Lentils for breakfast- welcome

Here is your invitation to sample beautiful recipes that are good for you, good for the planet and good to eat. They mainly feature plants, because that's what I try to eat the most. I am not a fancy cook, but I believe that food is one of our greatest pleasures and deserves to be celebrated. Real food, whole food, kind food. Welcome to the feast!

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Surprisingly substantial breakfast smoothie



I'm not a fan of smoothies for breakfast. I am never confident that a liquid breakfast could ever be substantial enough to last until 9.30, let alone lunch.

Smoothies are, of course, incredibly delectable and a great way of using up bananas. But whenever I make one, I always have to make a piece of toast as well. Just in case. Wouldn't want to starve now, would we.

Recently, however, my daughter showed me a recipe from Martha Rose Shulman on her iPhone. I was astonished that she was sitting there reading the NY Times, but she's downloaded the app. 'It makes me feel smart.'

It's a lovely recipe for Seeded Banana Frappe, a smoothie given extra muscle with nuts and seeds. It sounded as if it would make a solid, delicious, protein-rich, low-carb start to the working day, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Shopping and prepping
It took some organising. First of all, shopping. I had to buy the nuts and seeds and I decided also to use this as an opportunity to try almond milk. The affordable Soygood product in the supermarket lists cane sugar as its 2nd ingredient, ewww. Instead I purchased a sugar-free, organic almond milk in the healthfood shop - for $8.50.

Martha Rose says to peel bananas that are ripening faster than you can eat them and freeze them to use in the smoothie. Great tip! But ripe bananas are not that easy to come by, so there was much scrutiny of yellowing skins before I had 4 good specimens.

The first day I planned to frappe, I had forgotten to soak my seeds the night before. Probably because I do not normally do this, but Martha Rose is a recent convert to soaking and recommended it for the recipe. As with grains, it is to break down the phytic acid and protease inhibitors that block enzyme function and prevent the absorption of minerals.

A day later, I was ready: bananas frozen (hey, it works!), seeds soaked and all other ingredients assembled. It was a fiddly operation, but the result was appetisingly thick and rich and not over sweet. Martha Rose suggests adding 2 teaspoons of almond or peanut butter for extra heft, and the second time I made the frappe, I added 2 teaspoons of macadamia nut butter (because that's what I had in the cupboard). It did thicken the texture nicely and added a delicate flavour note. Highly recommended step.

Seeded Banana Frappe
Serves 1
6 almonds
1 tbs sunflower seeds, soaked overnight and drained
1 tbs pumpkin seeds (ditto)
1 tps toasted flaxseeds or sesame seeds (ditto; but I used a tps flaxseed oil)
1 ripe banana, frozen if poss
1 cup imported, fancy-schmancy almond milk (or cow's or rice, whatever your budget runs to)
1/4 tps vanilla extract
1 tps honey
1/8 tps turmeric (had enough of all the fiddly teaspoons yet?!)
2 ice cubes
2 tps nut butter of your choice
Freshly grated nutmeg for garnish (so didn't bother with this)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed for a full, noisy minute. Pour into a glass and enjoy while you madly finish packing your bag, making the bed, straightening your hair and trying not to be late again. Particularly recommended for organised morning types.

Didn't feel like that piece of toast. That might have something to do with the number of calories listed on the nutritional info: 388.

What's your favourite breakfast smoothie? Does it keep you satisfied all morning? Ever frozen a banana, you thrifty thing? Speak to me in the comments, folks!

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