Is breakfast the most important meal of the day? Arguably yes… Choices made can not only impact your day but overall health. Influences can be as wide ranging as on weight control to critical thinking. Nutritious selections can enhance energy levels, boost concentration and ultimately performance. However, for many these days maintaining a hectic life schedule or striving to get ahead it’s all too easy to skip it and hurry out the door.
Protein based smoothies can act as a meal replacement whilst still providing a balanced nutritional intake, ideal to rev up your metabolism and kick-start your day!
Breakfast to Go – The Plan
|½ cup of whole rolled oats||Buckwheat or Quinoa flakes|
|1½ – 2 cups of unsweetened coconut milk||Unsweetened almond milk or other milk of choice|
|2 tbps plain natural yoghurt||Silken tofu, soy yoghurt or kefir yoghurt|
|1 tsp ground cinnamon||Nutmeg|
|2 tbsp almond powder||Flaxseed or other ground nuts and seeds e.g. pumpkin or walnuts (stronger tasting) for an Omega 3 boost|
|2 tbsps cashew nut butter||Sugar free peanut butter or mixed nut butter|
|1 medium apple chopped||Other fruit of choice (low glycaemic load)|
|½ cup of mixed frozen berries||Berries of choice|
|½ teaspoon of honey if needed||Can add ½ scoop of flavoured protein powder|
|½ teaspoon of coconut oil Leave out or good quality olive oil|
Blend all the ingredients together and transfer to a smoothie bottle/ shaker. For optimal nutrient content it would be best to make in the morning which will take around 5 minutes. With a bit of preparation the night before this could be less. The frozen berries will help preserve the smoothie until ready to eat but refrigerate if this is say longer than a commute to work or it has been necessary to blend the night before.
A smoothie shaker with a whisk makes a great investment to gently separate the ingredients and even the consistency ready to enjoy.
Breakfast to Go – The Benefits
|Tart berries like raspberries and blackberries will jump start your morning. They’re also high in vitamin C and other antioxidants helping to protect against free radical damage that can contribute to aging and disease. The simple apple as well as providing a crisp fresh flavour tops up the vitamin C levels and offers different health promoting plant compounds (phytonutrients). The soluble fibre pectin is thought to bind with fats in the intestine to help lower cholesterol levels.|
|A coconut milk base helps provide a creamy texture and some beneficial fats which have been linked to antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral effects in the gut. It also contains a wide array of vital minerals and may have a positive impact on blood cholesterol levels. The inclusion of coconut oil builds upon these functional properties. The plain yoghurt compliments the mix as it contains some protein and good bacteria to further support gut health.|
|The cashew butter and the almond powder have value as a nutritious source of protein and essential fats. These alongside the overall high fibre content of the smoothie and the addition of cinnamon will help to keep blood sugar levels on an even keel (even with a little honey to taste). The oats as a complex carbohydrate allow for the slow release of sugars into the blood so the combinations and balance of this smoothie will help provide sustained energy throughout the morning to effectively fuel both body and mind.|