Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Banana Apple Smoothie

Or should I coin the term Banapple for this Smoothie! I am taking small baby steps to lose some weight and I started with lessening my intake during lunch. Somehow, reducing my food during the day was always easy for me but come evening and I really wanted to eat. So today, I tried to completely cut my carb intake during lunch and thought of this smoothie. Like I wrote previously, I am more inclined to fruits in smoothies and would need time to graduate to vege smoothies. My stock of fruits included apple, banana and safarjal (yet to search the English name for it). There were some almonds as well which I planned to grind into the smoothie, it added to the consistency and to the health benefits.
Long back, I ground up some almonds rather than slicing them into my drink. And from then on I got hooked on to the taste of almond milk although I did not know then it was used widely in place of regular milk by vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
Banana Apple Smoothie now officially Banapple Smoothie at home!
Banana - 1
Apple - 1
Almonds - 15 to 20
Milk - 1/2 cup
This makes exactly 1 glass of smoothie. For this recipe you need to soak the almonds for at least 4 hours, the best is if you manage to soak them for 10 - 12 hours. Grinding almonds is easy once it is soaked for a long time. You can peel the almonds and use if you like, I preferred mine with skin. A lot of recipes suggest freezing the banana for a chilled smoothie plus it gives a shaved ice effect. Grind the soaked almonds with 1 or 2 tbsp. milk. Then add the sliced apple and banana give it a run again. At this time if you think you need to add milk to get the consistency right add milk 1 spoon at a time. The smoothie is ready.
Optional: You can add a drop of natural vanilla essence or a couple of vanilla bean seeds if you like.
I popped my Banana Apple Smoothie into the freezer for a nice cold drink and topped it with a spoonful of soaked sago or sabudana which I had handy.
Replace the regular milk with a few more almonds and a little water and you have a Vegan Smoothie recipe!

This smoothie's Awesomeness table:
Banana - contains Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Manganese, Potassium and of course fiber. It may be the best source of potassium which helps in lowering blood pressure. Bananas are also known for its antacid effects which helps in keeping stomach ulcers at bay. It also contains pectin a fiber which helps in easing bowel movement alleviating constipation.
Apple - contains Vitamin C and lots of fiber. Apples also contain phytonutrients which help in regulate blood sugars and an unusual mix of polyphenols which help lower the total cholesterol and the LDL cholesterol. The apple is also purportedly said to lower the risk of asthma and certain kinds of cancer. It also has anti-oxidant and anti inflammatory properties.
Almonds - now this one is a long list - Vitamin E, Manganese, Magnesium, Vitamin B2, Phosphorous, Calcium, Potassium, Tryptophan and copper. It helps lower LDL cholesterol and the risk of heart disease. Almonds contain nutrients that help boost brain activity and lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease. And something we all love it for - skin and hair!

(Benefits information from : www.whfoods.com & www.care2.com)

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