We are into second week of September and it is still incredibly hot. I can tell from the afternoon sun flooding my room that winter is standing at the threshold waiting to step in anytime. As a healthy diet change I am using fresh fruits and home-made yogurt / Almond milk / Soy Milk / etc to make delicious smoothies. A quick wholesome breakfast drink that sometimes has a surprise ingredient just to make the mornings interesting and creative. A good start, I say.
I went for my second sitting for molar root canal today and the dentist told me to eat something soft so instead of having this in the breakfast I had it as a late afternoon tummy filler. :p
Using home-made cultured yogurt is the best thing you have for a healthy digestive system. We were brought up on home cultured yogurt. We would always keep a little culture to set the new batch of yogurt and if we forgot, mom would send us with a little katori (bowl) to get it from neighbors. We would knock on all doors till we found a home that has home-made dahi and ask for a jaman (culture). Frankly it was a tad bit embarrassing so the best way to avoid it was to remember to save some jaman without fail.
These days a range of packaged yogurt is available easily. I use the one from ‘Mother Dairy’ for convenience but now I want to get back to setting my yogurt at home.
Full of protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamins B6 and B12 Yogurt is very good for intestinal flora. I have a weak digestion so love to include a lot of yogurt in my diet.
This smoothie is a perfect blend of bananas, dates, almonds and a surprise ingredient that you will soon discover. 😀
High in protein, rich in taste and texture, this is one of my favorite smoothies. You can opt for milk, soy milk or almond milk instead of yogurt. It is your personal choice.
To make this refreshing smoothie you will need :
1 ripe medium size banana
6 dates ( soaked if using dry ones)
6 Almonds – soaked and pealed
1/4 cup Yogurt
Pure Vanilla or / and cinnamon powder – just a little (optional)
and my surprise ingredient
a handful of soaked poha (beaten or flattened rice) (about 3 tablespoons 🙂
I use poha because it is probiotic, prebiotic, and gluten-free food. It is low calorie, nutritious and gut friendly too.
I also use popped amaranth/ramdana or rajgira grains sometimes which is our indigenous substitute for quinoa. It is much cheaper and is equally nutritious, if not more. We will discuss its goodness in another post.
So once you have all the ingredients ready, here is how you make this lip smacking smoothie,
1. Wash poha under running filtered water in a sieve to drain out the water. I soak it overnight or for at least an hour in the yogurt that is to be used for the smoothie. Just the way we make dahi poha ( yogurt poha).
2. Wash, cut and soak the dates (seeds removed) in a little warm water/milk to soften them.
3. Soak the almonds ( I use sweet California almonds) overnight in a bowl of water. Keep it covered. In the morning discard the water, wash the almonds and remove the skin.
4. Chop the banana and place it in a zip lock bag. Place this in the freezer.
5. In a blender add yogurt, soaked beaten rice, banana pieces, dates and crushed almonds.
5. Add a dash of Cinnamon or/and a few drops of pure vanilla. (optional)
Remember to add the ingredients in this order for a rich, thick ,smooth texture.
Now cover and blend for 10 seconds at high-speed or till everything blends smoothly.
Pour it in a glass for an early morning power packed goodness.
The natural sweetness of dates is enough but if you wish you can toss in a teaspoon of organic honey.
It is in a way a healthy start to the day and a complete breakfast as far as i know.
Delicious too. 🙂
Smoothie don’t always need a milk or yogurt base. Next time we will do something different. Watch this space.
*You can replace Poha with oatmeal too.