This week, the worst thing that could possibly happen to someone who cooks or works with food, happened to me: my allergies have gotten so bad that I lost my sense of taste and smell almost completely. The only flavor that my tongue has been able to distinguish for the past few days is unbearably spicy. The chewy, fudgy brownies I made, dusted with matcha? Flavorless. The rich, spiced tea that I drink every night before bed? Might as well be plain water. My beautiful, delicious (in theory) meals that I've been concocting all week feel wasted, and it's honestly been the most depressing thing ever. At least my coworkers tell me my food smells good in the break room. I wouldn't know.
I've been relying on textures in my meals to get me through this very difficult time. I never fully realized how much texture contributes to how satisfying you perceive a meal to be, and my smoothie bowls have been filling the void in my heart every morning, with the thick, rich, creaminess of the smoothie, the crunch of the granola, the beads of chia and bits of fruit bursting in my mouth. I wake up craving green smoothies about 5 days a week. They are seriously so filling, nutritious, and versatile...and they don't even have to be green!!
My smoothies and smoothie bowls are such a fixture in my life, and are so simple to master, so it was only natural that they would be next up in my Back to the Basics series. I've posted below my ritual recipe, as well as suggestions for modifying it to your liking or changing it up to stay out of the begrudged smoothie rut. Enjoy!
Basic Green Smoothie:
- 1frozen, sliced banana
- 1/2-3/4 c frozen fruit (I usually use one small handful mango, 1 small handful pineapple)
- handfuls leafy greens (My go-to is kale, you can also use spinach, chard, etc.)
- Tbsp. nut butter (Peanut butter is my life, but almond butter, tahini, coconut butter, or avocado will all function as a healthy fat source for maximal nutrient absorption and flavor!)
- 1 scoop protein powder (I used a hemp-based powder, but use your favorites here, opting for something unsweetened with minimal extra ingredients!)
- a few heavy shakes of cinnamon
- 2/3-1 c liquid (I opt for 1/3 c coconut water and 1/3 c almond milk)
- Optional add-ins: 1 Tbsp chia seeds, 1 tsp maca powder (my favorite for balancing hormones!), 1 scoop probiotic greens powder for extra nutrients, 1/2 inch knob fresh ginger or turmeric, peeled, 1/4 c rolled oats
Once you've mastered the basic recipe (fruit + greens + fat + protein + liquid + cinnamon...yes it qualifies as a food group for me...) in the right proportions, you can experiment with substitutions to change the flavor! The smoothie by itself is perfect for a breakfast on the go or a pre or post-workout snack, or you can pull a Haley and scoop it into a bowl and top with granola, coconut shreds, hemp seeds...whatever your heart desires! The smoothie bowl serves as a perfectly balanced meal that will keep you full and your blood sugar stable until lunch time.