Regardless of the season, there's nothing that I enjoy more as part of breakfast than a refreshing smoothie! It must be because smoothies and breakfast shakes lend themselves to endless experimentation and variation. I usually just throw in whatever fruit we may have on hand and mix with different yogurts, juices and milk and then jazz it up with different herbs or extracts. The smoothie that I whipped up yesterday for breakfast got an Indian touch with some ground cardamom and dessicated coconut. It was delicious...the ultimate "Bollywood" breakfast smoothie!
Cardamom, as you probably know if you've been following this blog for a while, is one of my favorite spices. The green pods and the black seeds inside are used in countless Indian and Middle Eastern desserts and other preparations. For this smoothie, I just ground a small quantity of the seeds in a coffee grinder (ground cardamom does not stay potent for long, so it's better to freshly grind as neeeded). The cardamom in this smoothie is very subtle but just enough to have a bit of Indian flavor.
For added nutritional value, I added some flax seeds, also ground into a powder in the coffee grinder (I just love that coffee grinder!). Flax seeds, known in French as graines de lin, are a wonderful source of omega-3 fatty acids. For vegetarians like me who don't eat fish, it can be very challenging to get omega-3 in our diets. Flax seeds, easily found in organic and health food stores, are an excellent source and can be added to everything from smoothies like this to soups to baked goods.
BOLLYWOOD BREAKFAST SMOOTHIE
Makes 2 smoothies
1 ripe banana, cut into quarters
1/2 cup mixed berries (or any single berry of your choice), fresh or frozen
125 grams (3/4 cup) plain yogurt (ideally reduced fat)
1/2 cup ice cold water
1 tablespoon (or to taste) agave syrup or honey
1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons ground flax seed
Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Enjoy!