Breakfast smoothie

A Breakfast Shake Up Is In the Works

Recent nutritional evidence¬†underscores the value of letting nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables dominate our diets. ¬†Over the last decade, I’ve adopted a number of strategies in my lunch and dinner meal planning that are consistent with this approach:

  • Our grains are nearly always whole grains, eaten in the least processed form possible.
  • When we do eat grains, we are careful about portion control.
  • Vegetables generally comprise 50% or more of the food on the plate.
  • We eat a lot less meat, and when we do, I try to choose meat that is humanely and sustainably produced and local when possible.

Recently, in reflecting on ways to make additional improvements to my nutritional choices, I started thinking about breakfast. In our home, breakfast is a pretty individual affair. ¬†My own breakfasts vary dramatically from something pretty traditional like peanut butter toast to non-traditional breakfasts fare like leftover salad or stir fry. ¬†I’ve read a lot about the popularity and nutritional rationale for¬†green smoothies and decided to spend the next couple weeks exploring the benefits as part of my morning routine.

A green smoothie has a lot to recommend it:

  • Use of whole fruits and vegetables
  • Flexibility to change flavors based on season, mood, individual preference
  • Flexibility to add¬†nutrient-rich ingredients¬†like turmeric, flax seed, etc.
  • Convenience for on-the-go consumption, a major plus on the days when “breakfast” takes place at stop lights during my morning drive

I already have a very sturdy commercial-grade bar blender, so the ability to make smooth purees from fruits and vegetables is definitely within reach. For nutritional consistency, I’m using one scoop of a green superfood blend in each of my shakes. ¬†This gives me a high dose of antioxidants in every shake. ¬†Beyond that, I’m experimenting with flavors, textures, etc.¬†Here’s a description of the¬†concoctions¬†I’m trying¬†in this first week:

1. Banana-Cranberry Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk, 1 frozen banana, 1/3 cup homemade cranberry sauce, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood.

2. Grape-Cucumber-Lettuce Smoothie:  1 cup skim milk, 3/4 cup grapes, 3/4 cup cucumber, 3/4 cup green leaf lettuce, 1 Tbs flax seeds, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood

3. Orange-Cucumber-Lettuce Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk, 1 orange, 3/4 cup cucumber, 3/4 cup green leaf lettuce, 1 Tbs flax seeds, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood

4. Sweet Potato Masala Smoothie: 1 cup skim milk, 1/2 baked sweet potato, 1 tsp fresh turmeric root, 1 tsp fresh ginger root, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1 scoop ORAC Green Superfood

5. Gazpacho-Apple Smoothie: 1 cup plain yogurt, 1 apple, 2 plum tomatoes, 1/2 cup yellow squash, 2 Tbs fresh basil

I am only a few days into this new routine, but I’m already noticing that starting my day with a higher fiber breakfast keeps the stomach grumbling at bay until later in the morning.



Breakfast Desserts

Goddesses Gather Here!

This past weekend was our annual Green Goddess Reunion Weekend.  It was absolutely wonderful to see everyone, the weather was fabulous, and we enjoyed lots of good food and wine.

I’ve already posted the menu for the weekend, so I won’t go into all the details.¬† But I will share a few photos and descriptions here.

On Friday night, we made pizza, and one of the favorites was this pizza with semolina crust, carmelized onions, blue cheese, pancetta and sage.

Saturday morning’s breakfast included a new-to-us preparation of ham & eggs.¬† Here, the eggs are baked with cream and herbs in a vessel made by a slice of black forest ham.¬†I love the scalability of this recipe.¬† It would be so easy to add or subtract, depending on the number of breakfast guests, and it could easily be made in “waves” if the guests were ready at different times.

And then there were the cakes!¬† I had baked these chocolate and lemon-almond-yogurt cakes ahead of time, and Cheryl and KC decorated them on Saturday morning.¬† There are few activities that can hold my daughter’s attention like cake and frosting!¬† I think they turned out beautifully!