Coconut Banana Cream Pie Smoothie

Bananas are one of my favourite fruits!  Not only are the tasty and sweet but they are extremely good for you!  Bananas help to promote good digestion, steady blood sugar and insulin levels, and help you to maintain a healthy weight.  Not only are bananas great in a variety of recipes but they are also a wonderfully convenient snack food.  For these reasons I have decided to create a dreamy, creamy, pie-like smoothie and/or smoothie bowl for you that highlights this essential fruit which should be a part of everyone’s regular diet.

Bananas contain essential nutrients to keep our bodies running smoothly.  They actually contain fairly high amounts of fiber keeping our digestion on point.  There are two types of fiber found in a banana:

  • Pectin: decreasing as it ripens
  • Resistant Starch: found in unripe bananas

Both types of fiber are important for our digestive tract even resistant starch which stays intact during the digestion period flowing into your large intestine where it feeds beneficial gut bacteria (healthline.com).

Bananas have a ton of other benefits as well including essential vitamins and minerals for optimal health.  For example these are the benefits that one medium sized banana (118g) contains:

  • Vitamins B6 & C
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • 24g carbohydrates
  • 3g fiber
  • 1.3g fat

Every banana is roughly around 105 calories and contains little to no fat making it a healthy enjoyable snack on the go and a great way to start your morning giving you a nice boost of energy (medicalnewstoday.com).

Interestingly enough, although bananas are sweet naturally they actually help to regulate blood sugar levels in the body.  Because of the pectin and resistant starch we talked about earlier, these types of fiber help to slow down digestion and the emptying of your stomach causing insulin levels to stay consistent after your meal.  Since bananas have a low to medium glycemic index (GI) they are a good food for maintaining blood sugar levels.  However this may not completely apply to those with diabetes as they should be making sure to avoid overly ripe bananas as they have a higher GI.

Bananas are definitely identified as a weight loss friendly food.  Although bananas are quite large and filling, they have relatively few calories.  They are filled with nutritious fiber aiding in good digestion while also containing resistant starch reducing your appetite (healthline.com).

Pairing such a health promoting fruit with a rich healthy fat like coconut creates a deliciously balanced meal.  Hence why I created the Coconut Banana Cream Pie Smoothie to give you a boost of energy in the morning while keep you full from the fats in the coconut and almonds, keeping you full till mid-afternoon.  I hope you enjoy this tasty guilt-free treat and make sure to leave me a comment about what you think!

 

Banana Creampie Smoothie 2

Coconut Banana Cream Pie Smoothie

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 cup lite coconut milk
  • 2 bananas frozen
  • 4-6 large ice cubes
  • 2 tbsps almonds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Juice of 1 medium lemon
  • ½ tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend on high for 20-30 seconds.  I use my ninja blender and it blends to a very creamy consistency.
  2. Enjoy in the morning with a muffin or in a bowl with granola on top!  Such a deliciously, sweet way to start your morning off right!

    NOTE: If making into a smoothie bowl, add less coconut milk, use frozen bananas, and you may have to add more ice to make it into a thicker consistency.

Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

Why is it important to eat fruit?

Fruit has tons of health benefits and research has shown that people who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of their regular healthy diet have lower risk of many chronic diseases and illnesses.

Fruit it full of vital nutrients for the body and overall health.  Most fruits are naturally low in sodium, fat, and calories; they also contain no cholesterol.  Fruits contain many essential nutrients that a large percentage of the western world under consume including potassium, folate (folic acid), vitamin C & A, and dietary fiber.  These nutrients reduce the risk for heart disease, obesity, type-2 diabetes and strokePotassium also helps protect you from developing kidney stones, regulates blood pressure and will keep your bones strong as you age.  Bananas, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, apricots, and grapefruit are all fruits to try if you are looking to increase your potassium.

Dietary fiber is found in various fruits and is key to maintaining overall health, as it helps reduce blood cholesterol levels, lowers the risk of heart disease and keeps the bowels functioning properly.  Fiber also helps you to feel full, helping you eat less and maintain a healthy weight.  Although if dietary fiber is what you are after, make sure you are eating the fruit in it’s whole food form (ie. a whole orange or orange slices) not orange juice or orange popsicles (ice lollies) which contain next to no dietary fiber.

 

Vitamin C is extremely important as well, helping your tissues to grow and repair and keeping your teeth and gums healthy.

It is important that pregnant women make sure they are getting enough fruit as well because of the folic acid it provides.  Folic acids helps produce red blood cells which helps protect babies from developing birth defects.

