Tag Archive for 'Breakfast'

The Complete Breakfast Smoothie

For the past year, I have made myself a breakfast smoothie a couple of times per week. It all started when I felt quite run down and exhausted after a nasty cold kept circulating through my family. I picked up the book “Spent” by Dr. Frank Lipman and among the many great ideas he advocates, the one that is dearest to him is the complete breakfast smoothie. It contains a whole range of nutrients, from easy-to-digest protein, to healthy oils and antioxidant-rich berries and fruit. One of the advantages of having a smoothie for breakfast is that it is easy on your digestive system, unlike a regular breakfast which requires a lot of energy to be broken down. This way you have more energy for other things, which is a good thing when you feel “spent”. A smoothie doesn’t take long to prepare, besides, it is delicious, satisfying and can be adjusted to everyone’s taste buds.

Here are a few ingredients I regularly use in mine:

The protein source Dr. Lipman suggests is whey-protein powder, which contains all essential amino acids and is easy to digest. It is sold in most health food stores and pharmacies. I use one that is not flavored or sweetened and it’s taste is undetectable in a smoothie. If you think of buying whey-protein-powder, make sure it comes from grass-fed cows that weren’t fed antibiotics of hormones. Each brand is different, but I use about one heaped tablespoon of mine.

Another staple is a ‘super’ green’s powder, an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals. Barley grass, alfalfa grass, spirulina and chlorella are amongst the ingredients you should look for when you shop for a greens powder. Probiotics are an added bonus.

To add creaminess, I use oat, rice or almond milk. When I don’t have time to make my own almond milk, I use oat milk, which is unsweetened, has a neutral taste and is very light. I usually use a cup in my smoothie. 

Almond milk is my favorite, but because the store bought nut milks here in Australia are awful, I have to make it myself. This is how it’s done. Soak 1 cup of almonds in filtered water for 8 hours, drain the water, rinse the almonds and put them together with 3 cups of water in your blender. Blend on high speed until the almonds have turned to pulp. Squeeze almond milk through fine-meshed milk bag (available in health food stores) or through a fine cheese cloth. Squeeze out all the delicious milk and refrigerate. It will only last for a couple of days, so freeze it if you don’t use it all. I usually put the pulp in my muffins, replacing about a cup of flour. Since the almond milk is quite rich, I try and stick to half a cup/smoothie.

To confuse you even more, occasionally I use fresh coconut water instead of almond- or oat milk. It’s high in minerals and a great hydrater.

Flax seed oil. In my smoothie I prefer the oil to the ground flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are an emulsant, which means they thicken the liquid they are in, so instead, I use one tablespoon of cold-pressed flaxseed oil.

1/4 avocado, for even more creaminess, good fats and magnesium.

A handful of Goji berries, one of the antioxidant rich ‘superfoods“.

A cup of blueberries, usually frozen. Other berries are a great option as well, fresh is best, but frozen does the trick. BTW, if you can’t find organic blueberries or they are too expensive, conventional are fine. Usually they aren’t treated excessively.

Either half of banana or mango, whichever you have.

I also add a teaspoon of Acai Berry powder, another antioxidant-rich ‘superfood”and a teaspoon of bee pollen.

And finally, I add about 1 cup of cold filtered water (and ice cubes in summer), otherwise it’s way too thick.

Have a great day!

If you have a sweet tooth and like chocolate, make a delicious Almond-Chocolate Smoothie. Take a cup of almond milk with a couple of teaspoons raw cacao powder, a banana, a slice of avocado and a little agave syrup for sweetness. Add a few ice cubes and whizz it all up into a thick and creamy decadence. It perks you right up again and is much better for you than that box of chocolates in your fridge!

Spelt Cinnamon Rolls

It’s almost time to go on holiday, but before I can go, I promised to post the recipes and a few picture of the May/June cooking classes. Not really knowing what to expect initially, I really enjoyed the experience, except on the day when just before class, I jammed the most gigantic splinter in my index finger by throwing a stick for my dog. It took 3 lidocaine injections before the doctor could pull it out, but thankfully that kept my finger numb for the rest of the morning and we went ahead and cooked.

My family loved all this new food on the dinner table almost every night. Once my husband looked in the pot just before dinner time and said disappointedly “Oh, we have had this before”. So yes, they got pretty spoiled. The experiments for the “sweet delights without the guilt” were especially popular, although quite a few ideas got thrown out because they tasted just a bit too healthy. Not so the cinnamon rolls, which need a chunk of butter and plenty of brown sugar to go with. Not really sure what to expect, when we took them out of the oven, we took one bite and oh what bliss. The flavor and texture turned out just amazing, if I say so myself. Since we already ate about 3 different types of cakes that day, I froze half of the rolls. I have been counting the days until I can take them out again and today’s the day. I’ll  let them defrost on the counter over night, stick them in the oven for 25 minutes in the morning and more bliss:-) Check them out, I even added a few pictures documenting the process. Sorry about the poor photo quality, the new camera is on it’s way!

These can be filled with any filling of your choice. Dried cranberries or cherries are nice, as are walnuts, but pecans with maple syrup got to be my favorite.

To avoid having to get up at 5 am for the rolls to be ready at breakfast time, make the dough the day ahead, fill it, roll it up, cut it into rounds and place in baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and stick in the fridge overnight (freezer is fine too, they’ll stay good for about 1 month- but need about 12 hours defrosting on the counter overnight). In the morning, remove wrap, brush rolls with remaining butter and sugar and bake. Yummie!

For the dough:

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons dry active yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups whole spelt flour
  • 2 cups white spelt flour plus a little extra if dough is too sticky

For the filling:

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted pecans, coarsely chopped

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, orange juice and sugar.  Add the yeast and stir to combine.  Leave for 5 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. (If nothing happens, start with a new package of yeast.) Mix in yogurt, egg and oil. Add the salt, oats, and one cup of the flour.  Gradually stir in the remaining flour until the dough begins to form and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead, adding a little more flour if dough is too sticky. Once you have a smooth dough, place is in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise until almost doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours).

When you are ready to shape the rolls, mix the sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt together in a small mixing bowl and set aside.  Lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch baking dish or cake pan and set aside.

Punch down the dough, and roll out, on a lightly floured surface, into a large rectangle, 18 to 20 inches long. Spread about 3/4 of the melted butter over the dough, leaving one long edge uncovered so that your roll will stick together later.  Then, drizzle the sugar/maple mixture over the butter and spread evenly. Finally, sprinkle with nuts.

Roll the dough lengthwise (so that you end up with 18-20 inch roll), starting with the side that has the filling right up to the edge.  Press the uncovered edge down to seal the roll so that the rolls will not come apart when you cut them.  Cut the cinnamon rolls by looping a piece of dental floss underneath the dough, criss-crossing the ends over the top, and pulling tight to slice through the dough, or use a sharp knife.  This recipe will make about 15 large and thick cinnamon rolls, but you can also cut smaller rolls, if you prefer. Transfer each sliced roll to the greased baking pan, placing them cut side down. Spread them out evenly in the pan, cover, and let rise for about 1 hour.

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180C).  Once the rolls have risen, brush the tops with the remaining melted butter, and drizzle with maple syrup.  Bake for about 25 minutes.

Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.