What a lovely day to post about Smoothies- it’s freeezzzzing over here on the east coast. We are in northern Florida and not used this 30 degree weather! But none-the-less smoothies are always yummy and a great way to get a lot of the good stuff in. I probably have on average- 4 to 5 smoothies (of some kind) a week. This one is a total favorite of ours! It has Matcha, so what’s not to love!
recipe – for one serving
1 cup lightly packed baby spinach
1 frozen banana
1 teaspoon Matcha powder
3/4 cup of coconut water or almond milk (increase based on preference)
Ice to preference
1/4 Tsp Golden Milk (this is turmeric + date powder) – optional
1/4 Tsp Spirulina – Optional
Scoop of protein powder- Optional (when we are hungry enough we will add a scoop of Patrick’s protein concoction aka an even mix of whey + plant based protein powder)
Have your pick of sprinkled organic honey, chia seeds, cinnamon and/or coconut on top! Smoothies are great because this is just a base but if you’re feeling extra hungry just add some Greek Yogurt or add blueberries to mix it up! I actually love the taste of blueberries and Matcha together. If you do add fruit- do about 1/3 of a cup! Feelin like you need more fiber in your diet? Add a Tbsp of ground flax!
One of my other favorite things is turning smoothies into a “bowl” aka more space to sprinkle goodies on top! Typically if I’m wanting to turn my smoothie into a bowl, I like them with a little more ice added so it thickens it up- but those details are all about preference!
We are lovers of matcha forever + always [in and on all things]. My husband has now become equally [or more so] as obsessed as I am and that is the absolute, 100% truth. I am just as shocked as you are! A lot of pouting happens in the kitchen if we miss a morning without a dose of it before the hospital. But MATCHA IN PANCAKES- oh boy. Game changing. There are all the fancy pancakes in the world- which I love too- but matcha pancakes- always my fav. You can top it with the whipped cream recipe we also posted or a lot of the time I like matcha pancakes with coconut yogurt on top and almonds! Best part about it is- you can play with it – till you find what you like!
1 egg [for vegan option, use flax egg aka 1 tbsp flax/3 tbsp water and mix]
1/3 cup milk [we used almond milk]
2 tablespoons melted butter (plus more for skillet) [we used coconut butter]
2 tablespoons sugar [we used 2 1/2 tsp Truvia]
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour [use flour of your choice]
1 tablespoon matcha powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tsp spirulina [optional]
1 tsp ground flax [optional]
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, melted butter, sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the flour, matcha powder, spirulina, ground flax, baking powder, and salt, and whisk just until the batter comes together; the batter should be lumpy.
Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Brush with coconut butter or regular butter. Dollop circles of pancake batter onto skillet. Wait until bubbles appear and pop on the surface, then flip the pancakes and cook for another minute or so + stack!
Recipe Cred [although modified] from: Diane A Broad
Serve with coconut yogurt + almonds, honey or pure maple syrup- whatever your little heart desires!
Our favorite thing to wake up to in the morning: Matcha and -a-little-bit-of-everything-else too- tea! This recipe is from Laura Lee Balanced & is absolutely amazing- prior to this I was drinking just Matcha & Golden Milk – which is an awesome combo too! DO NOT feel like you need to purchase all of the below to reap the benefits. Main ingredient is Matcha- everything else is a bonus! I call it our Anti-Gremlin tea.
Side Note- At first when I saw this recipe- I was very skeptical. We actually really aren’t “supplement people”. A lot of supplements do not get absorbed in the body and it can be just a bunch of mumbo jumbo for the vitamin/supplement companies to make money- but the below supplements/herbs are tried & true- for us!
2 drops of Stevia or a drop of honey [we don’t add this because the extracts make it sweet enough BUT if you’d like it a little sweeter]
–Boil 2 cups of water (or milk of your choice- we also love it with cashew. But on a regular basis we use just plain old water). Once the water is boiling, throw everything in the blender and mix it up-
Golden Milk Benefits: Contains Turmeric, Dates & herbs. Anti-inflammatory & filled with antioxidants. I actually learned about this when I worked on the Bone Marrow/Oncology unit & a whole post on turmeric benefits is a must!
Spirulina: Bacteria aka cyanobacterium or simply put, blue green algae. Antioxidant & anti-inflammatory. Contains Phycocyanin, which fights free radicals. Spirulina can help lower LDL and triglyceride levels.
