Choco-Coffee Breakfast Shake

Recently I received some samples of Organo Gold coffees and teas to sample. Thing is – I’m not a coffee drinker. Yes I love the smell of it and yes I have previously worked in a coffee shop but I have just never taken to ordering a big mug of the stuff.

Yet what intrigued me about this brand was that they add Ganoderma Lucidum to all their drinks. I first came across Ganoderma in Kuala Lumpar last year when I was in contact with a doctor specialising in Chinese medicine. Ganoderma is a type of mushroom that has been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and is known as the “King of the Herbs”, it is used to treat a variety of health conditions. Some benefits include the high level of antioxidants it contains, how it is an anti-inflammatory and it boosts the immune system.

 

So, determined now to try the drinks for myself I decided to brew one of the coffee sachets then once cool I placed in a sealed container in the fridge. Next morning, I added some of the cold coffee to my breakfast smoothie and it was amazing! I had also received a sample of Teo&Bia vegan chocolate spread this week too so I added that into the mix and the result was an amazing coffee nutella flavour sensation! To replicate, please see below.

Ingredients:

50-100ml coffee (brewed and cooled over night; adjust the amount depending on how much coffee you like/caffeine you need in order to function!)
1 heaped tbsp teo&bia
1 cup oats
1 frozen banana
1/3 tsp cinnamon
1/3 tsp cardamom
200-300ml approx. oat milk
3 ice cubes

Blend all in a smoothie maker & enjoy!

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Here is a selection of some of the other samples of Organo Gold I have yet to try!

 

*Featured image courtesy of: https://pixabay.com/en/photos/coffee%20time/

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Tahini Orange Smoothie

Tahiniaka: blended sesame seeds.

Packed full of iron, calcium, protein and unsaturated fat it’s a welcome change from the usual nut butter smoothie additive. Combined with oranges and banana in this recipe you’re getting a serious vitamin C punch with cinnamon to regulate blood sugars and banana for some natural sweetness.

On another note, you may be wondering why I add a pinch of sea salt into my smoothies. I use pink Himalayan salt, which unlike regular table salt, contains 84 elements found in our bodies, those like magnesium, calcium, potassium. Thanks to these minerals, pink salt can balance electrolytes, thus aiding hydration, balance cell pH, particularly in brain cells! Prevent muscle cramping, help to absorb nutrients, improve circulation and dissolve and eliminate sediment to remove toxins! Plus you only need to use a small amount because the granules are so large and coarse meaning your sodium intake is much lower than traditional table salt. And no you won’t even taste it’s in here!

Simply blend..

1 tbsp tahini (light tahini – available in any health food store and some supermarkets, particularly in the U.A.E. or blend your own sesame seeds!)

1/2 orange

1 small frozen banana

100ml unsweetened almond milk

Small pinch of Pink Himalayan or sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Ice and 1 tsp coconut oil optional

tahini orange smoothie

Incognito Chocolate Smoothie

It’s not secret how much I love my cacao, or chocolate smoothies, so I now reserve them as my weekend post long-run breakfast and make a mega portion! Post-run/exercise though, spirulina I find cannot be topped for aiding recovery; because it is in powder form once added into a smoothie it is immediately ready to be absorbed by the body, getting to cells ASAP. Protein sources in food however take time to first be broken down and then absorbed.

Spirulina has a 60% protein content – take that red meat! Which weighs in with only 27% protein and takes much longer to break down. It also has iron, calcium and magnesium which are vitally important for muscle and joint repair.

All that said, some people don’t like the taste much. Personally I don’t notice it but then I started toying with the idea of adding my secret ingredient cacao so that the taste would be chocolatey-amazingness but the green pigment and goodness would remain. Thereby fooling all your friends into thinking you are drinking a boring old green juice when in fact you have the smoothie of dreams!

How to make:

Half a heaped tsp of spirulina

1 tbsp cacao powder

1 tbsp coconut oil

2 medjool dates

2 frozen bananas

A pinch of sea salt

Dash cinnamon

Almond/cashew milk up to 700ml

Ice

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Voilá!

Joyful Almond Smoothie

I first fell in love with this smoothie when living and working in New York in the summer of 2013. There was a fantastic smoothie bar up the road from the restaurant I was waitressing in and every day at the start of my shift one of the Mexican guys that worked with me would always surprise me with a different smoothie & make me guess which one it was from their menu! One day he arrived with the best smoothie by far – the “Joyful Almond”; & that was it. Ever since I have been nuts (pardon the pun!) about this flavour combo!

 

Banana date smoothie, figs & oat ball snacks

I usually like to enjoy my breakfast smoothies with a little something to bite on so I get more fulfillment from the meal. Above I am having some fresh figs and oat snack balls.

Ingredients:

2 large frozen bananas

1 tbsp almond butter

1 or 2 medjool dates (depending how sweet you like it)

Almond milk

Dash of cinnamon (optional)

2 or 3 cubes of ice

Joyful Almond

Method:

Place all ingredients into your blender except for the milk. Once all ingredients are in the blender pour milk in until the level of the unprocessed mixture is approx. 750ml. You can add more milk once first blended and blend again if too thick for your liking.

 

Creamy Dreamy Chocolate Smoothie

This smoothie is my all-time fave smoothie to have after my long weekend run. Soaking the oats in coconut water, as in this recipe makes it really creamy. I usually make this smoothie in a really large portion and enjoy it back in bed with the jug on my bedside locker to keep me topped up until sadly it’s all gone 😦

Ingredients:

2tbsp oats

A third/a half tbsp of maca powder

Coconut water

Almond/other milk of choice

2 large frozen bananas

1 heaped tbsp cacao powder

1 or 2 medjool dates

Cinnamon (optional)

2 cubes of ice

The night before..

