Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie

I know the name "Blueberry Cauliflower Smoothie" isn't exactly the most attractive combination of words or ingredients but trust me - I wouldn't post about something that isn't delicious! If you want to cut back on your sugar intake, give this smoothie a try. If you're trying to get into vegetable based smoothies and you're not a fan of kale, you're in luck! If not, carry on with your bananas. The addition of frozen cauliflower adds thickness to this smoothie without any sugar and minimal carbs. It's important that the cauliflower is frozen so that it adds texture versus too much flavour.

Over the past few months I've been (mostly) following a low-carb diet. Over the past 5 years I have experimented with plenty of "diets" (or "lifestyles") to combat several chronic/auto immune illnesses I struggle with. While a paleo regime seems to work best for me, I've gone a little more hardcore lately, eliminating carbs for the most part. 

Low carb diets aren't for everyone and I'm still deciding how sustainable they are for someone like myself (I love food, especially rice and sauces and fruit which are usually full of sugar> carbs). My main issues with low carb diets are:

1. The tendency to rely on animal protein and fat: the basis of a low carb diet is you're eliminating carbs and instead, relying on protein and fat. On a diet such as Atkins, you're not restricted when it comes to fat intake so people end up filling up and overeating healthy (and non healthy) fats and plenty of animal protein. Animal protein and fat are proven to lead to heart disease and high cholesterol so this isn't exactly a healthy lifestyle as much as it may be a "short term" solution for some for weight loss. I've personally tried Atkins and while in the beginning it was fairly simple to stick to (which is key when dieting) it eventually ended up making me feel gross because I am not a huge meat eater,

2. The worry that comes with measuring out vegetables to maintain your carb quota for the day: since non-starchy vegetables still have a carb count, in a pinch it can be easier to avoid certain vegetables all together (if you don't have time to measure them) and instead opt for more boring options like lettuce, cucumbers etc. I have nothing against either of these vegetables, but in order for longevity on a diet it's important to diversify what you eat or you'll get bored. Who do you know that's gained weight from eating too many non-starchy vegetables? Probably no-one. So my new rule it so indulge in however many vegetables I want, since this ends up making me cutting back on proteins and balances my low-carb approach. The only scenario where I actively try and restrain myself a little is when it comes to cauliflower pizza...

3. Smoothie problems. I love having a daily smoothie and I know there are ways to get your fix (if you're not dairy free) but since I am mostly off dairy (90% of the time- and always when it comes to smoothies) this can be tricky. On a low carb diet that ignores fat, sure, you can load up a blender with peanut butter, ice and protein powder among other things to achieve some thickness, but on a more tailored, low-carb approach that disallows high-fat and high-calories...this is where the problem lies. I've recently altered my low-carb approach to allow 1/2 cup of high-fibre berries per day since that gives me more incentive to stick to it and I work that serving into a smoothie some days.

Prep time: 2 mins
Blend time: 3 min

cauliflowersmoothie

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 blueberries - can be frozen 
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower (I use the pre-washed frozen florets from Whole Foods)
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp hemp hearts
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • ice
  • optional: cinnamon 

INSTRUCTIONS

For best results, blend for 3 minutes. Add almond milk as needed for desired creaminess and if you're concerned about the carb count, make sure to check the nutritional info on the back of almond milk if you're not using homemade.