There was a time when, to me, “liquid lunch” meant cocktails at noon with my exuberant Uncle. Although these were enjoyable afternoons, those days are long gone, and, since then, the term has taken on quite a different meaning.
Allow me to introduce you to my power-packed friend, The Smoothie.
Smoothies have earned a starring-role in my diet for several reasons: They’re quick and easy to prepare, clean up and consume, and they travel exceptionally well. Most importantly, they allow me to supply my body with more of the vital nutrients it requires than I’d otherwise be able to fit in at most meals – a task than can feel daunting.
Oh, and did I mention they’re also delicious? They really are.
When Miss P was a newborn (before we mastered the whole babywearing thing), smoothies were often the only “meal” I had a chance to prepare until Tim got home from work- usually late in the evening.
As a brand new and exhausted nursing Mama, it was important for me -and Miss P- that I maintained a healthy diet, so when the stash of frozen meals my mom had prepared to get me through my first week home dwindled, I was grateful to have some stellar smoothie recipes in my arsenal.
Here’s one of my all-time favorites. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
Dairy-Free Simple Banana Walnut Smoothie:
This rich and creamy smoothie is reminiscent of a decadent banana bread, but you can sip sans guilt; bananas serve as a source of steady energy, walnuts add protein and are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and cinnamon has powerful anti-inflamitory properties. What a healthy – and delicious – way to start your day!
Makes one [very] large serving
- 1 large ripe banana, frozen (Though you can use fresh, frozen makes a much creamier smoothie.)
- 1/4 cup raw walnuts, soaked (see note below)
- 2 or 3 pitted medjool dates
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup filtered water
- Handful of ice cubes (optional)
Toss all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender, blend until smooth, and viola! You have yourself a light – yet surprisingly filling – nutrient dense meal or snack. (I like to sprinkle my finished-product with additional cinnamon because it looks snazzy, plus I just absolutely love the stuff.)
NOTE: Nuts contain phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which make them difficult to digest. Soaking your raw walnuts in filtered water overnight (or for at least 8 hours) will deactivate these properties making it easier for your body to absorb the nutrients you’re supplying it with.