Dr. Rioux’s Recipe: Blueberry & Banana Super Smoothie
People often ask me my secret for staying so active, healthy, and energetic into my fifth decade. Well, actually they don’t—but if they did, I’d tell them this:
Start every day with a smoothie.
Not just any smoothie, but a super healthy concoction I created myself. It’s great because it’s quick to make and as a busy dentist in Gig Harbor, I can easily eat on my way to work.
Here’s what you need:
140 grams (about a cup) of frozen organic blueberries
Great antioxidants and a low glycemic index? What’s not to love about this universally-appreciated super food?
½ of a green banana
I know, everyone’s down on bananas, but they’re loaded with trace minerals! Green ones don’t affect blood sugar as much and they’re a great whole food source of resistant starch (RS). You’ll be hearing more about this later. I buy them green, peel them, break them in half and freeze them. This keeps them from getting too ripe and also may increase the resistant starch content. I know some foods (bread and rice come to mind) exhibit RS increases after being frozen—or at least cooled—but there are lots of different kinds of RS and I’m not sure if the RS in bananas is increased by freezing. Either way, there’s no downside to freezing them!
50 grams (about ½ cup) of steamed, then frozen organic kale
Raw cruciferous veggies can be goitrogenic (bad for your thyroid) so I steam the kale right when I get home from the store and get it in the freezer. This helps reduce the anti-nutrients and maximize the bioavailability of the other good stuff. It also blends better than raw.
¼ cup kefir (optional)
I ferment my own using raw or at least non-homogenized grass-fed milk. Culturing kefir is super easy and requires no special equipment. It also contains a broad variety of beneficial organisms. If you’re in the area I’m happy to share my culture with you!
3 tablespoons of non-denatured, grass-fed whey protein
Whey protein has long been recognized as one of the best protein sources providing essential amino acids. As long as it’s non-denatured it’s a great glutathione precursor (the body’s own antioxidant). Good sources are: http://www.bulletproofexec.com/upgraded-whey/ as well as Immunopro, which can be found online.
1 raw egg
This has to be from either my chickens or a local farm that I trust. The fats and proteins in egg yolks lose some of their amazing nutritional qualities when denatured by cooking. The chances of getting sick from my own eggs are vanishingly small. Plus, I read that Marylin Monroe ate two raw eggs and a glass of milk almost every day! And I bet THAT milk wasn’t ultra-pasteurized! Of course she may not be the best person to look to for healthy living choices.
1 tablespoon of Chia seeds
Although it’s been touted as high protein, I know 1 tablespoon isn’t adding much. However, mucilaginous seed coatings are a favorite food of gut bacteria and I’m all about sharing the love with my gut bugs.
1 tablespoon of ground flax
Same as above and also trace amounts of omega – 3 fats. I will often skip this though, because it just gets too thick.
1 teaspoon to 4 tablespoons of potato starch
A great source of RS (blunts blood sugar spikes, feeds the gut biome)
1 scoop (3 grams) of Jarrow formulas inulin FOS
I mix my smoothie in a Vitamix blender. The easiest thing is to use a kitchen scale like this one from OXO.
I put the blender on the scale and just dump in the ingredients. It’s easy to zero out the scale between additions. This saves me the time and hassle of pulling out measuring cups and it’s a quicker clean up!
A short primer on resistant starch can be found here.
That’s it! This recipe is so fast and yummy that I could have one every day!