Sunday, March 13, 2011
Coffee and I have never really been tight pals. Since my surgery, my intestines have been more tolerant of coffee, but drinking it still affects my nerves negatively. I feel like a maniac-- I get agrressive, talk too quickly (yes, even more than usual!) and my thinking is kind of cloudy so I kind of say dumb things. Although I have no interest in making coffee a habit (yerba maté is my caffeinated drink of choice), I was determined to test my limits of coffee-- to see how much I could tolerate, and seeing if I could notice its supposed wonderful affects. As it made me feel so awful, I was left curious as to why millions of people worldwide are hooked on this stuff (other than it being a hot, tasty beverage that people tend to drink in groups or as a private morning ritual which could be reason enough itself).
Unrelated to this experiment, I borrowed Ruth Tal's reFresh: Contemporary Vegan Recipes From the Award Winning Fresh Restaurants from the library. There's a pretty sweet section on espresso smoothies, and it gave me a pretty splendid idea. I'd been made hip to the idea of putting coffee into a smoothie during a David Wolfe smoothie demo on youtube, I believe--and I liked it. I think he used a teaspoon of ground coffee, which I've done before and it's pretty good-- but likely sort of difficult to digest, and a bit harsh.
After reading the espresso shake section in reFresh, I, over the course of a few days, formulated a smoothie that feels SO DAMNED GOOD inside me-- filling me with both mental and physical energy-- and it also tastes amazing in my maw. It's absolutely blowing my mind right now, and I've had one every day. I hadn't had a banana in about six months, so this bananafest is wonderful too!
double shot of espresso or coffee
3/4 c. almond milk
1 frozen banana
3-4 ice cubes
1 T. almond butter
1 tsp. maca powder (preferably gelatinzed)
1 scoop vegan proteins+ chocolate protein powder (or something else)
1/4 tsp. good quality cinnamon
3 medjool dates (or 1 tsp. maple syrup)
2 tsp. chia seeds (or flax)
Why the hell would I make this smoothie like I did? Well, I wanted something that would balance my blood sugar and give me a chance of assimiliating this coffee in somewhat or a reasonable fashion, thus the inclusion of protein powder, almond butter (fat, protein) and chia (fibre)--the three main factors in blood sugar balancing. I upped the cinnamon to a quarter teaspoon as this amount has been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels. Maca, a miraculous tuber from South America, is an adaptogen-- protecting and nourishing our hormonal system-- calming us or energizing us, depending on our body's needs. Amazing stuff. It also imparts a lovely but strong caramel taste when you pair it with the right foods.
This smoothie is stupidly good. You could also probably put some greens powder in here as well (today I used Amazing Grass chocolate greens), or some cacao powder. Anyway, for those of you who aren't hypersensitive to caffeine to the extent that you can't have it at all, for those of you who would like to enjoy coffee, but it wigs you out a bit, and for those of you who enjoy a delicious smoothie, the Javavalhalla Drank is THE drank to be drank.
Have you tried it? How was that for ya?
*Sorry about the photo. It looked great on the display screen of my camera ;) I promise to replace this next time I make this drank and the light is better. Just want to get this post out!