Happy Valentine’s Day, friends! Or Happy Friday! Whatever you’re into.
As I mentioned previously, Paul and I aren’t in the habit of doing anything special on the 14th of February. This year we happen to be zipping off to Barcelona on the day of love, but it’s for a race, not for romance. I mean, unless you consider a half marathon romantic – and I bet you can figure out which one of us does and which one of us does not. In any case, I’ve got something pink and tasty that’ll put you in the mood… this strawberry maca milkshake.
Milkshake is a bit of a misnomer, as this beaut is completely vegan, but the combination of frozen bananas and strawberries blended up with the malty maca makes a delicious and decadent tasting smoothie you can feel good about drinking.
So what’s this maca all about?
Maca is a root in the cruciferous family (related to broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc) grown in the Peruvian Andes. It is an ancient and resilient plant – it needs to be to grow in those harsh conditions. Maca is an adaptogen, which means it can help to balance hormonal, nervous and cardiovascular systems. It is also said to be quite effective for improving libido, and hey, it’s Valentine’s Day…
Maca has a malty and sweet flavour, maybe a bit caramelly with hints of vanilla. It is delicious in smoothies like this one, and creates a sort of malted milk flavour. However, the flavour is quite strong and a little goes a long way. A teaspoon is plenty to start with, and you can work your way up to a bit more. I pretty much max out at 2 teaspoons, and honestly prefer the flavour of a smaller amount. Due to its influence on the hormone system, people with thyroid issues should not take maca.
I’ve used whole almonds, soaked overnight, instead of almond milk. I’m not a big fan of commercial nut milks as most are full of additives, thickeners, stabilizers and other junk I don’t want, in addition to being sweetened unnecessarily. I also prefer whole foods with all of the fiber intact to something with the fiber and other good stuff strained out. Soaking the almonds overnight softens them up considerably, but if you don’t have a high-power blender you may find your smoothie on the gritty side. If that would bug you, or if you don’t want to wait the time to soak the almonds, go ahead and use almond milk in place of the nuts and water. I also think that soaked cashews would make a great smoothie – almonds was just what I happened to have on hand.
So enjoy your Valentine’s Day, your Friday, and every day. I hope this smoothie helps to get you in the mood 😉
Strawberry Maca Milkshake Recipe:
Like I said, tread carefully with the maca. Start with a teaspoon and work your way up to maybe two if you like the flavour and it agrees with your system. Frozen banana works best here for that creamy milkshake texture, but fresh is fine also.
1 frozen banana
4 frozen large strawberries
1/4 almonds, soaked in water overnight
1 tsp maca powder
1 – 1/2 cups water
Place banana, strawberries, soaked almonds, and maca in a blender with 1 cup cold water. Blend on high until smooth, and decide if you want to add a bit more water to thin it out. Serve immediately.
Maca is a good source of iron, calcium and potassium. Maca is also a great source of riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin E and vitamin A, and a powerful anti-oxidant.
Almonds are high in monounsaturated fats – this is a healthy fat when consumed in moderation, the same type as is found in olive oil. Almonds are also a good source of manganese, vitamin E (which has antioxidant properties) and magnesium.
Bananas are a great source of concentrated energy and potassium. They are also a very good source of vitamin B6 and a good source of vitamin C, dietary fiber, and manganese.
Strawberries are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti inflammatory nutrients. They are a great source of lycopene (good for your prostates, fellas) vitamin C and manganese. They are also a very good source of folate, iodine, and dietary fiber.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014