September 29, 2015

Smoothie 3000 : Chia Chai

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11. Focus on a Nutrient

Okay..... so I should be real good at this. Because I feel like I am constantly defending my choices and weather or not I am getting all the necessary nutrients.

But to be honest - the main way I try and make sure that I follow a balanced and healthy diet is just that. Balance. With aside from making sure that I have enough calcium (hello fortified plant milk) I just make sure that I eat a varied diet. Apart from today. Because today I had three meals of oats, apple and peanut butter. But today is an acceptation..... and I also had carrot sticks for supper.

So thinking of a recipe where I specifically focus on a nutrient was hard. Because I don't - and to be honest- I'm not sure I really want to..... I want all my meals to have a varied nutritional profile - and for the variety of them that I have over the course of a day, or a week, or whatever to form a balanced diet. Unless I'm deficient in something (which so far as I know has only happened when I was stuck eating hospital food.... is it just me who sees the irony in this?) I don't feel the need to obsess over a nutrient.

If I eat a balanced healthy diet full of a variety of veggies then what's there to worry about. Apart from maybe the fact that I might turn orange from eating carrot sticks several times a day - or overdose on broccoli because I love broccoli.

So instead I went down a different path. I chose something and tried to recreate the nutritional profile of it using whole foods.

I've been really interested in the breakfast drinks that have had a big surge lately in advertising and on the supermarket shelves. Kind of like fortified milkshakes- they claim to be all you need for breakfast- and the equivalent of eating an 'average bowl of cereal and milk'.

For starters.... I'd like to know what they consider an average bowl. Because if it's a bowl of Coco Pops... well that isn't exactly what I would classify as being a healthy start to the day. I mean - don't get me wrong- I love chocolate for breakfast - but I also know lots of sugary cereal is not an everyday thing.

And then we get onto everything else. I know that I'm not the queen of clean eating with my fortified almond milk - but... even the ingredients for my almond milk look a lot less scary then the ingredients for these drinks. And they contain 7.3g less sugar per 100ml. And this transpires to the breakfast drinks containing 18.5g of sugar per serving. Which is kind of a lot for a breakfast which doesn't provide you with a fruit serving.

But don't get me wrong. I love the idea of a drinkable breakfast- I mean.... I'm the queen of smoothies. But having a milkshake for breakfast also sounds great. Sometimes you're just in the mood for something.... 'milky'. Like a big bowl of fluffy comforting oatmeal. Or leftover rice pudding for breakfast. Fruit and green smoothies are great- they're refreshing and energising and great.... but sometimes that's not what you're in the mood for.

And one morning I was kind of in the mood for a milkshake for breakfast. And I thought it would be fun if I could create one of these breakfast drinks. I must of been very bored. Or just plain crazy. Either or.

It kind of ended up more like a fruitless smoothie. It was thick and creamy - more like a thick creamy milkshake than a smoothie in that sense.... but the ingredients were more like something you'd find in a smoothie than something that you would find in a smoothie than you would find in a milkshake.

You'll see why in a minute.

Okay - so..... are you ready.... my breakfast drink contains:

13.9g of protein compared to the 9.5g in the 'Up and Go' vanilla flavor. And the same amount of calcium. And although it does contain a lot more calories (just over twice as many) I was full for HOURS. I didn't snack all morning till lunch at one. Bearing in mind that I'd had breakfast 6-7ish. So really it's not that bad. (It worked out at about 350-375 calories - which is less than the governments 'Change for Life' program actually recommends)

(Also - I'd just like to point out I DEFINITELY don't normally calculate things like calories and protein of what I eat - but I was more just curious to see how my version compared).

Also - I'd just like to explain something. There are chickpeas in my breakfast drink. A - with all the spice- I didn't taste anything. B - I actually wanted to add tofu- but I didn't have tofu. I have seen lot's of people add silken tofu to smoothies - so that didn't strike me as weird. To be honest - the chickpeas did - but it didn't taste weird and as I am a lot more likely to have chickpeas in than tofu (also as I am now a student the fact that they are a lot cheaper also helped) I stuck with the chickpeas. But yes.... it's weird. I'm sorry. If you have silken tofu.... I am pretty sure you could sub an equal amount of silken tofu for chickpeas. But I felt the need to add a 'high protein food' so I could compare with the store bought breakfast drink- although in the end- I actually well exceeded it.

Another thing I should warn you is if you are making this before you are going to drink it (as in if you are not going to drink it immediately after making it) you should probably (well... definitely) wait till you add the chia seeds. Because chia seeds absorb something like (don't quote me) 10 times there weight in water- they thicken stuff up like you wouldn't believe. And your drink will be undrinkable. So stir in the chia seeds just before drinking.

Chia Chai Smoothie 3000
Serves 1 for breakfast - but could be split into 2 for a snack

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 1 Tablespoon cashew butter
  • 1/3 cup cooked chickpeas (or silken tofu) 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional - but adds an otherwise missing sweetness and helps hide the chickpea taste)
  • Drop coconut extract (optional - you could also add coconut milk for the milk as above)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon chia seed

  • Combine oats and milk in your blender (or jug if you use an immersion blender) and let sit for about 5 minutes. It just seems to me that otherwise it takes AGES to blend properly. 
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and blend till creamy and smooth. This is very important because I assume that you - like me - don't want random lumps of chickpea in their breakfast. 
  • As above- if not drinking immediately leave out chia seeds until just before drinking- then stir them in. Otherwise - they can be blended with the rest of the ingredients. 

And if you're wondering- I have no idea why it's called a Smoothie 3000. It just happened. Don't bother asking me. I have no idea. 


  1. Chickpeas in a breakfast smoothie -- definitely an interesting idea! Love the name, haha! :D

    1. Good..... I have no idea what the name means. I can't taste the chickpeas at all - so it's okay. (unless you're blender isn't that great and you get a lump of chickpea- then it's really not great!!!!)