Even if you're a total veggie lover and have a solid rotation of salads, stews, and other vegetable-forward meals, chances are your A.M. meals are still... lacking. Between typical American breakfast fare of muffins, pancakes, yogurt with honey and granola, the morning is not a time of day when many people think about eating a plate full of produce.
Here's why starting the day with a serving of vegetables can be beneficial: It provides your body with fiber early on so that all you're not trying to cram it in during lunch and dinner. (Too much fiber at once can overload the digestive system and cause bloating and digestive discomfort.) The fiber also helps keep blood sugar levels steady—which in turn keeps mood and energy levels from going all over the place. And this is the real surprise: you don't have to decide between having veggies for breakfast or something sweet; you can absolutely have both.
One way to do exactly that is with healthy food blogger and Healthier Together author Liz Moody's mint smoothie. As part of Well+Good's 2021 ReNew Year program, Moody is providing tips all month long for how to eat more plants. One tip she puts into practice in her own life is starting the day off with a green smoothie. "Before noon, you will have eaten more veggies than most people eat all day—and you can make it as delicious as a milkshake," she says.
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Moody originally came up with this mint smoothie recipe for her husband, who loves Baskin Robbins mint chip ice-cream. She tasked herself with coming up with a dairy-free version loaded with veggies. The wildcard ingredient: cauliflower. The cruciferous veg has a mild taste so it adds fiber and bulk without taking away from the flavor of the sweeter ingredients (banana and cacao nibs). Also in the mint smoothie are avocado, spinach, peppermint extract, and hulled hemp hearts (for protein).
Starting the day off with veggies isn't so difficult after all! Check out the full recipe below:
Liz Moody's mint chocolate chip smoothie
2 cups frozen cauliflower
1 cup spinach
2 Tbsp hulled hemp hearts
1/2 small or 1 large avocado
1 tsp peppermint extract
A pinch of fine-grain sea salt
1 cup filtered water
3 Tbsp cacao nibs
1. Blend all ingredients except the cacao nibs until very smooth.
2. Pulse in cacao nibs until distributed but still textured. Pour in a glass and enjoy!
Get more healthy breakfast ideas in Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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