I always like to prepare my smoothies, and almost every breakfast for that matter, before I go to bed each night. That way when I wake up or after my run I know breakfast is on hand and will be ready in less than 5 minutes. Soaking oats is also very important as it makes them much easier to digest.

Soak, in your smoothie jug, 3tbsp of oats in approx 250ml coconut water

Then add the medjool dates, 1/3 tbsp maca powder, 1 heaped tbsp of cacao powder & a dash of cinnamon (always add powder on top of liquid, if done in reverse the powder tends to get stuck in the blades and at the bottom of the blender)

That morning..

Simply add the ice, 2 chopped frozen bananas and milk up to approx. 850ml on the smoothie jug. You may need to add more depending on how thick a consistency you like – I love mine thick and creamy!

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**Variation: Add 1 tbsp of peanut butter for a Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie Twist!

Make Your Own Dairy-Free Milk

Dairy-free milks that I love include coconut, almond, cashew, hemp and oat milk. Almond milk has taken off as somewhat of a trend of late but be warned most store bought versions are far from healthy. If you read the labels many contain oils, stabilisers, agave, maltodextrin and many other unnecessary substances yet only 7% or 8% almond paste! A similar problem lies with tinned coconut milk so make sure you always read the labels first. Usually the tinned Thai organic coconut milk is the one I use and has the highest pure coconut content. For almond milk, Rude Health is the best store bought version I have found and my local health store started stocking it upon request for me so don’t be afraid to ask if you can’t find it in your local store! That being said, homemade is best and to really save your body the hardship of trying to rid itself of any processed nasties later, make your own clean, wholesome version in minutes.

*Tip: If you don’t want to make a whole container your chosen milk but simply want some for a smoothie. Pop a handful of nuts or 2-3tbsp of hemp seeds/oats into your blender with some water the night before. Then when you go to make your smoothie all you need do is add the rest of your ingredients and some more water giving you the whole nutritional value of the nuts and their milk.

Hang on a minute – Before making…The night before you will need to..

Soak any amount of almonds, cashews, oats or hemp seeds – from a handful to a whole bag, depending on how much milk you want, in water overnight. Whatever amount you decide to use, add about three times as much water.

The next day..

Place the soaked nuts, seeds or oats along with their water, a couple of dates/a squeeze of honey and some cinnamon, or cacao powder for your own chocolate milk, in blender and whizz for a few minutes until the nuts are broken down. Continue to add more water until the milk is at your desired consistency; i.e.: thick and creamy like full-fat milk or more liquidised like skim-milk.

Once nicely blended, place a fine-holed sieve over a bowl/jug and begin to slowly pour the milk into the sieve. You will need to stir the mixture in the sieve to push the milk through and move the leftover pulp out of the way. It may also be necessary to remove some of this pulp with a spoon into a second bowl depending on how much milk you have made.

It’s important that you really press the blended mixture into the sieve to squeeze out all the liquid.

Don’t discard the leftover almond pulp. Re-use it in smoothies, use it to make cookies & muffins or mix it with dates and coconut oil to make snack balls. The lady in the video I share below also offers some ideas about what to do with these leftovers.

*Savvy tip*

Some recipes tell you to use a cheese cloth or ‘nut-milk bag’ to make your milk. This is not necessary. The above sieve and bowl method works perfectly OK, but if you do want to buy a cloth, don’t get caught out paying high amounts in a health food store. Instead go to your local fabric store and ask for some muslin cloth fabric. I bought 1/2 sq.metre for just over €1 in Dublin last year.

Once all milk has been pressed from the pulp. Pour your liquid into an air tight container or bottle and store in the fridge no longer than 5days.

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Here is a really simple step-by-step YouTube video showing you just like I have explained and she also uses vanilla extract and a pinch of sea salt in her version for an alternative taste:

Spirulina-Acaí Smoothie

Don’t be daunted by the dark green ‘too healthy to taste good’ colour of spirulina. When used in the correct amount and mixed in a smoothie they are not even distinguishable to taste. I like to add it once or twice a week into my morning smoothies for an antioxidant kick-start to the day.

So why is it so good?

Spirulina contains significant amounts of calcium, magnesium and protein making it a great post-workout supplement to help with recovery and muscle repair. It also con
tains many B-vitamins and iron which I particularly love, for as a female athlete I am prone to and have suffered from low-iron and anemia. Although you may think that you are getting enough iron in your body through diet alone, our bodies are very poor to absorb iron and that’s why it is essential that when ingesting iron into our bodies we are simultaneously ingesting vitamin C for absorption. Smoothies with an iron supplement such as spirulina and combined with vitamin-C containing fruits are the perfect means to do this. For example, instead of blending your smoothie with milk, use orange juice.

Acaí, likewise is another superfood product, most commonly now found in powder form in health food stores. Found in the Amazon, it has been used for centuries for healing and immunity and energy boosting. It is packed full of anti-oxidant and detoxifying properties which make it great for digestion and overall total body health.

*A word of warning: Spirulina powder tends to go everywhere if not handled with care! Use a dry clean spoon to take your measure from the bag and ensure it is safely sealed again after use.

This recipe is great as an in-between meals or post-workout snack or enjoy it like me accompanied by a fresh Moroccan mint tea and banana-almond muffin for a proper hearty start to the day!

Green smoothie, muffin & Morrocan tea

Ingredients:

1 handful of blueberries

2 frozen bananas

Dash of cinnamon

Half-1tsp of acaí powder

Half tbsp spirulina powder

Nut/Soy/Coconut milk or Orange juice

Ice cubes

 

Method:

Place all ingredients into your blender, pouring liquid in last, and bring volume of the un-blended contents up to 750ml. This volume will increase after blending.