Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Going The Smoothie Way

In the quest to allow for more variation into the daily clean eating regime, i am trying to see how feasible and sustainable (as in effort) to actually make a smoothie a day to be drink for breakfast or as one of the meal replacement. While fruit juice is simply superb, we sometimes wish for more bulk to the "food" we drink or liquid food we eat. I believe by having liquid food, we will allow the stomach to "rest" and not work too hard to digest those more solid food such as meat protein and oily items. Human tummy has evolved in such way that more people are sensitive eater and the digestive system has since been "customised" to digest more aggressively with the processed food we eat and in the process, causes damages we can't see. Of course this is just my own opinion and i based it on the logic that the sensitive stomach lining does have their limitation. More so with increased stomach ulcer occurrences and also cancer that involves the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Having a fruit juice or smoothie (they are both inherently different, read on) should not be used to replace all three meals of the day. Liquid diet is a fast way to lose weight, but you will gain back as much, or more as your metabolism will slow down. Key here is to ensure what you eat (or in this case, drink), will continue to stoke your metabolism. You should always start with your grocery shopping. Study has shown that people buy more processed food than real whole food. You have to be conscious when you walk down the (grocery) aisle.
Enough to feed 4pax, 3 meals, 2 days.
You will need a blender. I supposed every household would have one blender.
Next, you need to know what you can juice and what you can make smoothie. Rule of thumbs, anything high in cellulose will not be suitable to be made into smoothie. This include the usual carrot, apple and celery. You can still use them for smoothie provided you juice them first. But that would be double work. So stick to items that has little or no cellulose such as tomato, banana, orange, watermelon- basically items that holds a lot of water per weight.
As i was experimenting, i decided to just stick to banana (i got the Dole banana) and tomato (rich in anti-cancer properties). You can make beetroot smoothies too. That would be a power pack anti-cancer drink. Most commercial smoothies outside will use milk (or milk derivatives such as milk powder, yogurt, ice cream...) and little fruits. What you want here is really something really basic and that meant if anything were to be added, it will be water, or ice at most. Reason for this will be for calorific control and to ensure what you are drinking will have the required glycemic index (i.e. burn slower - stoke metabolism longer - get hungry later) for slower burning and highler/longer energy. Something with simple processed cane sugar will gives you the sugar high and subsequent loss of energy once the body burn them off.
My basic concoction calls for 2 medium sized tomato and 2 average sized Dole banana. You can use Pisang Emas, but they will oxidises faster, rendering the drink dark within minutes. The advantage of banana requires no explanation. Rich in Manganese, Potassium, fiber (soluble), Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C, it is the best "multivitamin and mineral" supplement you can get at RM4/kg (of about 5 banana of 6 inches long)
Tomato needs no further introduction too, as they are covered in my article here.
I added in about 100ml of plain water for fear the blending will make them into paste. Switched on and with a few nudge using the blender's stirrer, the concoction became smoothie.
Yellow+Red = Orange. :D
I then added in some ice cube and "pulse" blend it. With a non-specific ice blender, you will destroy the blade if you switch on the blender and run it in one long motion. "Pulsing" or switching on and off, will allow the higher torque (instead of constant speed) to break the ice easier. I took this opportunity to add in two teaspoon of Chia Seed.
I let it blend for another minute as i want my smoothie super smooth and the mixture, with the 100ml water and handful of ice, together with the bananas and tomatoes, produces almost 1 liter of smoothie or two servings.
Thick, Smooth, Banana smelling
As estimated, the total calories was about 300kcal - and that is with the Chia seeds added in. If just the bananas and tomatoes, it works out to be just 222kcal! With the Chia Seed, it went to 282kcal.
If you intend to add milk, a cup (250ml) of full cream milk will set you back another 140kcal, which will bump up the total to 420kcal (with Chia seed) - perfect replenishment or a 5km run (estimated 400kcal burned at medium intensity or 7:00 pace or 9km/h pace).
The smoothie was fantastic (obviously biased opinion) and went down pretty well. The tomato taste was subtle as the banana was stronger with the olfactory characteristic. The total cost for this smoothie is about RM2.00 (Banana - 7 for RM5.20 and tomato - 6 for RM1.33, balance for water and electricity ;-)). Anyone would had paid up to RM8 at any restaurant outside which most likely serves you a smoothie with more ice, more sugar and less fruits. It is true, once you tasted how "pure" some of these are when you make them yourself (like fruit juice, bread and burger patties) you wouldn't believe in paying premium pricing outside and are more driven to make them at home - using ingredient you can control.


  1. yg selipar dua pasang tu pun kaler buah2an :D

  2. Yang dua orang tu memnag sedap digigit. Geram. :)