Monday, May 10, 2010

Strawberry-Almond Smoothie


Back to the blog at last! I am sharing with you today one of our favorite high protein smoothies, without protein powder! Soaked raw almonds: one of nature's most digestible vegan protein sources. We've probably made every variation under the sun when it comes to a soaked almond smoothie, but since it is spring, it is time for the Strawberry Almond Smoothie to make an appearance on this blog.

Soaking raw almonds for about 8 hours in a small bowl of water causes them to soften considerably and plump up. Our kids take much delight in popping the almonds out of their skins and eating them. Basically, you take the amount of almonds you desire, place them into a bowl and cover with about and inch of pure water. If you are planning on making your own homemade raw almond milk, this is how you would begin. For this smoothie I simply drain and rinse the almonds after they have soaked overnight and blend with water until very smooth. If you are making almond milk you would strain the pulp through cheesecloth, but for this smoothie we leave all of the good fiber in the blender and add frozen fruit, blend again, and voila ~ a high protein, nutrient dense smoothie!

What Tom has to say about Almonds and Strawberries: Contrary to popular belief, not all calorically dense foods lead to weight gain. Case in point? Almonds. Studies have demonstrated that people can add up to 2 ounces of almonds to their weight loss programs to decrease cholesterol and increase insulin sensitivity. Others studies have shown that adding 2 ounces of almonds to a high carbohydrate meal can significantly lower the blood sugar response to that meal. Strawberries are high in anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidant compounds that protect tissues from free radical damage. Strawberries are also one of the fruits that are highest in vitamin C!

We have a variation of this smoothie in our cookbook using frozen cherries and fresh pears which is equally delicious. Lately Tom has been making one using the frozen fruit in our second freezer. He likes the combination of Italian plums, blackberries, and raspberries. Today I uncovered the last container of the strawberries we harvested from last season. Tiny, like the size of a blackberry, but with an intensity of flavor that is could never compare to the store-bought variety I picked up today for the garnish!

Strawberry-Almond Smoothie

Planning is key when wanting to make this smoothie or a variation of it. Before I go to bed, I briefly plan out the next day. Do I need to soak any nuts or beans? Cook a pot of quinoa? It only takes a few minutes to get the nuts out and pour water over them. You'll want to give them about 8 to 10 hours of soaking time. In the morning be sure to drain off the soaking water and rinse well in a colander. Use any frozen or fresh fruits you have on hand here. Pears, raspberries, cherries, and blackberries make a fantastic Phase 3 Elimination Diet recipe!

1 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
2 to 3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
1 whole vanilla bean
1 tablespoon raw honey (optional)

Place the almonds and water into a high-powered blender (such as a Vita-Mix) or a blender fitted with a sharp blade. Add water and blend until very smooth, about 30 to 60 seconds. Then add the berries, vanilla bean, and honey, blend again until smooth. Serve immediately. Source: www.NourishingMeals.com

More Smoothie Recipes:

Here is another Quick Breakfast Recipe:
Diane from The Whole Gang is hosting a 30 Days to a Food Revolution on her blog right now. I did a guest post for her last week and shared a very quick, nutritious breakfast recipe: Rice and Nut Milk Hot Cereal. Please go check it out! :)


14 comments:

  1. Totally delicious! Love all the pics, especially the one with your daughter so happy with smoothie in hand. :-) Appreciate the advice from Tom, too. I've been adding almond flour to my smoothies, of late, but will try soaking raw almonds first. Almonds are very satisfying and often keep me from wanting anything sugary. :-)

    Shirley

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh my, this sounds so delicious! It's almost strawberry season here so we'll definitely have to try this. I know my husband and daughter will love this. I wonder how this would freeze? I would love to make it into popsicles for my kids. What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Brilliant as always. You folks are so creative with food. Thanks for the recipe.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow, this sounds easy and delicious. Can I effectively make almond milk or blend these almonds to a smooth consistency with just my ol' regular blender? I've seen so many people making their own almond milk, but it always seems they have a Vitamix. While I pine for one of those, I'd like to make this NOW! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have smoothies almost every morning and look forward to trying this one soon! Quick question about the vanilla bean: do you put the whole thing, pod and all, into your vitamix or just the seeds? I guess I didn't realize the pod was edible...do you get a lot of flavor from that?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Strawberries are going in everything here...and this will be a fiberlicious addition in the morning!

    ReplyDelete
  7. We made this today and it was delightfully yummy. I also made the rice cereal and that was tasty too. We have lots of strawberries growing in our yard this year, so strawberry recipes are always welcome! I think I love them best with the cashew sauce from your book. It's definitely a hit with anyone who comes to our house. We are very grateful for all your efforts thinking of new ways to make food taste so good!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Ali and Tom,
    i really enjoy your blog, however i was wondering if it would be possible for you to post some recipes that would work well for people who have such common conditions as hypo/hyperthyroidism, candida, issues with adrenals, etc. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Ali,
    This looks so good! I'll definitely be making it this morning.

    Regarding Tasty Eats At Home's question about making smoothies and almond milk in a blender rather than VitaMix - We have an old (at least 20 years) Oster 400 Watt blender that makes GREAT almond milk and smoothies. I have to admit, that I recently upgraded to a 500 Watt Oster blender (on sale for $50), and it makes even smoother smoothies. I'm not sure if it's the extra power or the sharper blades that make the difference.

    Ali - I also LOVE the almond milk recipe in your cookbook! I never liked store-bought almond milk, so I didn't think to make it fresh. Then my 8yo daughter was reading your cookbook one day and decided to make your recipe for almond milk, and I've never turned back - we make it every week!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ali,
    This looks delicious. I'll have to try it later as an afternoon treat. I've read somewhere that the nuts should be refrigerated while they're soaking. Do you think that's necessary??
    Thx

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thanks all for your comments! :)

    Maggie - Yes! This recipe works as popsicles! :)

    Tasty Eats - Yes this smoothie recipe can be done in a regular blender, it just works better in a vita-mix or other high-powered blender such as the BlendTec.

    Hallie - yes, the whole pod - just toss it in. So much flavor and much easier! :)

    Lisl - I don't refrigerate my nuts while soaking. I suppose if I lived in a very hot climate that would be a good idea but not necessary in the Pacific Northwest! :)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can always use more smoothie recipes.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Is this one serving or two? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hi, I am new to your blog and LOVE it. Just wondering if you can recommend where to order Raw Almonds. Thanks

    ReplyDelete

.
.
Thanks for stopping by The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. We appreciate and value your feedback.

If you have a question about a particular recipe please leave your comment under that post. I will answer substitution questions as best as I can. Though if you alter a recipe, your feedback will help other readers who may have similar questions.

If you have a question on a particular product I use in my recipes, then please view the Links to Products We Use post for more information.

Comment moderation is in place. Your comment will be visible once we publish it.

Thanks, and as always, Happy Cooking! Ali & Tom