Breakfast this morning!
I fancied something fruity and vibrant to start the day and decided to make a classic ‘blueberry hempster smoothie’. It’s simple and involves ripe banana, blueberries, shelled hemp seeds (also known as hemp seed hearts) and homemade vanilla cashew milk (although any plant-based milk will work fine).
One of the important keys to getting your smoothie deliciously sweet is in the banana. Be sure that your banana is ripe (no green bits on the outer skin and preferably starting to get brown spots). Green bananas are a rich source of carbohydrates – they are starchy and (whilst still green), although at this stage, their natural sweetness has not yet developed. However, as soon as it starts to ripen, the carbohydrate levels decrease rapidly and the carbs turn into desirable fruit sugars…. delivering you that creamy, yummy sweetness that most of us love.
So the rule of thumb is – if you want sweetness, be sure to use ripe bananas.
If I could choose one superfood to add to my morning smoothies then hemp seeds would be it. You can buy culinary hemp seeds from any decent health food shop or online.
Be sure to get them shelled or hulled (also known as hemp seed hearts) because the shell is tough and will just make the smoothie gritty.
Hemp seeds are protein power superstars, being one of the most complete proteins in the plant food world. Hemp seeds containing ALL 21 known amino acids, including the 9 that humans are unable to produce themselves. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Protein is essential for basic bodily functions; it helps to build new cells whilst looking after the tissues within your body (which let’s face it, is pretty essential). Protein is responsible for making neurotransmitters, the essential internal messaging service that sends the signals around your body to make it function. Hemp comes up top for protein power and is well recognised as a super-food by those seeking a healthy protein source.
Hemp seeds also contain nature’s perfect ratio (3:1) of omega 3 to omega 6 essential fatty acids. ‘Essential’ means that the body can’t produce these fats itself, so it requires dietary input. This is a unique accomplishment in the plant world. These compounds have been shown to have a particularly beneficial effect on our health. Hemp seeds are one of the few plant-based sources of omega 3 (other sources include walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds).
You can buy hemp protein powder (also great for smoothies) as an alternative to hemp seeds (if you want a higher protein hit without the essential fats). You can read all about hemp seeds, what they are and their health benefits here: All About Hemp Seeds
I want to quickly note here that I adore making and using my own homemade plant-based milk. If you want to go ‘light’ then you can actually just use water. This morning I used a cup (250ml) of my delicious cashew & date milk. Yummo!
Rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk or hemp milk (of course) would also work fine as alternatives, depending on what you have available at the time.
Here is my recipe for Homemade Vanilla Cashew Nut Milk. It’s super easy to make and you’ll be so glad you made it.
Blueberries! I think I just like the colour of them in a smoothie, to be honest. They are of course super healthy and full antioxidants, including phenols, flavonoids, anthocyanins and all that jazz.
A great addition to breakfast.
- 1 large ripe banana
- 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds
- 1 cup (250ml) homemade cashew milk
- Peel and slice banana.
- Blend all ingredients together until creamy smooth.
- You can use a hand blender for this or a regular jug blender.
- If you don't have a batch of homemade cashew nut milk to hand then use any other plant-based milk (or even water).
- Enjoy immediately to your hearts delight.
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