By Riki Shore
I don’t usually drink smoothies, but I got a hankering for one the other day.
The worst smoothies resemble milkshakes: loaded with sugar and unhealthy fats, and devoid of protein.
To solve this problem I turned to two Bastyr University grads, Tom and Ali, and their blog, the Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Their recipes are always doable and they explain nutritional benefits in great detail.
They use raw, soaked almonds to create a high-protein, dairy-free smoothie. Here’s what Tom has to say about almonds and strawberries:
Contrary to popular belief, not all calorically dense foods lead to weight gain. Case in point? Almonds. Studies have demonstrated that people can add up to 2 ounces of almonds to their weight loss programs to decrease cholesterol and increase insulin sensitivity. Others studies have shown that adding 2 ounces of almonds to a high carbohydrate meal can significantly lower the blood sugar response to that meal. Strawberries are high in anthocyanidins, which are potent antioxidant compounds that protect tissues from free radical damage. Strawberries are also one of the fruits that are highest in vitamin C!
That sounded good enough to me, so I got out my blender in preparation for my morning meal. The next step was to soak the almonds. I put them in enough water to cover them by an inch and let them stand at room temperature for 10 hours.
Soaking almonds neutralizes phytic acid, a compound in nuts that’s indigestible for humans. The Weston A. Price Foundation has written extensively about the benefits of soaking nuts and the detrimental effects of phytic acid on our bodies.
Soaking completed, I whirred up a breakfast in under ten minutes. A Vitamix would work even better here if you have one! These amounts yielded two large smoothies.
1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked overnight
1 cup water
1 cup frozen organic strawberries
1/2 cup frozen organic raspberries
1 teaspoon raw honey
1. Drain the almonds and rinse them well. Place them in your blender with the fresh cup of water. Blend for a minute, or until the almonds are very smooth. The mixture will resemble almond milk.
2. Slice the frozen strawberries and add them to the blender along with the raspberries and honey. Blend until smooth. Pour into glasses and enjoy.