Smoothie Tales

IMGP6614Breakfast has always been a wishy washy topic for me. Studies show that a good breakfast makes for a better day, mentally, physically, and energy-wise.

I believe all this intellectually; however, I’m not sure I’ve ever really noticed that much of a difference personally when I eat breakfast vs. not. I don’t wake up starving, which is part of the issue. And I don’t love America’s favorite food – boxed cereal. Breakfast is typically yogurt. Quick and easy, but I hadn’t personally experienced a breakfast conversion until recently.

Now my kids have historically always eaten a bowl of cereal first thing and I have very mixed emotions about that. I believe cereal is essentially a bowl of sugary air. However, my husband makes breakfast for the kids (he wakes up at the crack of dawn and I’ve delegated this task) and, well, you don’t look a cereal gift horse in the mouth.

In recent discussions with a woman I know, she swore up and down that when her kids eat a healthy, protein-rich breakfast, they have better moods, more energy and more focus (DING, DING, DING). She’s a naturopath and suggested a pea-based protein powder to add to smoothies in the morning.

I took it because I am HIGHLY persuadable when people tell me that food will help whatever issues I’m dealing with. Yes, this meant I would have to do it myself. Yes, this meant breakfast was going to take longer to make. Yes, it meant I gotta clean up the mess. Three strikes against.

BUT… I started doing it for our whole family and it is making a WORLD of difference. We all feel better, more focused, more full and steadier. After nearly a month of this, my daughter is getting a little tired of them and I know I’ve gotta mix it up with other options before she balks entirely. I’m now on the hunt for a few good make ahead protein breakfast options. (She doesn’t like eggs or bacon or sausage– insert sad face).

Since I’m prone to over-sharing, I thought I’d tell you that the reason I think these smoothies are working is because we are including pea protein powder (see note 1), chia seeds (see note 2), a handful of spinach/Kale (see note 3), and then all the typical stuff you would put in like fruit and almond milk and honey (see note 4).

We own a VERY old Vitamix that I purchased at a rummage sale (cuz that’s how I role) and it makes a big difference. Better blenders reduce the grittiness factor.

A few notes:

Note 1: Pea protein powder is new to me, but lots of people have issues with soy and dairy(whey) and this avoids those two elements. I take the powder and mix it with water in a cup (it’ll be thick and gluey) because otherwise we notice the gritty texture.

Note 2: Chia seeds have lots of omega 3s. However, I soak them in a tiny amount of water while I’m getting everything else together to help improve the texture. They get a little bloated and gluey also and then they mix in perfectly.

Note 3: Spinach is virtually undetectable to taste (but the color is noticeable); Kale you can taste a little.

Note 4: Added sugar and honey is probably a no-no for some people, but my goal is to get this stuff in my kids’ bodies… so I add honey, as needed.

People have been making smoothies for decades and this isn’t really anything new for most people. I’ve made them myself plenty of times, but needed more protein to really get the most out of them for a breakfast meal. Plus, my poor old blenders didn’t get them completely blended up. Better blenders make all the difference. I’m also getting faster at it and learning my own little tricks to get it done more quickly.

Do you do smoothies on a regular basis? Any good recipe combos you’ve stumbled upon and want to share? I’m all ears…

Smoothie Tales