysate (or Vanilla protein powder of your choice)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Nutritional Information per serving: 309 calories, 35.2 g carbohydrate, 11.2 g total fat, 14.8 g fiber, 18.4 g protein.


Original recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2009

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