So, if you read my previous post, you’ll understand why I’ve been so MIA. In order to help re-boost my immune system and get foods in it that my stomach will tolerate, I came up with the Soothing Breakfast Smoothie, which can always be eaten at any time of day!
Since the antibiotics and stomach virus, dairy has been giving my stomach lots of trouble. I was nervous a fruit smoothie would never have the right constitution and flavor without dairy, but had to give it a try any way. I chose to add GROUND chia seeds to add to the mix as a thickener. Chia seeds when wet become gelatinous, absorbing the water and creating almost a bubble around the seed. This doesn’t actually happen in the smoothie, but it’s why when in your stomach, it helps you to feel full and allows the body to digest more slowly.
Below are several sections about the benefits of the ingredients I used. Feel free to skip to the ingredient section below.
Chia seeds are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber. The chia seeds I use from TruRoots have 6 grams of fiber for every tablespoon. That’s almost 1/4 of your daily fiber intake since the recommended about is 25 grams!
I became obsessed with chia seeds after reading Born to Run by Chris McDougall. In the book, the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico would blend maize and chia seeds on their ultra runs (like 100+ miles) through the desert for sustained energy. Chia seeds were first used by the Aztec and Maya cultures and ground into flour and also used as fuel for stamina and to help maintain energy.
According to Web MD:
“Chia seeds are an unprocessed, whole-grain food that can be absorbed by the body as seeds (unlike flaxseeds). One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) contains 139 calories, 4 grams of protein, 9 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrates and 11 grams of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals.”
According to Andrew Weil, M.D.:
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants (making them able to be stored for extended periods without becoming rancid), fiber, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.
For more nutritional information on Chia seeds, you can check here.
I also chose to use several different fruits, especially berries, which are high in fiber to help aid in a bit of constipation, which I’m sure we all get from time to time. I swear, this DELICIOUS concoction has helped keep me quite regular.
Ok, a bit of a correction on bee pollen. My friend, Adam Schreiber, an urban bee keeper, who has just stepped down from being a 2 year president of the Philadelphia Bee Keepers Guild, explained to me what bee pollen really is. Clearly, there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there on the web! If you want to read more about Adam’s crazy soirees with the bees, check out his wonderful blog timebeeing.blogspot.com
According to Adam: The bees collect the pollen, mix it with a little nectar from the flower, [since] (they don’t typically have access to honey as they are out foraging), and pack it in their pollen baskets to carry back to the hive. Once at the hive, they unload the pollen balls into cells and in those cells then mix a little honey in to make “bee bread” (GF of course!). They don’t turn the pollen into honey; the nectar gets turned into honey in a separate process. They keep the pollen separate in its own cells. Basically the pollen is their protein source and the nectar/honey is their carbs.
It extremely nutritive, and adds a delicious sweet crunch to the smoothies.
According to a chemical analysis from the Enviro Bee Products Distributors:
(below is taken almost verbatim directly from their website)
It is also high In B complex and vitamins C, D, E and Lecithin. Bee pollen contains over 50 % more protein than beef, yet its fat content is very low.
Vitamins: Provitamin A, B-1 Thiamin, B-2 Riboflavin, B-3 Nancin, B-5, B-6 Pyridoxine, B-12 (cyanocobalamine), Pantothenic acid, Vitamin C, F, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin H, Vitamin K, Vitamin PP, Folic Acid, Choline, Inositol, Rutin.
Minerals: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, Magnesium, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Boron, Silica, and Titanium.
Other: Amino Acid, Carbohydrates, Fatty Acids, Enzymes & Co-Enzymes, Fats.
* Note that there seems to be mixed reviews about bee pollen in pregnancy, suggesting that you contact your doctor before ingesting. It can also cause allergic reactions in some people, so it is suggested to eat a few pollen balls at a time and build up.
Soothing Breakfast Smoothie
Serving Size: about 1 cup blended
1/2 cup of pineapple juice (but any liquid will work)1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used pineapple)
1/2 cup frozen fruit of choice (I used strawberry)
(sometimes I add another berry here like raspberry or blueberry and you can play with the amounts)
1-2 TBSP raw honey
1-2 TBSP ground chia or flax seeds (I use chia)
1 TBSP bee pollen (optional)
I first put in the liquid, then the fruit, then the honey, and chia seeds and blend together using my immersion blender. Once it’s all blended together, I stir in the bee pollen for extra crunch and flavor.