Friday, March 27, 2009

High-Protein Breakfast Smoothies

The Little Potamus sucking down a pint of smoothie.

I've never thought of a smoothie as a meal in itself. A great addition to a weekend breakfast maybe. A good use for last-summer's berries. A reminder that it won't snow forever. But smoothies never seem to have the staying power or the chew factor that I usually deem necessary in my breakfasts. Probably the ones I've made in the past involve too much sugar and not enough protein.

When we went to the Yucatan last month, though, I found myself wanting a light and cool lunch in the middle of the day--I just couldn't face a plate of enchiladas in 80 degree heat. We stayed a few days in this little town south of Cancun called Puerto Morelos that had a smoothie-coffee-sandwich shop on the corner (Le Cafe d'Amancia--check it out here). The smoothies were good with fresh fruit and milk (you could also get fresh juices for those of you who are dairy-free) though not mind-blowing. For that I would have to go back a few days to the tumblers of strawberry-pineapple-orange juice we ordered and reordered in Valledolid, but that's a whole other post.

When we came back, I found myself craving smoothies for breakfast. I wanted a recipe without sugar so that I could feed it to myself and to the 18-month-old Little Potamus sans guilt. When I found a one that contained dates, I knew I was on the right track. I'm always totally amazed at the ability of dates to make more conventional sugars totally unneccessary. Add some peanut butter, and it's starting to get more substantial. I've become totally addicted to the following recipe, though it's taken some adjustment to my banana buying habits. I have to buy far more than I'm used to so they don't all get eaten up before they ripen enough to freeze!

Protein-Packed Breakfast Smoothie

Makes 1 pint glass.

1 chopped frozen banana
1/2 c. plain yogurt
1/2 c. milk of choice
4 chopped dates (rehydrated, if neccessary to make them soft)
1 tbsp. nut butter

Dump all of the ingredients into the blender, and blend until your smoothie is smooth, creamy, and, well, smoothie-like.

Check out these protein-packed smoothies for more ideas:

Friday, March 20, 2009

Go Michelle O!

When I saw Michelle Obama on the cover of O Magazine with Oprah, I winced then yanked open the magazine to the interview. Like a lot of people, I think I get my American royalty fix from reading about their lives but I also hate feeling like this incredibly professionally experienced woman is reduced to a great pair of arms, nice clothes, and sound mom-skills.

On the other hand, maybe she's also just very politically saavy and determined not to go the way of Hillary. She does seem to be taking a small but firm and public stand on family and food issues.

Regardless, I never really expected that they would have a White House garden. Gee, a reasonable request from the American public actually being implemented? I guess I'm still a little cynical, despite the Obama-infused euphoria.

Check out the NYT article on our new White House farming operation!