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Healthy Gingerbread Breakfast Shake Recipe

 

Tis the season to be jolly and to eat and drink all kinds of very yummy but not so healthy things.
In order to put some Christmas into health food or maybe the other way round, I modified my (O)mega Banana Breakfast Shake recipe to stimulate the taste buds with some holiday spices.
Turns out that one of these spices, in addition to providing some great holiday flavor, has some potent health benefits.

GINGER
Fresh ginger contains a substance called gingerol. Gingerol has some marvelous effects on the gastrointestinal tract, including the reduction of nausea due to seasickness, morning sickness, and chemotherapy by increasing gastric motility. In addition, it is being investigated for its effectiveness in rheumatoid arthritis and cancerous tumors of the bowel, breast tissue, ovaries, and pancreas among others.
Cooking ginger turns gingerols into zingerone. Zingerone has been found to be active against enterotoxin-induced diarrhea (diarrhea caused by E. Coli).
Drying ginger turns gingerols into shogaol, which provide the increased pungent taste to dried ginger as compared to the fresh root. That would also be the reason why I use fresh ginger in this recipe and not ginger powder.

Ginger does interfere with certain anticoagulant pharmaceuticals (so get more information if you have a clotting problem) and is contraindicated in gallstones because it stimulates bile production.

OK, enough lecturing on health benefits! Let’s get down to enjoying something tasty!

  • 1 cup of milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, or any kind of other milk you prefer
  • 2-3 heaping tablespoons of flaxseed (finely milled prefered)
  • 1 apple
  • 2 banana
  • approximately 1-2 inch slice of whole pineapple
  • 1/2 tablespoon of raw cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • sweetener to taste (I use about 4 packages of SweetLeaf® Stevia)

This recipe makes approximately 1 liter of breakfast shake or maybe a little more.
If you have a Vitamix® machine, you can include the core of the pineapple. I would not recommend that for other blenders.
Add all liquidy ingredients first and then blenderize until you have a smooth consistency.

As always, hit me with suggestions or comments please! I welcome and appreciate every single one!

Links for information on ginger:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ginger
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/ginger-000246.htm
http://www.theepicentre.com/Spices/ginger.html
http://allthingsginger.co.uk/default.htm

Photo: Freshly baked gingerbread – Christmas 2004.jpg by Jonik

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December 11, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

(O)Mega Banana Breakfast Shake

According to my last blood work, I have managed to reduce my total cholesterol to well within normal range (wooohooo!). I do, however, still need to increase my good cholesterol. So I exercise and make sure I get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids.

I usually add some Flaxseed to most of my green smoothies but the following recipe for a yummy and very filling breakfast shake has an extra large load of it.
I use beveri Golden Flaxseed that I buy at my local store. It comes already finely milled and is convenient and easy to add to all kinds of recipes. But there are many other companies that offer all kinds of flaxseed products that work just as well.

This recipe makes approximately one liter of (O)Mega Banana Breakfast Shake but the ingredients can be halved to make less.

  • 1 cup of milk, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, or any kind of other milk you prefer
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of flaxseed
  • 1 apple
  • approximately 2 in. of whole pineapple
  • 2 bananas

Depending on how ripe your fruit is, you will likely not need any sweetener but it can be added to taste.
Include the core of the pineapple if you have a Vitamix® machine. Eliminate the core if you think your blender can’t handle it.
Add all liquid ingredients first. If you have a Vitamix® machine, use the usual “turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High” instructions. Blenderize until you have a smooth consistency.

Enjoy!

October 30, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Popeye’s Berry Bomb Recipe

I am still on a mission to diversify my green smoothie taste experience.
So, I have come up with another recipe that has its own distinct taste, yet still contains a good amount of dark green vegetable. It is meant to be a drink, not a smoothie. The consistency is very liquidy, so it will not fill you up as a typical green smoothie does. This way you can enjoy it whenever you would have a glass of water and get an extra little kick of vegetables and fruit. 
It is mainly based on blueberries and spinach.
Blueberries are a potent source of antioxidants and I added some Acai powder on top of that to make this drink a real berry health blast.

