Thursday, 4 April 2013

Banana and Coconut Smoothie

We are all guilty from time to time or not taking a moment to stop and reflect. Modern life can feel like one big whirlwind that picks us up and whizzes us around before dropping us off sometime in our 60’s/70’s leaving us to a hopefully peaceful retirement. Or at least right now that’s how it feels to me…
On the 1st of January everyone was full of hope and excitement for what the New Year would bring; fresh starts, new challenges and the like. For me however I had important exams, exams like Solicitors Accounts and Professional Conduct and Regulation – really fun sounding exams… I took these on the 3rd of January and told myself that me “new year” would come a little bit later. I tried celebrating around Chinese New Year when I posted my Tea Smoked Duck and Rice Noodle Salad and although things had calmed down a little, with another set of important exams just around the corner I never quite got the chance to take a step bake and reflect.
I still haven’t quite got there. After a couple of half-hearted attempts to “spring clean” and the odd weekend away I still haven’t quite cracked the art of me time. In the week I am an LPC student, I attend roughly one networking event a week at the firm, on Saturdays I work 9-6 in a shop for a few extra pennies and on Sundays I catch up with family. There really aren’t enough hours in a day or days in a week!
I have however got the hang of mornings… This may sound a little strange, but until recently I’d been a firm believer in waking up at the latest possible moment, getting ready and getting out of the door. It only takes me 45 mins from bed to car so the morning is just another part of my fast paced life. However, recently I have been taking time out to make myself a morning smoothie.
I decided to get back into smoothies after I had a horrible cold. When I have a cold the last thing I want is fresh fruit and veg so instead I gorged myself on carbs. Carbs are not my friends. So with the cold gone I’m back to stocking up on all the good things in the morning.
I take out my fresh fruit and veggies (more on green smoothies in a week or so) chuck them in my blender and off they go. For once it’s not me whizzing around but the fruit! I get 5 mins to simply stop and knowing I’m doing something positive for my diet at the same time is a big plus!
Now this won’t initially strike you as the “healthiest” of smoothies, but it is certainly one of the tastiest!
Smoothies often use bananas as a base as they offer a subtly sweet, creamy base on which to build other flavours. However, I for one LOVE bananas, and I can’t always get my fix in banana bread!
Bananas may also be better for you than you think! lists a number of benefits of including bananas in your smoothies, from being a great source of energy, promoting cardiovascular health, their natural antacid effect, and immune system support thanks to vitamin B6 to name just a few!!! So with all of this in mind I decided to come up with a smoothie recipe that made the banana a star.

The milk in this recipe is also a great source of calcium and the coconut brings a taste of the exotic to your morning! Adding a little cocoa powder balances out the sweetness to make a really creamy and luxurious morning smoothie. Alternatively, this works really well to satisfy sweet cravings in the afternoons/evenings instead of gorging on calorie rich puddings and desserts.
Do you think you need to find more time for you? Do you like to make fresh smoothies in the morning to give your day a healthy kick start? Let me know in the comments below!

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