Apple banana smoothie incorporates tea as the liquid. The tea adds an extra nutritional element that helps bring out the best this smoothie has to offer.
Smoothies are a great way to consume healthy foods you normally wouldn't eat. Blend them together for a nice smooth texture and before you know it you're getting your fresh fruit and protein all in one glass.
This apple banana smoothie is jam-packed with nutrition because it mixes proteins, fats, and carbohydrates all in a quick refreshing beverage. The fruit and tea add an extra boost of antioxidants.
Some people don’t like certain fruits because it’s a 'texture thing'. My youngest daughter will not eat bananas because she doesn't like their texture, but when I put the banana in her smoothie she loves it!
I sometimes make my smoothies dairy free so to add protein I use a scoop or two of powdered collagen protein. It will also make the smoothie a little thicker.
Cooking With Steeped Tea
I prefer to use loose-leaf tea in my tea recipes. Specialty teas offer the greatest variety and so much more flavor than you could ever find in a supermarket-grade tea bag. Loose-leaf teas are widely available in many specialty tea shops. For a source of good loose-leaf teas and tea accessories read the 10 Best Online Tea Shops.
When a recipe calls for a liquid, you can often replace it with tea. In the case of smoothies, they are usually made with milk or juice but you can use tea instead. In order to obtain the maximum flavor, the tea may need to be steeped at higher concentrations than would be typical for drinking.
This is because the delicate tea is competing with many other flavors and it becomes a balancing act. By higher concentrations, I mean the tea to water ratio, not the steeping time. Whenever you want a stronger tea flavor, add more tea to the water, not more steeping time. Then steep as you normally would for that particular tea type. It's best to let the tea fully cool before you use it in the recipe.
Related: 10 Best Online Tea Shops
Apple Banana Smoothie
- Brew 6 ounces of black tea - I prefer English Breakfast Tea. Chill tea.
- Peel, core and slice apple into pieces.
- Peel and cut a banana into pieces.
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.
- Pour into two 8-ounce glasses.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon. Add a straw and serve.
- Yields 16 ounces.
Medicinal Goodness - Because Food Is Our Medicine
Apples –Excellent source of dietary fiber and Vitamin C. Apples are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Bananas – Good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin B6. Bananas are very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Peanut Butter – It is a good source of niacin, magnesium, and protein. Peanut butter is very low in cholesterol.
Black Tea: Tea is high in polyphenols, a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants have proven health benefits to cardiovascular health. I recommend using a strong tea like English Breakfast Tea for this recipe.
Black tea contains an amino acid called l-theanine, which is unique to tea and has some very interesting effects on the brain. L-theanine increases alpha brain waves inducing a calm and deeply relaxed state. Combined with the caffeine, which is about half the amount found in coffee, the overall effect is a focused calm.
Vanilla – A teaspoon of real vanilla extract contains 5.5 mg of potassium and trace amounts of magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. Hurry up and buy your real vanilla extract. Prices are going up due to a poor harvest season in Madagascar, the main producer of vanilla extract. Madagascar vanilla beans are reputed as having a sweet, creamy flavor associated with classic vanilla.
Cinnamon: Cinnamon contains large amounts of highly potent polyphenol antioxidants. Some studies show that the antioxidants in cinnamon have anti-inflammatory activity.
I use several sources for my nutrition data, including a subscription service and the latest research from medical journals. If you don’t have access to a medical science library, here is a quick and easy website to look up basic nutritional data.
If you want to get a little geeky, watch this quick (13 minute) video from Kahn Academy. It's a simple biological explanation for the three main essential ingredients of nutrition. It describes the basic molecules that make up every living thing - carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins - and how we find them in our food.
The government nutrition website is a good general source however, they advocate low-fat everything and many newer scientific studies are not in agreement with that practice.
And last, if you are into food documentaries, I highly recommend viewing “Fed Up”, released in 2014. Most public libraries have a copy.
Here is the overview, “Narrated by Katie Couric, the film blows the lid off everything that was known about food and exercise, revealing a 30-year campaign by the food industry, aided by the U.S. government, to mislead and confuse the American public. Exposing the hidden truths contributing to one of the largest health epidemics in history, it follows a group of families battling to lead healthier lives and reveals why the conventional wisdom of 'exercise and eat right' is not ringing true for millions of people.”
If your library does not have a copy, or you don't want to wait, there’s always Amazon.
Real Food, Balance, and Moderation is the Key
The takeaway is that we all need the three most important molecules on the earth – proteins, carbohydrates, and fats, to maintain balanced nutritional health.
Carbohydrates are the quickest and first fuel burned for energy, followed by fats and then proteins, in that order. If you eat a meal of just carbohydrates, you will be hungry again in an hour. But if you eat a meal that includes protein and some fat, you will be satiated for a longer period of time.
What some people find confusing is that although proteins are metabolized second in terms of the time it takes the body to break down and store, proteins are used last as the fuel source or energy supply for the body.
Energy metabolism is not an all or none thing. The body is constantly calibrating the use of carbohydrates, fats and protein metabolism to maintain energy for the tissues of the body.
Food and how it is metabolized is a very complex biological process but it is very simple to follow healthy food guidelines.
So any diet that proposes to eliminate any one of the three main fuels for the body is not good. Some studies show a low carbohydrate diet is actually associated with increased weight gain. We need fats, we need proteins and we need carbohydrates.
My Tip - Eat real foods, not processed foods, in balance and moderation. The more a food is processed the more nutrients are lost. Eat carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. That is the simple key to good health.