Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No, it's not deja vu; I'm bringing some posts over from the old site, so I can get rid of it (I am doing that because I remember how annoying it was to come up with a super URL, only to find it was taken by a dead blog.)  I'm also making some tweaks here and there, in order to keep things aligned to my ever-evolving philosophies (never stop learning, kids!).

Breakfast. The most important meal of the day, right?  Maybe, but definitely not in the way that's been pounded our heads by Conventional Wisdom (e.g." Eat as soon as you wake up, hungry or not!"  "Eat cereal and fat-free milk!").  If you're having breakfast, don't start off by shoveling english muffins and waffles (even whole grain) down the 'ol gullet.  This is the time we are setting our intentions for the new day, so let’s start off on a positive note, shall we? I sometimes like to do this by having a smoothie for breakfast; I’ve been doing this for about a year and I absolutely swear by it, especially in the warmer months (today was a bacon & eggs kind of morning!). I hopped on the smoothie train after I began following Kimberly Snyder’s Health and Beauty Blog. She drinks a green smoothie every day for breakfast, and I personally think she is the absolute picture of health. Kim is a nutritionist/raw food chef, among other things, and her website really got me interested in real food. 

The smoothie is a kinder, gentler way to start the day because it’s easily and quickly digested, and you’ll be amazed how long it keeps you full! I used to typically eat a breakfast sandwich, a yogurt, and probably some hash browns, and would want more just a couple hours later. In ten minutes, I can make enough for 2 or 3 meals, and it’s easy to transport, so you can have breakfast anywhere; it doesn’t get any better than that! *I do get organic fruit when possible, and I really try to get organic spinach as it tends to have a lot of pesticide residue.*

I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago, and I absolutely love it! My coworkers sometimes poke fun at my crazy green drinks; little do they know how delicious it is :) It almost tastes like it should have a shot of rum in it, please resist the urge! I usually like to keep my smoothies pretty simple, but I feel there’s something special about including the coconut; doing the work of opening the coconut and getting all the good stuff out of it makes me feel a connection with the food, and really grateful for all the cool stuff that is available in nature.

A little more about our friend Mr. Coconut- I love to use coconut products because they are rich in healthy fats (yes, artery-clogging saturated fat), and this recipe also includes coconut water, which is full of electrolytes. It’s like nature’s Gatorade! You can buy coconut water commercially, which is great, but it is pasteurized and doesn’t quite compare to what you get from an actual coconut. I find it to be a bit sweet to drink straight, but it’s a great addition to this smoothie because it can help us rehydrate after a good night’s sleep.

Here’s what you need for about 3 servings:
1 young Thai coconut (this is not the brown kind, but the funky looking white kind with the pointy top. I am able to find these in the produce section of Shoppers’)
1 cup pineapple chunks, fresh or frozen
1 cup mango chunks, fresh or frozen
1 banana
A few big handfuls of baby spinach
Juice of half a lemon
Cold filtered water

-Open the coconut! Let’s start with the fun part. There are a few ways to do this, and I find this to be pretty easy:
-Turn the coconut on its side, and using a large knife, carefully shave some husky stuff off the pointed end.

-You might do this in a couple passes; you’ll see some light brown markings on the coconut when you’ve gone far enough.
-Turn the coconut right side up, take a cleaver (or a machete if you happen to have one) and bring it down hard a couple inches away from the center so the corner of the blade pierces the coconut

-Do kind of a twisting/lifting motion with your wrist. The top should lift off in a nice little circle.

-Pour the coconut water into a medium mixing bowl (or your blender jar; I used a stick blender), scrape the meat out with a spoon, and add that in
-Then just add the rest of the ingredients. Thawing frozen fruit a little may be a good idea, so you don’t risk burning up your blender.

-If needed, add some cold water just until your other ingredients are almost covered; maybe just ½ a cup or so; then blend till smooth! Maybe add a little umbrella, and enjoy!

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