Super Smoothie Starter


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.



Power Smoothie

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!


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Em! You’ve got a winner here, and I have never until now heard of alpiste! So excited to try it because amino acids help me recover from work outs so I don’t get sore. ( and I LOVE the fact that you used the word ornery in this post!! ) Yum, yum and will make the fam happy when angry, hungry, coffee crash mommy is stomping around the house….not funny.

  2. mamasita says:

    Would you make me one Emma? This looks like a great start to any day one needs a little treat and no guilt. I have never heard of a smoothie starter………brilliant and soooooooohealthy. Yum…….Mamasita

  3. Iveskies says:

    I spilled Emergen-C Chia Water all over the carpet in one of my classrooms today. I thought of you because 1) you introduced me to the glory of chia and 2) I could just see you sadly shaking your head, like “Jesus, Skobic.” Miss you and will make this in your honor… minus pretty much everything but the fruit, chia, oats, and flax cause canary seeds don’t migrate this far north.

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