During my last haircut, I asked the stylist what she was using, because it smelled soooooo good. She said it was a product with flax seed in it, and I said,”Wow, that’s what my husband puts in his breakfast smoothies.” She laughed awkwardly and we settled back into the pockets of silence that are customary between new client and hairdresser. When I got home, I had to ask him which benefits attracted him to flaxseed for his daily breakfast shake, so M is a guest editor for this post. Said smoothie is about as attractive as the bean burger from my last post and apparently just as ridiculously healthy. The 7:30am blender usually jolts me out of bed, but we’ve found that there really are no quiet blenders. We had an Oster that was ok but the bottom of the pitcher cracked and leaked after a week and a half. Now we have a beautiful Kitchen Aid 5-speed that sounds like a weed whacker but works like a dream. Back to the smoothie- its usually a thick purpley-grey with with seeds throughout. M usually uses either hemp seeds, chia seeds, or flaxseed, but never more than one per smoothie (hazard of extreme intestinal distress!). He also doesn’t use milk in his smoothies, to keep them vegan. You can substitute if you like.
A little wikipedia info about the nutritional values and benefits of all 3 seeds:
Flaxseed: contains high levels of dietary fiber as well as lignans, an abundance of micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids…may lower cholesterol levels…may benefit individuals with certain types of breast and prostate cancers…may also lessen the severity of diabetes by stabilizing blood-sugar levels….100g of ground flax seed supplies about 450 calories, 41g of fat, 28g of fiber, and 20g of protein.
Chia seeds: rich in omega-3 fatty acids, since the seeds yield 25–30% extractable oil…a 1 oz (28 gram) serving of chia seeds contains 9g of fat, 5mg of sodium, 11g of dietary fiber and 4g of protein. The seeds also have 18% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, 27% phosphorus and 30% manganese.
Hemp seeds: approximately 44% of the weight of hempseed is edible oils, containing about 80% essential fatty acids (EFAs); e.g., linoleic acid, omega-6, alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3, in addition to gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 and stearidonic acid, omega-3. Proteins are the other major component (33%). Hemp protein contains all 21 known amino acids, including the 9 essential ones adult bodies cannot produce.
Side note: This recipe contains an insane amount of fiber, so consume within decent proximity to a bathroom. Seriously. Also be prepared for a huge boost in energy. M hasn’t had coffee since he started making these, and he’s got way more energy than I ever have. Secret food admission: The texture of a smoothie absolutely horrifies me. Even if the taste is sweet, I cannot get past that dense, seedy liquid. It seems like 99% of all healthy and health-conscious people also have them for breakfast, so I’m pretty sure I am missing something by not drinking them. I’ll always be a work in progress…
- 1 tblsp. chia seeds
- 2 cups of water (more depending on how thick or thin you like your smoothie)
- a handful of kale (yes, that's how he measures it)
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup of blueberries (sometimes he adds strawberries as well, or pineapple, depending on what we have in the fridge)
- 1 tsp. of minced ginger or ginger paste
- a handful of dried goji berries
- Put the chia seeds, goji berries and water in the blender and let them rest for about 5-10 minutes. The chia seeds will start to gel the water and the berries can get slightly(albeit very slightly) reconstituted.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and run the blender on liquefy for about 45 seconds to 1 minute.