Category Archives: smoothie

Seed Showdown: Comparing Flax, Chia and Hemp

It’s Food Fun Friday and what’s more fun than talking about seeds? I can’t think of anything. It started with flaxseeds, and now that hemp and chia seeds are prominent players in the health food market I think it’s time to compare and contrast the benefits of these superfoods. It’s time for a Seed Showdown.

Here’s a Venn diagram

aaaaaand a table.

and now for some words…

Chia

Remember the “Ch-ch-ch-chia Pet“? Well these seeds are the same thing only you aren’t going to grow them into a cute hedgehog, you’re going to eat them. Chia, Salvia hispanica is a plant, which belongs to the mint family. It was so highly recognized by the Aztecs that it was often used as currency. It contains high levels of antioxidants, calcium, magnesium and iron. Studies show that chia has enormous potential to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and Type 2 Diabetes. It can lower blood sugar (glucose) after a meal, reduce inflammation and blood pressure, help maintain hydration and is a natural blood thinner.

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/eating-chia-seeds/story?id=18296119

My tip: fill a liter bottle with juice, tea, flavored water or lemonade and add 3 tablespoons. Shake every 5 minutes and enjoy throughout the day.

Flax

Flax or Linum usitatissimum is in the Linaceae familyHippocrates wrote about using flax for the relief of abdominal pains, and the French Emperor Charlemagne favored flax seed so much that he passed laws requiring its consumption. Flax contains alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), dietary fiber, and lignans.

http://positively-healthy.com/a-beginners-guide-to-flaxseed/

My tip: Add 2 tablespoons to a glass of almond milk and drink within 30 minutes (or the milk will start to thicken). Flax is also well suited for baking, add 1 tablespoon to any recipe when you add flour.

Hemp

HempCannabis sativa L. and other non-drug varieties of Cannabis, commonly known as hemp were not previously commonly cultivated, but are becoming more popular. Technically hemp seeds are the nut of the plant. A diet rich with hemp has been shown to lead to increased energy, improved metabolism and immunity, reduced food cravings, and it can help lower blood pressure. Hemp also contain plant sterols that have been shown to reduce cholesterol.

**Interesting plant nerd side note** Two of Boulder’s favorite pass times find there origin in the Cannabaceae family: hops and hemp. #TheMoreYouKnow #DoHashtagsWorkHere?

http://kimberlysnyder.net/blog/2013/05/26/raw-tabouli-salad-with-hemp-seeds/#i.1cj27pxv9fjy

My tip: Add 1 tablespoon to smoothies, 1 tablespoons to oatmeal, 1 tablespoon to everything you eat, ever.

Definitions

Lignans – antioxidant compounds found in plants that seem to provide extra protection against many types of cancer, are anti-inflammatory, and may also help lower cholesterol levels.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) – anti-inflammatory. Read more about the importance of balancing omega-3s and omega-6s 

Soluble and Insoluble Fiber – Put simply soluble fibers (those found in chia and flax) absorb water, helping to slow the absorption of sugar and cholesterol from foods, while insoluble fibers (those found in hemp) do not. Read more here.


I hope that clears up some of the confusion if there was any. My conclusion: all of these seeds can be beneficial additions to your diet and can be used in so many ways so, if the budget allows, having them all on hand is a good idea. If you have to choose just one, the price for flax can’t be beat, hemp is probably the most well-rounded health option and chia is a very fun alternative to try.

Did I miss anything? What is your favorite way to eat these healthy seeds? 

Abso-fruit-ly Yummy Smoothie Recipes

Last summer you may remember from my Backpacking For Dummies post that, due to wildfires and drought conditions, Colorado looked a little like this:

Well this September we have received 50% of our average annual precipitation within the last 48 hours, so now it looks a little more like this:

I know homes, businesses and people have experienced devastating loss over the past 2 days. I would like to express my sympathies to everyone who has been affected by this disaster.

So guess what this is. Just guess! okay fine I’ll tell you: this, yes this very thing that you are reading with your eyeballs, is my 100th post on Maggie’s Mind Mumbles!

Congratulations to me but mostly congratulations to you. You, who come here to my blog and read whatever nonsense gibberish I happen to feel like writing in the moment. I really appreciate it. (No, I’m not crying! Someone just poured water all over my face).

Not only is this post #100, it’s also Friday, which we all know is the best day of all the days. AND not only is it Friday, it’s Food Fun Friday (what a big day!) so it’s time to blend up some fun. Today’s recipes are berry good. Check out the 36 supercharged smoothies in the a-peel-ing infographic below!

These 36 are sub-lime aren’t they? But in case that’s not just peachy with you, here are just a few more grrrrape recipes.