It is recommended to eat around 2-5 servings of fruit a day.  2 servings per day by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and 4-5 servings per day by the American Heart Association (AHA).  The general recommendation for fruit consumption is around 400g a day or 5 x 80g servings.  Each serving of fresh fruit is around 1 cup or roughly the size of a tennis ball.

Current nutrition guidelines suggest that even those with diabetes should be consuming 2-4 servings of fruit per day.  Many diabetics worry about the amount of sugar in fruit but studies have shown that when eating whole fruit with the fiber still intact (not fruit juice or sugary dried fruits) it has very little effects on blood sugar levels.

So unless you are on a strict ketogenic diet, there is really no reason you should be limiting your fruit intake.  I hope you found this information to be helpful and will try out this delicious alternative to the sugary cereals that most westerners find themselves eating in the morning.

Cereal Bowl 2

Go-To Raw Cereal Bowl

  • Servings: 1
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 2 pink lady apples chopped
  • 1 ripe banana sliced
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsps chopped walnuts chopped
  • 1 or 2 tbsps raisins or chopped dates
  • top with any plant based milk of your choosing (I like oat milk but you may choose almond, soya, cashew, rice, or coconut)
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    EXTRA TOPPINGS:

  • 1 tbsp shredded coconut
  • 1 or 2 tbsps mulberries
  • 1 passion fruit to add a wonderfully sour note to compliment the sweetness in this raw cereal bowl
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Directions

  1. Wash and chop your apples into bite sized chunks, add to your bowl.
  2. Slice banana and add to your bowl.
  3. Chop walnuts and add them to your bowl.
  4. Top with chia seeds, raisins, and any other desired toppings you may want.
  5. Pour chilled plant based milk on top and enjoy!
  6. Have with your morning coffee for a delicious, sweet, fibre rich breakfast!

Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing

Tahini is a paste made from sesame seeds and can be used in a ton of different recipes.  It originates from North African, Greek, Iranian, Middle Eastern, and Turkish cuisine and can be used in savory or sweet dishes.  Tahini comes in two forms: hulled and unhulledUnhulled tahini is better for you as it leaves the sesame seeds intact when grinding it into a paste, keeping the nutritional value.  Hulled tahini is stripped of all it’s nutrients giving it less benefits but a smoother consistency.

Tahini is rich in many nutrients and vitamins including phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium, and iron.  It is also high in protein and calories and should be eaten in moderation or be added to recipes.  The nutrition breakdown of 2 tablespoons (tbsps) of tahini (30g) is:

  • 178 calories
  • 16.13g fat (14g of fat are monounsaturated being beneficial to heart health)
  • 6.36g carbohydrates
  • 2.8g fiber
  • 0.15g sugar
  • 5.1g protein

Tahini contains antioxidant nutrients called lignans which help support the immune system and balance the bodies hormones.  For women experiencing problematic hormone imbalances or going through menopause, tahini is a great food for you to incorporate into your diet as it contains phytoestrogens, which reduce menopause symptoms such as: hot flashes, bone loss, weakness, mood changes, and low sex drive.  Phytoestrogens may also help protect the body from cancers related to hormone production (ie. breast and ovarian cancers).

Studies have also shown that tahini helps patients with osteoarthritis because it has positive effects on oxidative stress and cholesterol levels in the body.  A study group who consumed sesame regularly reported less knee pain from their osteoarthritis and did not experience any negative side effects from the tylenol they were given.  “Because tahini contains such high levels of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats it also plays a role in lowering cholesterol levels protecting the heart from disease and stroke.”

The fatty acids, amino acids, and vitamins E & B in tahini all work together to help your skin stay youthful and protect against aging.  Tahini is a natural antifungal and antibacterial agent which means that it kills bacteria that are trying to clog pores.  The fats within tahini also help to keep the skin moist and bring inflammation down in the body.  If you are suffering from dry damaged skin, adding a bit of tahini to your regular diet may help.

I hope you enjoy this delicious garlicky lemon tahini dressing by adding it to your burgers, falafels, salads, avocado toast, and veggie wraps.  While taking in all the added benefits it provides.

Tahini Sauce 2

Garlicky Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/2 cup water (I prefer using warm water)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic powder (2 garlic cloves)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Directions

  1. Peel and mince garlic cloves (if using instead of garlic powder).
  2. Juice 1 fresh lemon, enough to get 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice.
  3. Blend all ingredients in a nutribullet or small blender cup until smooth (I use the small 300g salad dressing cups on my ninja blender).
  4. Pour over salad, burrito bowl, or potatoes and enjoy!