Coconut Butter: First off, we just plain old like the taste of coconut- if I didn’t we’d likely leave this out BUT this delish Cake Batter Coconut Butter- Recommended by Laura Lee Balanced- has been life changing. Coconut butter helps with appetite control & increases energy levels because it is high in lauric acid. As a medium-chain-triglyceride, it’s structure allows our bodies to soak it up easily; therefore, in a sense, it serves as a quick source of energy. Great for digestion & combats nasty bacteria!
MATCHA! I love it in and on all things. Pancakes (see below), oatmeal, yogurt, obviously my daily morning concoction (that I’ll share with you all) – I mean I’d sprinkle it on pizza if people wouldn’t look at me all funny. I tried it for the first time in high school and have been hooked since! I sprinkle it in almost everything for a bit of clean feeling energy & that earthy taste that keeps me comin back every time.
Side Note: Add a tablespoon of Matcha to your pancake batter & a teaspoon of spirulina. I made these pancakes with whole wheat & coconut flour. Post to follow on benefits of spirulina & the pancake recipe!
From the Dietitian: Hope you all are seated because I could go on about the health benefits for quite some time. I’m gonna bullet it for you all so it’s not a bunch of mumbo jumo. I get excited and then everything starts running together haha! Background: I just got Patrick started on Matcha. Let’s just say the guy is not easy to convince (totally a science guy-EVERYTHING must be proven with research and yadda yadda). At first he looked at me like I had 10 heads and then he tried it and he now drinks it every morning & is equally as obsessed as I am. Why did I start Patrick on it this month? He started his rotation in the MICU (Medical ICU). This means 30hr shifts/>80hr work week and a lot of intensity. Clean, calm, alert energy- YES! Perfecto timing you could say! I make a matcha drink in the morning with a lot of additions- I’m going to share this with you on a later post but the main ingredient is MATCHA!
From the Doctor: He can’t say much because he just started drinking it two weeks ago! But like I said, he drinks it every morning because he feels like he has sustained energy throughout the day without the crash! Do we still drink coffee sometimes (yes- we are not anti-coffee at all. Just prefer Matcha).
From the Dietitian (I’m back again!):
Stuffed to the rim with antioxidants, EGCG (or epiocatechin gallate – great for metabolic & cardiovascular health), L-theanine and polyphenols- this puppy serves as quite the immune defense
But back to L-theanine. Because this is my favorite thing about Matcha & why I will forever choose tea over coffee. L-theanine is an amino acid that has a calming effect. It’s found in both black and green tea. A lot of people will take L-theanine for anxiety! This is why there is less of a crash with tea like a lot of people have with coffee. Matcha gives me a calm/alert feeling that I love love love. Who needs nasty adderall? 👎🏻
Side note: We all are super busy humans these days. We work hard and don’t rest as often as we should. Probably why people love adderall so much- it’s why I did. I was prescribed adderall throughout college. I’d take it and then stop because I HATE the side effects- but I loved the focus. Matcha gives me that mentally alert feeling without the horrible crash that makes me turn into a gremlin! I’m not going to delve too much into adderall because a. my hubby isn’t home so I can’t pretend like I know all about the logistics (not my scope haha) BUT b. I hate the stuff & for me- I didn’t think it was good for my body.
Polyphenols- Before I go here, there is ongoing research with this topic. Polyphenols are a great source of antioxidants. And we all say antioxidants but I think people forget what it actually means and I love love chemistry so I’m taking this opportunity! Definition: An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents another molecule from oxidizing. Lots of processes in the body cause oxidation naturally (this can also happen from poor diet/pollution/UV rays etc)- the intake of antioxidants is needed to counteract some of the negative results of the build up of too many oxidized molecules. Picture you have three molecules: You have a healthy molecule (full of electrons aka happy), you have a free radical molecule (missing an electron aka unhappy) and you have an antioxidant molecule. The free radical wants to take an electron from your happy molecule (causing damage) BUT instead the antioxidant (as kind and generous as it is) gives an electron to the free radical so it doesn’t have to take an electron from your happy molecules (see photo below)! AND IN TURN reducing the progression of diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative (ex: Alzheimer’s) and cardiovascular diseases. Sounds pretty fabulous to me- if that doesn’t make you want to drink matcha and eat your fruits and veggies I don’t know what will.
Matcha can help lower cholesterol and blood sugar
High in Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin C, chromium, and magnesium- I will post about importance of mineral don’t you all worry. But I’ll spare ya since I just went on a chemistry binge.
Contains fiber (anti constipation club here)I hope you all enjoyed & Knox wishes you all a very happy Sunday!