FUNCTIONAL FOOD | The Everything Smoothie

Hello everyone!

I’m so happy and excited to officially be posting on Motivate’s blog!

Every two weeks, I will be posting nutrition and wellness advice, recipes, and interesting findings worth sharing with all of you. I know that we all have different interests and needs so I will try to cover different topics with every post. I would love to read your feedback so I encourage you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comments section below.

If you would like to know more about me, please visit my website Alimental G.

So, without further ado, here is a recipe of a chocolate smoothie that I love (!!!) This smoothie should satisfy your chocolate cravings (oh, we all have them!) while providing your muscles with the nutrients they need after kicking butt in class. It is rich and has a decadent taste while actually being oh so nutritious!

This recipe serves 2 because, you know, your other half or roommate is going to want some. Or you can just keep the second serving all for yourself in the fridge for later. This smoothie is almost a meal by itself! Plus it’s so creamy you can literally enjoy it with a spoon.

You will need:

photo: Gina Mehta

photo: Gina Mehta

Blender (or Vitamix)
2 frozen bananas (make sure you peel them before putting them in the freezer ;)
¼ cup rolled oats (soak these in water the night before)
¼ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup goji berries
2 tbsp cacao powder
2 tbsp organic plant protein powder (the easiest to digest are usually “Hemp”, “Sprouted Brown Rice”, and “Pea” proteins, or a combination of these)
1 small ripe avocado
⅓ cup coconut meat or unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup coconut water (Straight from the coconut is best. If not, the “Harmless Harvest” raw coconut water is great!)
¼ cup filtered water
1 cup (or a handful of) organic spinach

Optional:
1 tsp hemp seeds (to sprinkle on top to make it look pretty; you get an added protein bonus, too!)

Instructions:
Put all ingredients in the blender.
Hit the “blend” button.
Done!

Nutritional Value:

This recipe is filled with good fats, fiber, protein and complex carbs from real, whole foods that will provide a slow, constant and stable release of energy, which helps to avoid rapid spikes in your blood-sugar levels and keeps you satisfied all morning (or afternoon - depending on when you are having it).

Raw cacao is filled with antioxidants, magnesium and iron. It’s the essence of chocolate, in its purest, unadulterated form. It’s made by cold pressing the raw cacao bean; it isn’t a processed food and maintains all of its nutrients intact. Magnesium is a relaxation mineral, it is critical for energy production in the body, helps maintain blood sugar balanced and is a great sleep aid.  

Bananas are a great source of potassium and magnesium, essential in maintaining electrolyte balance, regulating fluid and pH balance, and alleviating tension.

Coconut water is another great source of potassium (better than bananas, actually), while the meat or dried flakes also contain a significant amount of iron, vitamin C and magnesium.

So what’s with the pumpkin seeds? It’s come to my attention that many of us aren’t getting enough zinc in our daily diet. Pumpkin seeds are an amazing source of zinc! Zinc is a mineral that is essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. It also supports our immune systems, our thyroid, and even our adrenal glands which help us manage stress.

Goji berries are filled with iron which is critical for metabolism, vitamin C and antioxidants which are great for our skin and protect our cells from the damaging effects of free radicals. When non-heme iron (iron from plant sources) is combined with foods high in vitamin C, it is much easier for the body to absorb the iron from the food.

illustration: lingvistov.com

illustration: lingvistov.com

Avocado Ummmm...well, does it really need an explanation? Apart from being an amazing source of fiber, folate, vitamin B5 and B6, potassium, and vitamin E, it makes any smoothie so incredibly creamy!

Rolled oats are high in fiber. They also contain manganese, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, some B vitamins and iron. I do stress to soak your rolled oats before consuming them and before adding them to your smoothie, as this will help remove the phytic acid which can make them harder to digest (keep your belly happy), and the nutrients more difficult to absorb in our bodies. Plus, phytic acid can also make some of us feel bloated! Nobody likes to feel bloated...I will go deeper into this subject in another post.

Spinach This leafy green contains iron, vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, calcium and magnesium. This is a quick and easy way to get some greens in, so why the heck not?

You might see this recipe and think it’s quite high in fats. Don’t worry, these are good fats. The fats in this recipe come from whole foods: they are real, unprocessed, and highly nutritious. Though fat has been demonized in the past, we do need some fat in our diet. It is essential for our brains. Did you know nearly 60% of our brain is fat?. We need fat to keep our skin and hair healthy and luscious. Plus, cholesterol is needed to make hormones and we all know how awful it feels when our hormones are out of whack!  

I feel it is important that we never feel deprived with our food choices; nor should we feel we need to cut out whole macronutrient groups in order to achieve short-term individual goals. This could eventually cause periods of bingeing and unnecessary guilt. Eating nutrient dense food isn’t boring unless we make it out to be! Have fun with these foods, experiment and see how you feel!

Happy eating!

Love,
Gina