day 10 Seaweed in a Smoothie, and other adventures

In yesterday’s smoothie post, I mentioned that I’m not really a fan of protein powders. They’re too concentrated, and I think they’re unnecessary for most of us on a regular basis. Today HuffPo published ways to add protein to our smoothies. Most of these add calories, fat, creaminess, and yumminess. Powders can be yummy, too, but sometimes are chalky. 

If you use a milk (dairy or otherwise) as the liquid base of your smoothie, those milks will contain protein (nuts and beans more, grains less).  

Here’s a really good ingredient to try: add oats. Oats will make the texture very creamy. Oats are high calorie and very filling, so even though the article tells us a full cup of oatmeal has 11 grams of protein, that’s a lot of oatmeal.  I also like the idea of adding quinoa to a smoothie for someone like my son who doesn’t otherwise eat it.

The article recommends adding nuts and seeds. I love pumpkin seeds and walnuts; however, both can be bitter so start small if you’re adding them to smoothies. I also prefer to eat them, not blend them, because they’re crunchy and it’s good for our digestion to chew. So rather than adding these to a smoothie, consider eating a handful along with drinking a smoothie.

Remember that Chia seeds can be a bit slimy, so start small and make sure you like the texture. I prefer flax meal to flax seeds because of the texture, but the meal doesn’t stay fresh long. Buy it, mark the date with a sharpie on the bag, and then store it in your fridge or freezer where it will last for a month or two. Just like a protein powder, all you really need is a tablespoon. You can buy seeds and use them or grind them, and they’ll last longer. Read more about flax here. 

I love sprinkling hemp on my veggies. Sprinkle hemp seeds on top of a smoothie or ice cream, or blend them in. They’re light and nutty. Get a small sample size first and make sure you like the taste. Hemp is supposed to have Omega-3 and Omega-6 essential fatty acids. Hemp is high in protein, containing all nine of the essential amino acids. Read more about hemp here. 

Here’s one more warning that follows from yesterday’s “too much of a good thing” strand. I love and adore cacao nibs. My whole system lights up when I eat a few. Of course, that’s my cue to eat a bunch. Quickly. This has had the unfortunate side effect of messing up my sleep (so so wired) and messing up my digestion (no details for you, uh huh). If you follow this recipe for a chocolate seaweed shake, plan on sharing it because two bananas and two tablespoons of cacao will do a number on you. 

I’ve never tried seaweed in a smoothie. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I do feel pretty good about experimenting, though. Last night we cut into a watermelon that wasn’t very good. The texture was mealy and it wasn’t very sweet. I cut up the melon, put most in the freezer, and put the rest in the blender along with a small bit of rice milk and coconut milk and some coconut sugar. I threw that mix into the ice cream maker and, yahoo, the not good watermelon had been turned into a yummy ice cream. 

If you’ve got fruits or veggies that are not luscious but still nutritious, blend them up for a soup, a smoothie, an ice cream mix, a pancake mix. Start thinking of produce as a base. Vegetables aren’t a side dish or an add on. They’re the base of the meal, or the smoothie, or the dessert, or the snack.