I call it “Popeye’s Berry Bomb”.

The liquid ingredients should be added to the blender first.
When using the Vitamix® machine, proceed with the usual “turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High” after everything is added and the lid is safely in place.
The recipe makes approximately 1 1/2 liters of “Popeye’s Berry Bomb” but you can easily half the ingredients and make less.

– 750 ml of water
– 1 medium apple
– the juice of 1 lemon
– 1 tablespoon of Acai powder (optional)
– 1 bag of frozen blueberries (10 oz. or 280 g)
– 1 1/2 cups of fresh spinach
– sweetener to taste (I use 1 package of XyloSweet® and 2 packages of SweetLeaf® Stevia Sweetener)

Serve chilled or over ice.

I hope you like it and I would love to hear any suggestions or ideas for this or any other green smoothie recipe.

Photo reference: Blueberry by Petr Kratochvil

October 1, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Green Appleade Recipe

Recently, I have become a Green Smoothie fan.
I ended up buying an amazing Vitamix blender (and just calling it a blender is basically an insult) and now I make myself Green Smoothies every day. They are thick and are basically a meal replacement.

I have been searching for a recipe that is more like a drink and less like a whole meal. After some experimenting, I found what I was looking for and the recipe is now ready to share. I call it “Green Appleade”.

Add the liquid ingredients and the ice to your blender first. This recipe makes approximately two large mugs.

  • approximately 500 ml apple juice
  • approximately 6 ice cubes
  • 1 apple
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 packets XyloSweet (8g of Xylitol) or other sweetener to taste
  • 4 large leaves of kale

It’s a refreshing drink and you get an extra dose of the good green stuff =)

August 29, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In the end, it’s green and yummy!

I have never been a health nut. Ask my mom, she’s been trying to talk me into a healthier lifestyle for years and it never really sounded like such a good idea. Or rather, it sounded like a good idea, just not very convenient and/or appetizing.
I still don’t consider myself very health conscious but I guess it’s beginning to sink in.
What started the whole thing is that I am in dire need of a diet. After I quit smoking, I somehow gained some weight. I really don’t recall how exactly it happened but suddenly it was there.
So I am officially on a diet but I am also trying to form a habit of eating better in general and being more aware of what I put into my body.

All my life I have always avoided breakfast. I had trouble eating anything less than 4-5 hours after I got up. A few cups of coffee were enough for me and I was usually good until lunch time.
Now that my work has changed to a very regulated schedule, and a very early one at that, I find myself pretending it is lunch time at around 10:30 AM. I needed something more than coffee but preferably liquid that I could drink in the car on my way to work. Something that would hold me over until the real lunch time at around 12-1 PM.

So here is the solution: Green Smoothie!

I’m sure many of you know what green smoothies are but for the ones that do not, the above picture basically tells you what it is and what it looks like before you blenderize it all together and before it becomes a smoothie.
I make mine late the night before because the blender is so loud that the entire neighborhood would be awake at the early morning hours.

My recipe is as follows: 1 apple, 1 nectarine, 1 plum, 1/2 avocado, 1/2 lemon, 1 banana, 1 kiwi, 3 large leaves of kale and about the equivalent of that in spinach, a few sweet pea shoots, some pomegranate juice, 1 teaspoon of Goji/Pomegranate/Acai powder and 1 package of Xylitol.
In place of the Xylitol you can use other sweeteners like Stevia, sugar, honey, agave syrup and the like. I believe you can reduce the added sweetener if you reduce the amount of lemon you add. I literally put in half a lemon minus the peel so there is definitely room for some reduction.
Unblenderized it fills up the blender but in the end makes about 2 to 2.5 cups of smoothie which fits perfectly into my drink container. It’s a very large smoothie and it takes most of my drive to work to drink it all.
But it surely is one hell of a boost in the morning and I am usually still not really hungry when lunch time rolls around.
Now I just have to stick with it and make it a routine and I’ll be good!
Cross your fingers for me!

July 7, 2010 Posted by | Healthy Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment