Cauliflower Protein Smoothie

“I really am a smoothie person. I love making a morning smoothie and then will drink some coffee and will not eat at all before lunch.” –Gwyneth Paltrow

 

Whether you like to drink your protein from a to-go cup or serve it in a bowl, there’s no denying the popularity of smoothies.  Smoothies are a great way to start your day on the right nutritional path. You can get a serving of protein, healthy fat, fresh fruit, and/or vegetables all in one convenient, portable, and most of all, tasty meal.  In fact, you can even add in your favorite coffee or tea for a jolt of caffeine if desired!

        

           You can even toss in your favorite morning beverage as a liquid to this smoothie recipe!

 

           While many proponents of daily smoothie-consumption encourage making the smoothie first thing in the morning and consuming it immediately, I typically make mine the night before, and store it in the refrigerator overnight.  Ok, so maybe after 8-12 hours of sitting in the fridge, my smoothie’s nutritional value is slightly reduced; it still has MUCH more nourishment than those ready-to-go bottles and cans found on grocery and convenience store shelves.  Plus, I know what I make has far less sugar, and does not contain any extra additives that might cramp or bloat my belly.

 

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             I have experimented with adding several different vegetables to my smoothie: from spinach to Swiss chard, romaine lettuce to kale, and all other leafy greens in between.  However, my most often repeated go-to vegetable is frozen riced cauliflower. I know, it sounds odd at first, but it blends well and makes a smoothie extra creamy. Like a blank canvas, all other flavors override the taste of cauliflower, making it the perfect veggie add-in.

 

cauliflower cooking pot delicious food
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          Adding in cauliflower to my daily smoothie adds significant nutritional value.  To begin, cauliflower is not only full of fiber which keeps me feeling fuller longer, but it also contains fancy sounding compounds–glucoraphanin, sulforaphane, glucosinolate, glucobrassicin, and gluconasturtiin—that when combined with cauliflower’s naturally occurring fiber–help promote digestion, detoxification, and nutrient absorption.  

 

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You don’t see any cauliflower here, and neither will you taste it; however, you will reap all of its nutritional benefits!

 

           Cauliflower is also abundant in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements.  It’s loaded with vitamins C and K as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Humble cauliflower is also chock-full of selenium, phosphorus, and calcium—which can boost your immune system.  Plus, not only does it look like a brain, but it can boost brain function as it also contains choline, a vital nutrient for brain development.

 

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           I could go on and on about the nutritional and health benefits of cauliflower; but, bottom line, my smoothie recipe taste great!!! It possesses the creamy texture I crave, and by the time my workday begins, I’ve already consumed one serving of vegetables, protein, and healthy fat to power my way through the morning!  Personally, I like to make it with less liquid and eat it as a smoothie bowl because it feels as if I am eating pudding for breakfast! That said, I’ve certainly been known to blend it up with coffee and drink it on the way to work!

 

From a handful of ingredients, I can make myself either a delicious smoothie or smoothie bowl.

 

           Regardless of whether you drink this, or eat it with a spoon, it is worth the effort to make this powerhouse meal!  And, hey, who says you have to have it for breakfast? You can consume this any time of the day you want the convenience of nutrition in a cup! Plus, this recipe can be modified to fit any nutritional program especially if you are following the **Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan.  It is gluten free, and can be made vegan or vegetarian if desired. What’s not to love about that kind of versatility?

           From my home to yours, I wish healthy, happy, homemade meals . . .even if they’re to go!

 

These are all optional nutritional boost add-ins if needed in your diet.

 

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A great gluten-free and plant based (vegan) protein powder that is pocket friendly and widely available at many local store.

 

Cauliflower Smoothie

**If following Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, see below!

Makes one smoothie or bowl

Ingredients:

½ to 1 ½ -cup water, coffee, tea, or favorite milk/milk substitute (Use less for bowl, more for smoothie)

½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dash of pink Himalayan sea salt

1-packet favorite sweetener (I use Stevia.)

1 serving of your favorite protein

1½-teaspoon to 1-tablespoon chia seed, ground flaxseed, or hemp seed (Use only chia seed if making bowl for thickness.)

1-tablespoon cocoa or cacao powder (Optional)

½ – 1-cup frozen riced cauliflower  (I use ¾ cup or 85 grams.) (Can also use same amount of spinach, but will give smoothie a green tint.)

Optional:  Add in ½- ¾-cup of favorite frozen fruit for added sweetness and even more vitamins and fiber, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, cherries, and so forth.

Other optional nutritional boosts:  1 scoop of collagen, 1 scoop of greens powder, 1 scoop of glutamine (especially when consuming within an hour or so of working out), mct or coconut oil and/or ghee.

 

          Once you add in half of the total amount of liquid to your blender cup, then add in the ingredients in the order listed.

 

Directions:

Pour ½ the amount of desired liquid to bottom of 1 serving blender cup.

Add rest of ingredients in the order listed.

Pour rest of liquid on top.

Attach to blender and blend well—usually 60-90 seconds works on my Ninja.

Serve immediately, or store until next morning.  (I especially like to make this the night before, pour it into a bowl or cup, and refrigerate overnight for a quick grab and go breakfast.  If making a smoothie bowl, it is especially nice to top with freshly sliced fruit and/or sprinkle with your favorite nut pieces. Additionally, if you’re not opposed to consuming dairy, consider topping your bowl with a dollop of whipping cream.)

**Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan:

If you are like my daughter, Madelyn, a *Health Coach who follows the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, but you struggle to get in your “greens” because you are new to vegetables or not a big fan, then adding cauliflower to recipes if a fantastic way to painlessly get in that nutritious, and essential green.  We add in riced cauliflower to many of her recipes which I will continue to share in the future.  (As of the writing of this blog, Madelyn has lost a total of 11 pounds and 11 inches in three weeks!)

For this smoothie recipe, plan for the following:

Combine your favorite fueling (Shake or smoothie works best here)

Each 1/2 cup of riced cup of cauliflower = 1 green  (Remember, you need 3 per day!)

Then, the following optional additions fit in your plan this way:  (Of course, you do not need to add in any of the options, just pick one or two that you best suit you!)

1/2 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract = 1/2 condiment

1 teaspoon cocoa powder= 1 condiment

1 packet stevia = 1 condiment

1/2 teaspoon chia seed = 1 condiment

1 teaspoon flax seed = 1 healthy fat serving

1 serving of whipped topping = 1 condiment

Remember, on the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, you can have up to 3 condiments per day and 2 healthy fats per day.

*For more information regarding the Optimal Weight 5&1 Plan, send message here, or send a private Facebook message my daughter, Maddie Hill or me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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