With kids and teachers going back to school and leaves already starting to turn (!) it appears that summer is winding down. Many of us find ourselves getting back to routines and rushing out the door without a good breakfast (or maybe that's just your constant state of affairs!). With the end of summer also comes the fall harvest and you may be wondering what to do with that vegetable that always seems to be in abundance this time of year - zucchini! I've got a simple solution for you that will solve your morning rush problem, help you get some more vegetables into your diet, use up that surplus and fuel your morning activities while still tasting great.
A zucchini smoothie!
No really. Stay with me. It's good!
Ayurveda, the sister science of yoga, teaches us that we should eat in accordance with the seasons. That can be a challenging idea in the northeast given our long winters, but this time of year mother nature's abundance is overflowing. Zucchini always seems to be one of those things that people are trying to give away because they have too much of it from their home gardens. (By the way, you can give it to me if you have it, but after you try this recipe you may not want to! ;-) ) Why not use that abundance to solve the problem of getting a healthy breakfast in before you rush out the door?
The other Ayurvedic key in this recipe is that it does NOT include ice or frozen fruit. One of the key elements in good eating according to Ayurveda is that we should help ignite and stimulate our digestive fire in the morning. By eating cold smoothies first thing in the morning we effectively put a cold wet blanket on that fire. If you've ever noticed that morning smoothie sitting heavily on your stomach, this might be why. This smoothie does use cold ingredients, but they aren't frozen. It also includes some ideas for stimulating spices that can aid digestion. As we start to transition to fall and the colder months when digestive fire can tend to slow down, this becomes even more important.
So without further ado, here's the recipe with some notes on the ingredients:
1 cup milk of your choice - I use almond milk, add more if you like a thinner smoothie
1/2 cup cashews - raw and unsalted if you can. You could probably use almonds instead.
1/2 a small to medium zucchini - you really won't taste it when we're done here and it adds a great creaminess!
1-3 dates - for sweetness, you could also use a bit of maple syrup instead
1 tablespoon raw cacao - this type of chocolate gives you beneficial minerals like magnesium and well... it's chocolate!!
1 tablespoon chia seeds - great for adding protein and good fats as well as vitamins and minerals
Cinnamon - to taste, a great spice for regulating blood sugar and firing up digestion. I've also been known to throw in a pumpkin pie spice blend like this one instead.
Throw this all into a high speed blender until smooth and enjoy!
Let me know if you enjoyed this recipe in the comments below. And feel free to bring me any of your zucchini you can't use. Or tomatoes. Or corn. Or...