The Smoothie Queen
Delicious + Healthy by Maja Brekalo, The Smoothie Queen
Passionate about Food, Teaching Plant-Based Cooking Classes and Eating Seasonally
Q: What are the most important things in the kitchen?
A: My beloved blender, wok and cast iron pan, food processor and katana knife.
Q: How long have you been vegan and why?
A: I’ve been on a plant-based diet for 14 years now, but have been passionate about food, especially healthy plant food, ever since my childhood. Always willing to try new things, I started cooking when I was 10. My emphasis today is on unrefined clean food, wheat and sugar free. Honestly, “vegan” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. This means that my diet consists of seasonal vegetables and fruits, legumes and whole grains (no wheat), with addition of algae, traditional eastern soy products (miso paste, tamari, tempeh and tofu) and healthy fats (extra virgin olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil). I think that getting back to nature, respecting seasons, cooking and eating in accordance with that, is the way to go, to save nature and ourselves.
How to make a perfect breakfast smoothie? Well, forget about “empty” smoothies made only by blending fruits and vegetables in water or plant milk. I’m talking about nourishing, healing, and quite filling ones that will keep you going. I love using soaked buckwheat groats or rolled oats, with addition of apple cider vinegar that will help the digestion of grains, as a base. These will give an amazing creaminess in addition to their nutritional value. For the liquid part, I usually go with homemade plant milk: walnut, almond, or cashew. Of course, you can use store-bought ones or water as well.
Now the additions:
Seeds: flax, chia, pumpkin, or sunflower seeds
Fresh fruits: berries, banana, pineapple, pear, apple, orange, lemon
Citrus fruits: especially lemon, both juice and zest, both for taste and health benefits
Dried fruits: dates, goji berries, black currants, blueberries, raisins
Greens: parsley leaves, kale, spinach, swiss chard, fresh herbs like basil
Vegetables: beetroot, carrot, zucchini Superfoods for an extra boost: wheat grass, spirulina, baobab, maca, lucuma
I would recommend going with a different combination every day to keep things interesting for our bodies and for our palates. It’s up to you to make it different and new each time.
I think that getting back to nature, respecting seasons, cooking and eating in accordance with that, is the way to go, to save nature and ourselves.
Pear Tangerine Pomegranate Smoothie
1 cup almond or oat milk
½ cup rolled oats
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp baobab powder
1 date (or some sweetener)
½ cup pomegranate seeds
¹/³ cup cranberries or some other berries
Soak the oats in ½ cup water and ½ tsp apple cider vinegar for at least a few hours, ideally overnight. Blend it in a high-speed blender with all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.
Buckwheat Berry Smoothie
½ cup raw buckwheat groats
½ cup water
½ cup plant milk
1 tsp flax seeds
1 pitted date
½ cup blueberries
½ cup blackberries
½ tsp lemon zest
1 tsp maca powder (optional)
Soak buckwheat groats in water with 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, ideally overnight. Rinse very well and blend with all the other ingredients in a high-speed blender. Adjust the liquid content depending on how thick or runny you want it to be. Here, I topped the smoothie with banana, pomegranate arils, ripe persimmon, and raw buckwheat groats.
Beetroot Pear Smoothie
½ cup buckwheat groats or ½ cup rolled oats
1 cup plant milk
1 tsp maca powder
1 tsp baobab powder
1 tsp golden flax seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
Zest of half organic lemon
Soak the buckwheat or oats with addition of apple cider vinegar as in previous recipes, then blend all the ingredients in high-speed blender. Add more liquid and sweeten with maple/agave syrup if needed. I topped this smoothie bowl with blackberries, pomegranate seeds, and shredded coconut.