Breakfast in Summertime

Last month I caught myself dreading mealtime. Every meal was such a chore. Nothing sounded good to eat. And the thought of making it was even worse. (Which is so unlike me because I'm usually the one talking about dinnertime while I'm eating lunch. Food is just so good!) I wasn't feeling it at all. I finally realized it was because I was still trying to cook on the stove for most meals. But hello midwest summertime! The air is so thick with heat, it should have been a crime for me to be increasing the temperature with the stove and oven every few hours. At the beginning of each major season change, I tend to do this--forget to let the way I prepare my food shift with the seasons just as the ingredients do. But then I remember how delicious seasonal food tastes when it's prepared at the right temperature for the season: cool, slushy, and refreshing in the summertime; thick, hearty, and warming in the winter. 

So let's start with breakfast. Bring on the smoothies and shakes! Although I do still turn on the stove sometimes (hello oat pancakes!), ice cold smoothies have been my go-to breakfast this summer. I'm pretty picky when it comes to smoothies. If they don't have any healthy fats (nut butter, avocado, or yogurt), my blood sugar spikes and it's a no go. Luckily, I've found some women who consistently create recipes for refreshing drinks that keep me feeling full, balance my blood sugar, and are so gosh darn delicious. Below are my favorite cookbooks for morning smoothies. They are all on regular rotation in my kitchen and have been shortened to abbreviations in my head because I love them so much.

Green Kitchen Smoothies (GKS), by Luise Vindahl and David Frenkiel
It would be worth buying this book just for the incredible photographs of fruits and vegetables, but it also happens to be extremely useful. The book is divided into basic recipes (granola, muesli, etc.), simple smoothies, showstopper smoothies, nut milks, juices, and desserts. I refer to this book in every season! My favorite smoothie recipes this summer include the Avocado, Mango & Lime Smoothie (recipe below); Superberry & Fennel Smoothie; Chocolate Velvet; and the Acai Bowl Extra Everything!

It's All Good (GP), by Gwyneth Paltrow
No one has better matched my tastes for cooking delicious, nourishing, beautiful food than my girl Gwyn. This book has recipes for all times of day, but the Drinks section is especially good. For summer breakfast I like the Red Smoothie, Creamy Avocado + Cacao Smoothie, and the Almond + Kale Smoothie.

The Simply Real Health Cookbook (SRH), by Sarah Adler
If Gwyneth is my girl crush, then Sarah Adler is my best friend (I wish). She has a fabulous blog and two equally fabulous cookbooks. She is an expert at keeping real food simple and doable for regular life. Most of her recipes have five or fewer ingredients and the Smoothies section of this book is no different. My favorites lately have been the Everyday Green Smoothie, Basic Kale Smoothie, and Honeydew Mint Green Smoothie. 

The Oh She Glows Cookbook (OSG), by Angela Liddon
An oldie but a goodie, this was my first "healthy" cookbook I bought years ago after checking it out from the library over and over.  And it's still going strong in my kitchen! My favorites are the Classic Green Monster and the Cheerful Chocolate Smoothie.

Now for a recipe. My daughters have been wary of my smoothies ever since I put frozen broccoli in their smoothie a year ago. But Owen is my smoothie buddy! Sipping through a straw is a great way for him to get some leafy greens and other produce that's tricky to eat when you're one years old. He goes nuts for this one which we shared this morning.

Avocado, Mango, Lime Smoothie
(adapted from Green Kitchen Stories, by Luise Vindahl and David Frenkiel)

1 cup coconut water
1 small avocado, stone removed
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 T chia seeds
2 soft dates, pitted
Juice of 1 lime

Blend together and sing hallelujah!


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