Tag Archives: vanilla beans

Blueberry Banana Smoothies!

It was an uncharacteristically lovely day here in South Florida (and that’s really sayings something) so I decided to whip up some smoothies to enjoy on the balcony while the sun went by. Anyone can do this with a good blender and some fruit, fresh or frozen. I get bananas every week but sometimes they are too ripe for breakfast and then they go into a bag in my freezer. That’s what I used for this recipe.
1.5 frozen bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 tsp carob powder
1 tsp maca powder
1 inch of a bourbon cured vanilla bean
almond milk (use soy milk if you’re sensitive to nuts)
I covered the frozen fruit in almond milk and blended until it was smooth. We ended up with a nutritious frosty treat. I was kind of excited about how well it turned out in terms of flavor and because we had to eat it with a spoon.

Our bodies have evolved over millions of years to extract nutrients from what we eat. While people often supplement their diet with vitamin pills, there’s no substitute for the foods that are the source of those nutrients. This is particularly true of the nutrients that we don’t yet understand (like resveratrol) and those which we aren’t yet aware are important. What I mean to say is, if you need vitamins to attain “complete” nutrition, then there’s something wrong with your diet. We should all get to know our food a little better; it’s really fascinating.

Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and fiber. Bananas are a great source of electrolytes and folate. Almond milk provides a dearth of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E and omega fatty acids. Sadly, the calcium and vitamin D in almond milk are added, but almonds themselves are a source of micronutrients that you just can’t get from dairy milk, like choline, omega fatty acids, and iron. Bananas, blueberries and almond milk comprise the bulk of the treat but what about the minor ingredients?

Carob gives a chocolate flavor without the mild stimulant effect of chocolate that comes from an alkyloid called theobromine (the stimulant in tea). I would have used cocoa powder if this was a morning instead of lazy afternoon snack. As far as I’m concerned, cocoa and carob are indispensable ingredients for vegan cooking. Carob and maca are both rich in trace minerals like selenium and magnesium. Maca gives a nutty flavor and combined with vanilla and carob gave the whole thing a richness that I would swear by. Maca contains a notable compound called p-methoxybenzyl isothiocyanate (I know, I know… quit it with the molecule-speak). This particular compound is probably what gives maca it’s reputation as an aphrodisiac and maca is currently being investigated for its apparent effects on mental and reproductive health. Vanilla is exactly that: apparently boring but indispensable as a flavoring. You don’t really notice when it’s there but you definitely know something is wrong when it’s not. Vanilla was the finishing ingredient for marrying the rest of the flavors: fruity, nutty, chocolatey and smoothed them out into something special. 

Thanks for checking out my rant on whole foods and I hope you get to eat something as delicious and nutritious as this in your near future… or at least when it warms up wherever you are.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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