Friday, May 25, 2012

PHOTO A DAY - UNUSUAL


Swamp sludge for breakfast, anyone? This is my ostensibly unusual breakfast: the green smoothie. It gets its dark green hue mostly from Spirulina, but it also contains a whole kiwifruit (as well as half a banana and a tablespoon of Chia seeds soaked in a cup of water).


Green Smoothies are an excellent and effortless way to get a good dose of nutrients from fruit, vegetables and superfoods. I found this handy guide to making perfect green smoothies from an interview with culinary nutritionist Marni Wasserman at Fresh Juice:


Your smoothie base: 1 to 2 cups of liquid


Unless you want to eat your smoothie with a spoon, you need to start with some liquid: water, milk, yogurt, juice or kefir are some great options. Wasserman prefers alternative milks such as almond and hemp. "Both almond milk and hemp milk have healthy fats, protein and fibre," she says. Plus, they result in a creamier smoothie than one made with water alone. Is your blender struggling? Feel free to add more liquid as you go if your smoothie isn't blending easily.
The greens: 2-1/2 to 3 cups, torn
Packed with chlorophyll, fibre, magnesium, iron and zinc, plus a whole host of other vitamins and minerals, leafy greens put the punch in your smoothie. Wasserman recommends rotating your greens to ensure plenty of nutritional variety.
"Some greens have more vitamin C, some have more calcium, some have more magnesium," she says. "That way, over time you can build up the stores of the essential nutrients that your body needs to thrive." Try rotating spinach, kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce and Swiss chard.
The fruit: 1-1/2 to 2 cups
Here comes the tasty part: adding fruit gives natural sweetness and added vitamins to your green smoothie. Add bananas for potassium (and a rich, creamy smoothie), berries for antioxidants and tartness or mangoes for fibre and natural sweetness. Like your smoothies ice cold? Try using frozen fruit instead of fresh.
The booster: A scoop of protein powder & a handful of superfoods
Now's your chance to try out those fascinating superfoods you pass by every time you're in the grocery store: chia seeds, lentil protein, dried kelp -- the world is your smoothie.
Wasserman recommends tossing in everything from goji berries to hemp seeds to bee pollen (although probably not all at once.) "They're all superfoods and have an immense amount of nutrients. Just one tablespoon goes a long way," she says. She suggests also adding a plant-based protein powder to fuel your morning.

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