Blueberry Power Smoothie
Focussing on fuelling your muscles after strength training is almost as important as the workout itself, because it helps your muscles to recover and grow. The body needs a combination of carbohydrates and proteins right after exercise and this smoothie has got those covered! A protein smoothie doesn't sound very sexy, but this drink actually tastes a lot like a bottled blueberry pie. You can use any protein powder you wish, but look for a high-quality one with only a few pure ingredients. You can always ask your local health food store for advice.
Serves 2 or 1 large serving
1 ripe banana, peeled
150g frozen blueberries
2 tbsp Nut Butter (see recipe below)
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp whey protein powder (or other protein powder of choice)
tsp ground cardamom
250ml almond milk (or unsweetened milk of choice)
Roughly chop the banana and add it to a blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend on a high speed until completely smooth. Pour into two medium-sized glasses and serve, or store in a large airtight glass bottle to pack into your gym bag.
To make the nut butter ?
Our little family is nuts about nut butter. We spread it on rye bread, stir it through porridge, blend it in smoothies, dollop it on chia puddings and even freeze it in popsicles! We like to make our own nut butter as not only do we know what's in it, it's also a cheaper option. Although some brands do add hydrogenated oils, refined sugar and additives, these ingredients are actually completely unnecessary as all you need is nuts, which are rich in healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids and energy. Generally we use a combination of nuts and sunflower seeds, as they are more affordable and add flavour, but feel free to make a pure nut butter if you prefer. When toasted and ground in a food processor, the nuts slowly release their natural oils and transform into a smooth butter - it's quite fascinating really!
600g raw nuts of your choice (or a combination of nuts and seeds)*
? tsp sea salt
Preheat the oven to 150?C/gas mark 2. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a baking tray and toast for 10-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
Put the nuts and salt in a food processor and blend on a high speed for 10-20 minutes or until completely smooth. Stop and scrape down the sides with a spatula every now and again, which also helps prevent your food processor from overheating.
Pour into a sterilised medium-sized sealable glass jar, cool and store in the fridge.
If sealed, the nut butter can keep for a few weeks in the fridge.
* We like to use equal amounts of almonds, cashew nuts, brazil nuts and sunflower seeds.
Tip: If you prefer a crunchier texture, try adding some chopped nuts towards the end of blending in the food processor.
Extracted from Green Kitchen Smoothies: Healthy and colourful smoothies for every day by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl (Hardie Grant, approx €19), out June 16.