If you want a protein-rich, energizing, nutrient-dense smoothie that tastes like a dessert, this is it! I very rarely create recipes using 3 bananas! AAAAHHHH! But, it really creates some magic in this smoothie. Not only is this blend sweet, rich, and tasty, it is absolutely chock full of nutrients and plant based protein. You could also add more leafy greens to boost it even more.
I have used the homemade unsweetened, unstrained hemp seed milk from yesterday's post as the base for this smoothie. As I mentioned yesterday, hemp seeds are extremely rich in vitamins, minerals, healthy plant based fats, antioxidants, fibre, live enzymes, natural chlorophyll, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty essential fatty acids, and contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties.
Hemp seeds also offer high quality plant based protein. Not only do they contain all 10 essential amino acids. But hemp contains the amino acid, Edestin, present only in hemp seeds. Edestin is considered integral to our DNA, making hemp the closest plant based source of protein to our own human amino acid profile. Hemp protein is also highly digestible, and very easily absorbed by the body, leaving more energy for muscle regeneration and fat metabolism.
Add in the potassium and magnesium content of bananas, the superfood strength of chia seeds and flaxseeds, and the magical power of Maca, and you have a winning combination. For those of you who have not used maca powder before, this stuff makes a magical addition to smoothies. Not only for it's malt-like flavor, but also for the intense nutritional profile.
Maca is a wonder food. It is an incredibly resilient root vegetable, native to the Andean mountains of Bolivia and Peru. A member of the brassica family, maca is miraculously grows at altitudes of 14,000 feet, in poor volcanic soil, and in extremely harsh weather conditions -- freezing cold temperatures, fierce winds, and intense sunlight where no other crops can survive.
Despite this, maca rises with powerful medicinal qualities. Widely known as "Peruvian Ginseng", maca is also known as an "adaptogen" that balances and revitalizes our system, combats stress, and supports the regeneration of the adrenal system. A perfect food for this fast-paced world that we live in.
Maca has been a lifesaver for me....literally. Last year, I was so busy flying back and forth to support Scott through his cancer treatment, and so emotionally drained, I was diagnosed with severe adrenal fatigue. Maca (and some other things) were incredibly beneficial in supporting my recovery. Maca also helps to lower cortisol levels which really helped me get good quality sleep.
Maca contains incredible phytonutrients -- flavanols, glucosinates and isothiocyanates that neutralize free radicals, and is extremely high in vitamins, minerals, and protein (amino acids). Maca is also a rich source of steroid-like compounds that promotes the regeneration of muscle tissue. This makes maca an amazing supplement for aiding workout performance and recovery.
Maca helps to promote vitality; metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteins; maintain strong bones and teeth, form red blood cells and support their function; and so much more. The Peruvians used maca for thousands of years for increased energy and stamina. They believed it improved fertility and enhanced libido as well. Maca is also a brilliant plant-based source of vitamin B12. One serving contains about 70% of the daily recommended intake of B12 (as cyanocobalimin). It also contains large amounts of calcium, manganese, calcium, potassium, and iron.
There are quite a few brands of Maca powder on the market. I like this Maca Powder because it is certified organic, traditionally grown, and sustainably harvested in partnership with it's farmers, uses the whole maca root, and uses a heat extrusion process that removes the starch (which is hard to digest) from the root. This gelatinization process actives the micronutrients within, which results in a more concentrated form of maca that is easily digested and assimilated.
Just a note: maca has a quite a strong nutty flavor. It likes to be the star attraction. Generally one teaspoon strikes a nice balance for me. I find too much of it really overpowering. With this smoothie blend, you will need all three bananas to strike a nice balance, or you will need to add more dates, maple syrup, or raw agave nectar to round out the flavors and take the edge off the maca.
Also important to note: the maca flavor intensifies in this blend when left to sit in the fridge. This smoothie is best consumed really cold immediately. But, that shouldn't be hard. This smoothie is so delicious, there is no way it will last more than 10 minutes. Enjoy :)