Friday, 30 January 2015

Sneaky Shakes

Lately I have been looking for a filling smoothie to help me make it through the morning without snacking. The mistake often made is too much fruit which is undoubtedly delicious but sends your sugar levels skyrocketing and then crashing and you feel hungry a few hours later. I was trying to develop something with more staying power.

I know from experience that protein and a bit of healthy fat are the keys for me. It is what keeps me full and my blood sugar even. Many vegetarians and vegans hear the annoying ill-informed question of “But where do you get your protein from?”  more times than we would like. Actually, every food has some amount of protein in it. But that’s why if you add beans or a sprinkle of nuts to a salad you feel more full than with lettuce alone.  More protein.  The next question we often hear is, “But where do you get calcium from if you don’t drink milk?” which for me is a combination of fortified foods (many soy milks and orange juices have added calcium) naturally high in calcium foods such as kale and sesame seeds or almonds.

Could I make a breakfast shake that was high in both protein, healthy fat and calcium? Yes I could. Most recipes call for a scoop of protein powder. Now protein powder is hella expensive and often full of weird bulking agents and fillers. Whey protein is the cheapest, but who the hell wants to eat that? Whey is a by-product of the cheese making industry and it is illegal to dump it in rivers and streams because it is toxic to fish and aquatic life. Why would I want to put something poisonous in my body?  But millions of people do every day because whey powder is sold to the food industry as a cheap filler in processed convenience foods. Check your labels and see if I am wrong. 


So how could I have the desired outcome I needed for cheap making sure it was healthy as well?


Well duh. Beans to the rescue again. Wait! Don’t run away screaming just yet. Hear me out. Have you tried my amazing black bean brownies and all the other variations?  Everyone who tries these raves about them. Can you taste the beans? No. Would the same be true for the smoothie--could you really not taste them? No, not at all.

First I rinsed and drained some white beans and some black beans. I blotted them with a tea towel to take off any moisture and froze them in a single layer for several hours.


Then I scooped them all up, loosened up the stuck together ones and plonked them in a ziplock bag. Sorted.

So right now I have two breakfast shakes--a chocolate one and a gingerbread one. Oh mama.

1) Start by putting 200ml  fortified plant milk in a blender. I use Oatly. Boom! That’s 60% of your vitamin D, 30% of your riboflavin, 30% of your B12 and 30% of your daily calcium. Sorted.


2) Add ¼ cup frozen beans. That’s fibre and protein that will keep you fuller longer (4.1g fibre and 3.62g protein in black beans and 2.6g fibre and 4.01g protein in white beans) plus ¼ cup white beans contains 4% of your daily calcium 8% of your daily iron and ¼ cup black beans contains 4% of your daily calcium, 11% of your daily iron and 4% of your daily vitamin C. Who knew?

3) Blend until the beans are dissolved which is like adding lots of little ice cubes as the beans are frozen.

4) Add ¼ cup of oats which adds 1.9g of fibre, 1% of your daily calcium and 4% of your iron plus 3.03g of protein. Or you can add ¼ cup of something like Ready Brek which is super smooth porridge oats that have been fortified with extra calcium, vitamin D, iron, B2, B6 and B12. . 

5) Add 1 Tablespoon tahini paste made from sesame seeds. You could use peanut butter as we are going for fat and protein, but why not use tahini as it is so high in calcium? I prefer the richer complex flavour of roasted unhulled sesame seeds personally as the hulls make it higher in calcium. If you don’t dig tahini then go for almond butter as it is also high in calcium. But 1 TB tahini will give you 2.55g protein, 64mg of calcium and 8.06g fat. Don’t freak out on me. A bit of healthy fat is good for you. The fat will make you fuller longer.

6) for a chocolate smoothie add 1 TB unsweetened cocoa powder (1.06g protein, 1% daily calcium and 4% daily iron!) , a date or a Tablespoon of  raisins if the cocoa makes it bitter and ½ tsp cinnamon

And for a gingerbread smoothie add 1 TB blackstrap molasses and 1 tsp cinnamon (or use a chai spice mix like cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg-super yum!) The molasses MUST be blackstrap as it has the highest amount of nutrition. I Tablespoon of blackstrap molasses contains 200mg calcium--seriously! That’s nearly one quarter of your recommended daily amount right there! Plus 4.5mg  iron which is nearly a quarter of your RDA. Plus 45mg magnesium and 510g potassium plus a host of trace minerals like copper and manganese!

7) Add a frozen peeled ripe banana and whiz all together. One banana is one of your “five a day” fruit and veg! Plus it makes it sweeter without adding extra sugar.

Serve in a mason jar because that's how all the cool kids drink it.





The smoothies are delicious and thick and filling thanks to all the high fibre, protein and fat. After having one I can go hours and hours without eating. I am not weak and starving by 10am. I am fuelled for the day. 

I swear you can’t taste the beans.

Give this a try and start your day right. And if you don’t want to faff about every morning opening up a bajillion containers then pre-pack your dry stuff like oats and cinnamon. So you can just dump it in there and only have to add the liquid or sticky stuff.

Oh and one more tip. If you oil the spoon the molasses sliiiiiides right off.

No excuses. Make this and start your day off right.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds lovely.

    The chocolate picture was how I picture the gingerbread should look, and the gingerbread picture is how I would picture a mango smoothie to look. Sorry.

    And. . . . . .I do recall a certain young woman pronouncing adamantly to her Mum that she would just as soon eat a roach as eat a raisin. My how times have changed!