Banana Chocolate Smoothie
This is one of my favorite things to drink right after a hard workout. The natural sugars help restore energy and the protein repairs muscle. It also makes for a really delicious and satisfying breakfast. It tastes like a milkshake if you need an appetizing word to lure your kids to consume something healthy.
- 1 medium size ripe banana
- ¾ cup whole raw milk (or almond milk for vegan or lactose intolerance)
- 2 tablespoons cocoa
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon flaxseed
- Couple dashes cinnamon
- 1 cup ice cubes
Blend all ingredients together using a blender or hand-blender.
Bananas are full of potassium, which can help balance fluids in the body and maintain muscle function (e.g. prevent cramps). They are also full of fiber, vitamin C and vitamin B-6 and work great for any indigestion issues.
I have recently discovered a dairy farm nearby, Stryk Jersey Farm, from which I can get raw unprocessed milk from pasture-raised, grass-fed Jersey cows. It is unpasteurized, is not homogenized and contains a healthy distribution of beneficial bacteria, enzymes and nutrients in their raw form. This milk is really high in protein and mixing it in to a smoothie will keep you full for hours. It’s not available in some states, but look in to if you’ve been curious about making your own dairy products or introducing the health benefits of raw milk.
Cocoa is full of flavonoids, which can help to prevent heart disease by decreasing blood pressure, reducing inflammation, balancing good and bad cholesterol and improving blood vessel health. And it tastes divine! Cocoa does have a little bit of caffeine so be sure to consider that when deciding what time of day to have this smoothie (or giving it to little ones). Cocoa also helps to decrease insulin resistance so can help prevent Type 2 diabetes or decrease the amount of sugar-related health problems you might be having such as problems with yeast, or Staph.
Flaxseed is high in fiber, lignans, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to buy the kind that are ground so the body can more readily absorb what is contained within the seeds. They need to be stored in the refrigerator.
Honey contains beneficial bacteria and is full of antioxidants. Try to use local honey in helping the body to adjust to local pollens for controlling allergies. Be sure it is raw and unprocessed so that pasteurization does not destroy the healthy bacteria and other beneficial natural compounds.
Any time I am adding a sweetener like honey or a type of fruit sugar, I like to add some cinnamon because cinnamon helps regulate insulin levels in the blood.