  • Banana – 2 frozen bananas, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 2 teaspoons honey, a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Strawberry Banana – Same as above, replace one banana with a cup of frozen strawberries.
  • Strawberry shortcake – 2 cups frozen strawberries, 1 cup crumbled pound cake, 1 and 1/2 cup milk, sugar to taste and top with whipped cream.
  • Triple Berry – 1 and 1/2 cups frozen mixed blackberries, raspberries and strawberries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk.
  • Raspberry Orange – 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup frozen raspberries, 1/2 cup plain yogurt.
Food Network
  • Peach Mango Banana – 1 cup frozen mangos, 1 cup frozen peaches, 1/2 frozen banana, 1 cup plain yogurt.
  • Honeydew Almond – 2 cups frozen honeydew melon, 1 cup almond milk
  • Cantaloupe – 2 cups frozen cantaloupe, juice of 1/2 lime, 1/2 cup water, sugar to taste.
  • Carrot Apple – 1 cup carrot juice, 2 cups frozen apple.
  • Kiwi Strawberry – 1 cup frozen strawberries, 2 peeled kiwis, sugar to taste.
Food Network
  • Cherry Vanilla – 1 and 1/2 cup frozen cherries, 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt.
  • Tangerine Honey – 4 frozen tangerines, juice of 2 limes, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup ice.
  • Apricot Almond – 1 and 1/2 cups apricot nectar, 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, 2 tablespoons almond butter.
  • Grape – 2 cups frozen grapes, 1 cup grape juice.
  • Blueberry Pear – 1 and 1/2 cups frozen blueberries, 1 frozen pear, 1 and 1/2 cup maple yogurt.
Food Network
  • Banana Date Lime – 2 frozen bananas, 3/4 cup chopped frozen dates, the juice of 1 lime, 1 and 1/2 cup milk.
  • Peach Ginger – 2 cups frozen peaches, 1 and 1/2 cups buttermilk, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger.
  • Grapefruit – 1 frozen grapefruit, 1 cup grapefruit juice, 3 tablespoons sugar, a pinch of cinnamon. 
  • Pomegranate Cherry – 1 cup frozen cherries, 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, a pinch of salt, a pinch of cinnamon. 
  • Vietnamese Coffee – 1/2 cup chilled espresso or strong coffee, 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk, a pinch of cardamom, 1 and 1/2 cups ice.
Foor Network
  • Blueberry Banana – 1 frozen banana, 1 cup frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract.
  • Creamy pineapple -2 cups frozen pineapple, 1/2 cup cottage cheese, 1/4 cup milk, 2 teaspoons honey, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, a pinch of nutmeg, a pinch of salt.
  • Peanut Butter Apple – 1 frozen apple, 3 tablespoons peanut butter, 2 tablespoons flaxseeds, 1 and 1/2 cup milk, honey to taste.
  • Apple Ginger – 1 frozen apple, 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, the juice of 2 limes, 1/4 cup honey, 1 cup water.
  • Creamsicle – 3/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, 1/2 cup water, 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt.
Food Network
  • Lemon Poppyseed – 2 teaspoons poppyseeds, the zest and juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, sugar to taste.
  • Mango Acai – 8 ounces frozen acai, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup orange juice.
  • Mexican Coffee – 1/2 cup chilled espresso or strong coffee, 1/2 cup milk, 3 and 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, 1 and 1/2 cups ice.
  • Banana PB&J – 1 cup frozen banana, 1 cup milk, 1/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 2 tablespoons jelly.
  • Black Raspberry Vanilla – 1 pint frozen blackberries, 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey.
Food Network
  • Chocolate Raspberry – 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup chocolate frozen yogurt, 3/4 cup milk.
  • Pomegranate Berry – 1 cup frozen blueberries, 3/4 cup beet juice, 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, honey to taste.
  • Cucumber Kale – 1 and 3/4 cup vegetable juice ice cubes, 1/2 cucumber, 3 kale leaves, the juice of 1/2 lemon.
  • Pineapple Mango – 1 cup frozen pineapple, 1 cup frozen mango, 1 cup coconut water, a pinch of allspice.
  • Peanut Butter Banana – 1 frozen banana, 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 1/3 cup milk, 2 tablespoons malted milk powder, 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder, a pinch of salt.
Food Network
  • Oatmeal Cookie – 1 cup vanilla yogurt, 1 cup milk, 1 cup oats, 1 teaspoon flaxseed, a pinch of cinnamon, top with a cookie.
  • Chocolate Banana – 1 banana, 1 cup chocolate frozen yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, a pinch of salt.
  • Apple Spinach – 2 cups spinach, 1 frozen apple, 1/2 cup silken tofu, 1/4 cup milk, 1/4 cup orange juice, 1 tablespoon wheatgerm, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice.
  • Mint Jalapeno – 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, 1 jalepeno pepper, 2 and 1/2 tablespoons honey, a pinch of salt, 2 cups plain yogurt, top with toasted cumin seeds and cilantro.
  • Cucumber Honeydew Mint – 1/2 cucumber, 1/2 frozen honeydew melon, 1 cup pear juice, 2 tablespoons lime juice, 1/4 cup mint leaves.
Food Network
  • Strawberry Maple – 2 cups frozen strawberries – 1 and 1/2 cups milk, 1/ cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup wheat germ, a pinch of cinnamon.
  • Birthday Cake – 1 and 1/2 cups vanilla frozen yogurt, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 1 cup milk, juice of 1 lemon, 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, top with sprinkles.
  • Carrot Mango Herb – 1 cups frozen mango, 1/2 cup carrot juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup mint, tarragon or basil.
  • Blueberry Banana Spinach – 1/2 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup frozen blueberries, 1 cup spinach, 1 tablespoon flaxseed, 1/2 frozen banana.
  • Banana Split – 1 frozen banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1 teaspoon cocoa powder, 1 cup yogurt, 1 cup milk.
Food Network

Smoothie making is a science and a tricky balancing act. The best rule of thumb is to include one frozen ingredient and one liquid ingredient in whatever combination you want. I like to freeze the fruit because I find it is hard to keep fruit from going bad in the summer when fresh is available and it’s cheaper in the winter to buy frozen. You can freeze juices, teas, coffees, etc. into cubes and use that or plain water cubes as well.

Practice makes perfect and soon you will find a routine that works well for you. Play with these recipes and concoct your own to really get into the smoothie making s-pear-it.