One of my favorite things to do in the late summer or early fall is to go berry picking. Almost no matter where you live in the country, you can find some sort of berry that thrives in your climate. In cooler areas like Michigan and Maine, blueberries flourish. Warmer areas are great places to find strawberries. But my favorite berry of all (and luckily easy to find around where I live) is the raspberry. It’s a little sweet, and a little tart, and just bursting with flavor.
When I’ve gone berry picking, I have to make a point of not eating all the berries before I get home. They’re usually so sweet and perfectly ripe that it’s hard to wait! And they are simply perfect little bites of sunshine all on their own. But when I’ve picked a good stash of berries, I always try to set some aside to freeze so that when it gets cold and nasty outside, I can thaw out my berries and remember how great the summer is.
If I pick them fresh, I’ll be honest, the berries hardly ever make it into a dish. But if you have more self control than I do – or if you’ve picked up a pint or two at the store or grabbed a frozen bag of them – tossing some berries into the blender with almond butter and a few extra goodies is a great, fresh, easy breakfast or post-workout snack.
Think of it as a drinkable version of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Except way healthier, because you’re using berries without all the extra added sugar and you’re using almond butter, which is slightly higher in protein and, in most cases, lower in sugar, than commercial peanut butter. So that’s all a bonus for your health.
The chia seeds and hemp hearts in this recipe add a bit of protein and some fiber, too. And, chia seeds are supposed to give you an energy boost, so that’s great in the morning! Seeds in general are a fabulous source of protein and fiber. For their small sizes, they pack a wallop in those categories! So they’re great to snack on and anytime you are making a smoothie, toss them in. They won’t change the flavor and they’ll up the nutritional benefits.
If you are going to use frozen berries, I suggest keeping them frozen and not thawing them before your toss them in the blender. You’ll get a thicker, almost milkshake-like consistency in your smoothie that makes you feel like you’re getting quite the treat! But whether fresh-picked, purchased from the store, or frozen, you’ll get all the goodness of those little berries!
And, because I know some of you will ask, can you use other types of berries? Absolutely! Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and even cherries taste great in this mix, but raspberries are my favorite because their tartness cuts through the almond flavor a bit better than other berries. You could always get a little crazy and throw a mix of berries in – whoa!
So get out that blender and throw in your ingredients. You’ll have a healthy breakfast or snack packed with flavor in five minutes flat.
(Make this next: Kale and Kiwi Superpowered Green Smoothie)
- 1 cup Paleo almond milk
- 2 tbsp Paleo-friendly almond butter
- 4 ounces raspberries, fresh or frozen
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp hemp hearts
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.