Oh my goodness, I just had to post my newest favorite green smoothie! That is, if I could even still get away with calling it GREEN because there is plenty of chocolate yumminess covering up all that green stuff. (Note: This could be especially helpful to those trying to share their green smoothies with their children.) I'm going to have to appropriately rename this CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY BANANA MILKSHAKE instead. Ok, so here are the ingredients:
* 3 TBSP ground chia seed (mixed into 1/4 c of water until the consistency of egg whites)
* 2 TBSP raw cacao powder
* 2 cups Dark Chocolate Almond Milk (Silk brand - luckily sold at Wegman's and Target which almost everyone has nearby...no?)
* 3 cups of raw coarsely chopped greens (swiss chard, spinach, kale, collards, beet, turnip, etc.)
* 2 bananas, fresh or frozen
* 1 yogurt of your choice (we usually use Fage greek yogurts so the choice is ours on using the attached fruit puree)
* 1 cup of strawberries, fresh or frozen
This makes 6 cups!
(STOP DROOLING and get blending, I know, I know!!!)
Protein, check. Probiotics, check. Fruits, check. Greens, check. Superfoods, check. Whether you follow the basic food pyramid guide (which is now "ChooseMyPlate") or the Brewer Diet, you get to check off many of your daily requirements with one glass. In these ingredients above, you have great sources of Vit. A, B (folic acid), C, K, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, carotenoids, antioxidants, fiber, sulfur, and neurotransmitters (like serotonin and endorphins!) OH MY!
A client of mine was working on managing high blood pressure right from the start of her third trimester, and initially we were just trying to think of some ways to incorporate more calcium and magnesium into her already pretty fantastic diet - we needed some more creativity. So it got me thinking. I always want to find new delicious green smoothie recipes. How could we combine that with her meeting her specific nutritional needs? I started experimenting and became fascinated until I perfected it. Ok, so chocolate? Huh? Yes! Cocoa, in general is so high in essential minerals, see here. Raw cacao powder, from our local health food store (Martindale's) is not only a good source of both calcium and magnesium but happens to be the #1 BEST food source of magnesium. I figured if we combined the raw cacao powder with the almond milk which is just as high in calcium and Vit. D as cow milk, but less calories, higher in vit. c, antioxidants, and super tasty - we'd have a really healthy yummy treat. The special benefit being that it could aid her or anyone in managing that all too common high BP issue that can sometimes creep up at the end of pregnancy. And then my new favorite thing to include in all of my smoothie recipes is ground chia seed. When mixed with water, it adds this thick creaminess and makes any smoothie taste more like a milkshake. The benefits to chia are endless, really. It is another amazing superfood that I love - like blueberries, brussel sprouts, kale, avocado, coconut, etc. I linked everything up above on the ingredients list in case anyone is interested in learning more. I really try to find ways to help women remain healthy and low risk so they can not only feel good but stay on their path towards normal birth and having a healthy baby. And this delicious treat seems like a good tool to me!
***If you want to cut the sugar (as that is the one downside to the dark choc almond milk - 21 g sugar per 8 oz), you can cut the recipe with water or unsweetened almond milk and surely still be in for quite a treat with all the creaminess and fruit!
Please share below if you have a favorite green smoothie/milkshake recipe! Spinoffs are great, too. Use what you have on hand. It can be so basic. It can be adapted to the gluten free, dairy free, or vegan crowd, too! Get in those greens!