This week I treated myself to some new items at the health food store. An Organic Planet opened on our street a few months ago....so I now have two stores (much too close to home) full of delicious, healthy, expensive, goodness that I just can't seem to get enough of.
My most recent purchases? Spiru-tein Vanilla Protein Powder, Hemp Hearts, and Flaxseed Oil. I've been wanting to boost the health content in my smoothies for awhile now, which is why I've started incorporating coconut, ginger, and greens. Since I typically enjoy one of these after working out, or early morning, I decided it would be good to start adding in protein powder. In the past I've tried to stay away from protein powders because they typically have lots of sugars and carbs to amp up their flavors. Organic Planet has Spiru-tein, a dairy free Protein Powder that comes unsweetened, with 0 grams of sugar and only 4 grams of carbs per scoop. It doesn't add any flavor, so if you decide to try it make sure to add something with a stronger taste like berries, or you can use a sweetener like agave nectar or honey.
The Hemp Hearts look sort of like tiny sesame seeds. They offer a variety of health benefits: lower cholesterol, increase energy, improve immunity levels, reduce inflammation, weight loss, improve muscle recovery, lots of vitamin E so good for skin, hair, and nails, lower blood presure, and help control blood sugar. If you do any sort of search on Hemp Seeds you will find tons of articles that go into more details about these benefits.
People have been talking about Flaxseed Oil for awhile now, so you are probably familiar with the benefits: may help protect against cancers such as breast cancer, prostate, and colon, reduce risks of heart and lung diseases, reduce inflammation, also good for healthy hair, skin and nails.
Here are two Green Berry Smoothie Recipes -
1/2 banana, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup frozen fruit - mangos, raspberries, blueberries, 1/2 scoop unsweetened Spiru-tein, 1 TBSP Hemp Hearts, 1 TBSP Flaxseed Oil, 1 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 Cup unsweetened Almond Milk. Blend everything together. Add water or coconut water to get to the consistency you desire. Have a little taste. If it's not sweet enough for you, add a tiny bit of agave. The flavor was perfect for me without agave but the protein powder does take away some of the natural sweetness so you may like to add some! Serve and sprinkle with a little cinnamon and extra Hemp Hearts.
I made this smoothie earlier in the week before all of my new purchases! I used 1/2 banana, 1 cup spinach, 1 cup combined frozen raspberries and blueberries, handful of pea shoots, 1 kiwi, 1/2 pear, 2 TBSP Peanut Butter, 1 cup unsweetened almond coconut milk, slice of ginger. Blend, serve, top with cinnamon and sliced almonds.
Both recipes are delicious. My favorite smoothies have lots of berries with a peanut buttery flavor. The hemp hearts give that flavor too so you can use less PB if you use them. One tip when using leafy greens like spinach, kale, or pea shoots - put them into the blender first, then add fruit and liquids. If you forget, no worries, you may just have to mix with a spoon a few times during the blending process.
One more thing, if you feel you don't have time in the mornings, try making a simplified version of both of these. Eyeball your measurements. Use the frozen fruit that doesn't require any chopping, peeling, or prep work. Most blenders have measurements on them, so you don't need to pre-measure liquids. Grab a handful of spinach. Throw in a quick scoop of protein powder if you need it. These really take very little time to make, so just give it a try before you decide they won't fit into your schedule. Plus....you can sip on these as you get ready for your day which also helps cut down on time!