I often make smoothies before teaching and practicing yoga. If I don’t eat something before physical activity during mid-morning my metabolism catches on fire. It’s hard for me to tell when I’m actually full for the rest of the day. I’ll end up grazing / snacking and then eating way too much for lunch and dinner. It’s not my favorite feeling. So if I teach / practice after 9 I always make a small smoothie or eat some avocado. It sustains my energy and keeps my metabolic fire quelled.
I’ve made this strawberry matcha smoothie at least 7 times. It tastes like a strawberry milkshake, with a subtle matcha flavor that comes off a lot like vanilla. Matcha pairs wonderfully with cream, berries, vanilla and other subtly flavored foods. This smoothie has made its way into regular breakfast rotation. I drink about 1/4 batch before yoga.
And the matcha granola is crazy good (and easy). The coconut sugar in the mix caramelizes around the toasted coconut, oats, and cashews in the pan. Then you stir in the matcha. It has a mild grassy flavor which I think pairs really well with coconut and cashews. Again, it’s that pairing of creamy flavors with the subtle matcha.
And by the way I’m in Montana! The sky here is clouded with smoke. Wildfires have blanketed everything in grey. If you look closely, you can see tiny flecks of ash falling through the air. Montana is known as big sky country. The horizon goes on and on and the midday sky is pristine blue. At sunset the mountains are washed in swaths of color: amethyst, turquoise, bronze, gold. But right now the days shift between gold grey and purple grey. Looking out of my sister in laws long living room window I should be able to see the whole town of Helena. Her house sits on top of a hill and the view is supposed to be stunning. I see trees, and an ash sky. And nothing more.
Helena isn’t known for its food culture. It’s hard to find options if you have food intolerances. This is more steak and potatoes country. It’s cowboy country, after all. The people who moved here and stayed here back when the region was being settled were toughened by brutal winters. They hunted for their supper. Survival was the priority. The culture has hung on through the years. People lean towards self-reliance. They prize their independence.
So to prepare for our trip Bretagne (Logan’s sister) and I put together a meal plan. She went shopping at Costco. And we’re going to hit the lone healthy grocery store in town today. We’ll be eating veg from her garden (green beans, squash, leafy greens), smoothies, avocado sandwiches, eggs from a friends hens, lots of hummus & chèvre, and huckleberry pie. I’ll be whipping up some improv veg dinners. Cuz that’s what I do. We’re figuring it out. We’re just loving being here.
Needless to say, I’ll be making this smoothie while we’re in Montana. It’s balanced with protein from hemp hearts and almond butter. Plus there’s some chia in there for sustained energy and even more Omega-3’s. Which makes it a great breakfast before a mountain hike, a swim, or a day of river rafting. All of which we’ll be doing while we’re here!
Adjust the granola according to your tastes. I personally like it with a more forward matcha flavor so I use up to 1.5 tablespoons matcha powder. But you can use less. If you’re just getting into matcha flavored things, add matcha bit by bit and taste as you go until you get the flavor you like. The granola is a dry style, like muesli. It’s best paired with a smoothie, yogurt, or something to moisten the toasted oats and nuts.
- 2 cups frozen strawberries
- 1 cup frozen bananas
- 2 tablespoons hemp hearts
- 1 tablespoon matcha green tea powder
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- ½ cup full fat coconut milk
- 1-2 cups almond milk (add more or less depending on how thick you like your smoothies)
- *optional: fresh strawberries to garnish
- *optional: lazy matcha granola
- Combine all ingredients (except fresh strawberries and matcha granola) in the bowl of a high powered blender: strawberries, bananas, hemp hearts, matcha, chia, almond butter, coconut milk, and almond milk. Blend on high until creamy and smooth.
- Optional: add sliced strawberries to the rim of your glass to get FANCY.
- Optional: add the smoothie to a bowl and top with matcha granola.
- Sip / spoon, enjoy!
- ¼ cup cashews (handful)
- ¼ cup gluten free rolled oats (handful)
- ¼ cup coconut chips (handful)
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- pinch fine Celtic sea salt
- 2-3 teaspoons matcha green tea powder (depending on how strong of a matcha flavor you like)
- Heat a cast iron pan over low heat.
- While the pan is heating, combine the cashews, oats, coconut chips, coconut sugar, vanilla, coconut oil and salt in a medium sized bowl. Toss to coat everything evenly with oil and sugar.
- Once the pan is warm, add the granola ingredients and toast together stirring frequently until aromatic and the coconut & cashews are browning -- 5-7 minutes.
- Remove from heat and scrape the granola from the pan into your mixing bowl.
- Add the matcha green tea powder 1 teaspoon at a time, tasting as you go, until you reach your desired matcha flavor.
- Serve over a smoothie bowl, yogurt, or eat straight.