Ever get the shakes? You know, the I-haven’t-eaten-anything-in-five-hours-yet-I’ve-downed-five-cups-of-coffee shakes? The hastened speech, the lack of concentration, the irrational anger and irritability? Yeah, the hunger shakes. They hit hard this last month while working at the hostel. After prepping, cooking, and serving 30 hung over and happy hostel guests, I look up at the clock and realize it’s 10:30am and I haven’t eaten anything all morning. But it’s not yet time to pause for breakfast since the crowds are still lazily sopping up leftover homemade enchilada sauce with bits of fresh baked bread. Damn them! So I wait. I pace the kitchen another 5 times. I put away dishes. I run a dishtowel over the kitchen counter again. Why do I want to punch the wall?
“Girl! Relax! Are you hungry? Eat some bread!”
Shoot. The boss lady sees it too. But you know, bread just won’t do it. It will only exacerbate the hunger shakes and leave me even more ornery. I need something nutrient dense and satisfying, yet quick to prepare and throw down the gullet. No one wants to see the awkward American girl in the hairnet hovering over a plate of food like a famished hyena. That’s just bad press for the hostel.
Anyhoo, that’s how this Super Smoothie and Starter was born. Fruit, grains, seeds, and other happiness all whirred together to make a thick and satisfying weapon against the hunger shakes. Not to mention it’s abundant in vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, omega-3s, protein, fiber, and my favorite new health buddy: canary seed.
A Note on Canary Seed
Don’t be turned off by the name. True, canary seed is often found in birdseed mixes, but here in Mexico (“alpiste” in Spanish) and other parts of the world it has been used for ages. The canary seed plant is a grass native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe. In Mexico, it’s used to make leche de alpiste (canary seed milk) by soaking the seeds overnight in water, blending, and straining the mix. Canary seed contains antioxidants, can help reduce cholesterol, is anti-inflammatory, is rich in amino acids, is a natural diuretic, fights hypertension and contains calcium, phosphorus, loads of protein, fiber, and calcium.
Super Smoothie Starter
The idea here for this recipe was to prepare the starter for many smoothies instead of preparing the seeds and grains each day. Once the mash is prepared, store it in a container in the fridge. From here, the possibilities are endless for a nutritious and satisfying smoothie.
3 C Water
¼ C Chia Seed
¼ C Ground Amaranth
¼ C Rolled Oats
¼ C Ground Flaxseed
¼ C Canary Seed
¼ C Brewer’s Yeast
Combine water and all other ingredients in saucepan. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until most of the water is absorbed. Immediately blend on high until mixture is well ground. It will still have a grainy texture, but let that just be a reminder of all the nutritious goodies on board.
Two heaping scoops of Smoothie Mash
1 C Frozen Fruit
½ C Water or Nondairy Milk
Sweetener of Choice (optional)
Combine all ingredients in blender. I like mine with frozen bananas or strawberries. Thick, grainy, and ultra satisfying. Enjoy!