We recently went through the reasons why you can’t eat certain foods on the 21-Day Clean Program. This includes bananas. In spite of being a common smoothie ingredient, many people are allergic or sensitive to certain fruits and don’t even know it. So, I decided it was time to lower my sugar intake and omit bananas from my smoothies completely. I started to experiment and soon discovered that there is life without bananas …
The first time I heard of someone being allergic or sensitive to bananas, was from my husbands 95-year-old Grandpa. When we visit him, we typically sit around the dining room table where he can recall old memories. When he was about 20 years old, he was visiting India where bananas are plentiful. He had never eaten a banana before in his life (or seen one), was intrigued by the fruit, and before long was eating bananas with every meal.
After just a few days, he broke out with a rash and was feeling unwell. He went straight to the doctor and was told to stop eating bananas immediately, and soon after was miraculously healed. Grandpa’s body did not adapt to the fruit, and it caused an allergic reaction. What?! Allergic to bananas?! At this point, I was adding a frozen banana every day to my morning smoothie. The thought of omitting the creamy and sweet flavor left me, well, unhappy. However, after hearing Grandpa’s story I did some research on my own and decided to explore other smoothie options.
I now break down my smoothies into components – base, flavor, liquid, fats, superfoods, protein and any extra additions to balance out the flavor.
Cauliflower – Base
Cauliflower is magical. It is so versatile, but when added to a smoothie creates the creamiest texture (very similar to a banana, but without the sugar). It’s important to lightly steam the vegetable before freezing, as it makes it easier on your digestion.
Zucchini – Base
Zucchini is also a great banana substitute, as it thickens the smoothie, provides a creamy texture, but doesn’t overpower in flavor and mixes well with other fruits and vegetables. It’s also important to lightly steam and then freeze to increase the digestibility.
Blueberries – Flavor
Adding just a tiny bit of blueberries adds so much flavor, and also a lovely color. Blueberries are a low-glycemic fruit, and full of antioxidants. They are also my favorite fruit to mix with cauliflower – a match made in heaven.
Lavender – Flavor
I know, it sounds strange … but lavender is not just for adding to lotions, scents, and oils. It adds an amazing flavor to recipes, as it provides a soft floral flavor. Lavender is known to calm your body and mind, and when consumed has the same effect.
Nut Milk – Liquid
FATS, PROTEIN, SUPERFOODS, AND FLAVOR BALANCING
I’m a believer in healthy fats, and always add a form of fat to my smoothie, such as nut butter. I also like to add a superfood, in this case flax. Yes, flax is a superfood and is full of fiber and a good source of micronutrients. The Vanilla Daily Shake is one of my all-time favorite sources of protein for smoothies and tastes amazing. Dates are optional, but they do provide a nice little punch of sweetness without overpowering the taste. The cinnamon and vanilla balance well with the lavender, and adding a tiny bit of lemon juice rounds it all out.
Lavender Cauliflower Blueberry Smoothie
- 1 cup cauliflower (lightly steamed then frozen)
- 1/2 cup zucchini (lightly steamed then frozen)
- 1/4 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 tsp. dried lavender leaves or 1-2 fresh flowers
- 1-2 dates (optional)
- 1 tsp. nut butter
- 1 tsp. ground flax
- 1 packet or scoop of Vanilla Daily Shake
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla powder
- 3/4 – 1 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp. lemon juice (optional)
Add all the blueberry smoothie ingredients to a blender, and blend until well combined and the smoothie is creamy and thick. You may need to add more liquid if you do not have a high-speed blender or like your smoothies on the thinner side.
Pour into a glass or bowl, and top with more blueberries, millet puffs, edible flowers, and coconut shavings. Enjoy your banana-less smoothie!
Recipe and photos by Jasmine De La Paz
If you like this article, you might also like #MyCleanProgram – Jasmine