I made a huge batch of nut mylk–huge–and ever since I made it I had been craving this smoothie, below. I love the simple pairing of greens, nut mylk, and banana. It’s creamy, it’s light, and it has a healthy amount of leafy greens hidden in it. Also, there was no need to add a sweetener as the bananas were sweet enough. Win!
I like to pair nut mylk with my greens because it increased the nutrient bioavailability for the greens. Greens contain a lot of calcium and magnesium but are often times lost in the process of digestion. The nuts help release these nutrients so our bodies have an easier time picking them up. By pairing nut mylk with the greens (instead of whole nuts) you also eliminate a large part of the nut, which is a good thing in many cases since raw food tends to be calorie-dense with all the nut-based dishes.
I don’t use nut mylk often mainly because I favor coconut water or plain water in smoothies and puddings because of the lower calorie count. I also rarely buy prepared nut milks because it’s loaded with so many unnecessary ingredients and preservatives making it no more healthy than regular milk!! (okay, it is still a better option than regular milk but definitely not a “natural” version)
Here is just an example of the ingredients listed for commercial Almond Milk. There are a lot of different goodies in there that are mostly questionable. The one that makes me cringe is “natural flavors” because this could be essentially anything! There is a certain threshold that the FDA has created where if an ingredient in an item is not a main ingredient, and sits below this arbitrary threshold set by the FDA, then it is legally satisfying to name it “natural flavors”. This can include bugs that fall into the food item, various spices, flavor enhancers, etc. The biggest offender in this case is usually MSG. Now, I’m not a fan of conspiracy theories so let’s not get too into that. But what I am aware of is that MSG is dangerous and MSG is legally allowed in packaged foods under the identity of “natural flavors”. There are many other terms that can be legally used to identify MSG, such as: natural flavor, natural flavorings, natural beef flavor, natural chicken flavor, malt flavoring, chicken flavoring, seasoning, spices, enzymes and simply “flavoring.”
Pretty vague, huh?
None of that is worth the headache. Which is why I opt for my own homemade version that has very few ingredients.
Brazil nuts are incredible powerhouses when it comes to nutrition and it just take two of these guys to get your daily recommended amount of Selenium. Selenium is a crucial mineral that is found in soil and then absorbed by the plants that are grown in mineral rich soil. It is helpful in combating hormone related cancers–like breast, female organs, and prostate cancers–as well as balancing thyroid function.
Brazil Nut Mylk
2 cups brazil nuts
32 oz coconut water*
1 vanilla bean
2-4 dates (optional)
Soak the nuts overnight in a container in the fridge.
The next morning combine everything in your high speed blender (Vitamix is best for this stuff) and blend on high until blended and frothy.
Into a large bowl , place your nut mylk bag and then pour the contents into the bag (over the bowl).
Once everything is poured in, wrap one hand over the top, tightly squeezing.
With your other hand gently squeeze the contents so the liquid can strain.
Continue doing this until all of the liquid is squeezed out, completely.
*I like to use a whole coconut, or 2 coconuts, for the water. Then I save the meat for another use (you can never have too much coconut meat on hand). If I don’t have enough coconut water to fill the blender then I just fill it with regular water, as well. You can do this with regular water, to begin with, but it’s not as tasty as coconut water..
I save the pulp that is left in the bag for other uses, like macaroons or pancakes…
And now, onto the smoothie …
Creamy Dreamy Green Smoothie
2 frozen bananas
2 cups homemade nut mylk
3-4 large leafs of kale
2-3 cups spinach
1 T maca powder (optional)
1 t chlorella (optional)
Place everything in your blender and blend until well-incorporated and smooth. No green chunks allowed in this one!!
This is quite the indulgence for me when it comes to green smoothies but it is so satisfying.