The little university pool that I normally swim in on my lunch hour closed for the season about a month ago, so I’ve had to switch to morning swimming before work at a much bigger facility closer to home. Although this change in routine has its inconveniences (I’m totally not a morning person) I’m really enjoying swimming in the glorious 50 meter outdoor pool, my back becoming crisscrossed with bathing suit tan lines (which makes me happy – is that weird?) for the first time since I stopped working in aquatics five years ago.
This has also changed up my eating routine a fair bit. Previously I’d have a feathery light green smoothie early on, a snack later in the morning to fuel me through my swim, and then lunch at my desk when I got back to the office at around 2pm.
Now I need to have something a bit more substantial in my system before I hit the water, but not something that will weigh me down. Smoothies are a great pre-workout meal. Because the food has been broken down in a blender it’s easy to digest and clears the stomach about 4 times faster than a solid meal, which means I’m not tossing my cookies with my tumble turns.
A smoothie is a blank canvas – their composition can shift with our energy requirements. These days, I’m looking for something that’ll stick to my ribs just the right amount. This strawberry coconut super smoothie is a marriage of two of my favourite breakfasts – smoothies and overnight oats. The oats bring a good amount of energy to the table, adding fiber and bulk and making this smoothie into a proper meal. We’ve got magnesium coming from nut-milk, potassium from banana, healthy fats from coconut milk, protein from hemp seeds, and antioxidants from strawberries. Soaking the oats overnight means they are easy to digest and this smoothie becomes the perfect pre-swim meal… and post swim meal too. I tend to drink about a third before hand and guzzle the rest as a breakfast / recovery drink after.
In the autumn I’ll go back to swimming on my lunch hour and my needs will shift again, but for now I’m enjoying morning swims, bathing suit tan lines, and substantial meal-replacing smoothies.
One year ago: Okonomiyaki Japanese Cabbage Pancake
Strawberry Coconut Super Smoothie Recipe:
If you don’t have the time (or the foresight) to soak the oats the night before, you can grind the oats into a fine powder before blending them into the smoothie. Use gluten free oats if necessary for a totally gluten free smoothie. This recipe calls for lite coconut milk, but feel free to use full fat for a more decadent smoothie.
Makes 1 large smoothie
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup almond milk
1/4 cup lite coconut milk
1 banana, preferably frozen
4-6 strawberries, fresh or frozen (about 1/2 cup chopped)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1/4 – 1/2 cup water
Place oats, almond milk, and coconut milk in a jar with a lid and give it a stir or a shake to mix up. Place in the fridge overnight or at least for a couple of hours.
When you’re ready to make the smoothie place the soaked oats into the jar of a blender along with the frozen banana, strawberries, and hemp seeds. Add 1/4 cup of cold water, place the lid on the blender, and blend. You may need to add up to another 1/4 cup of water if the smoothie is very thick. Blend until smooth, and enjoy!
I like drink about a third of this smoothie immediately and pour the rest back into the 500ml jar the oats were soaking in and save that portion for after my workout.
Oats are rich in indigestible carbohydrates called beta-glutens which help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Oats are also host to a number of phenolic compounds which have antioxidant properties, are helpful in stabilizing blood sugar, and are a good source of dietary fiber and protein.
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.
All text and photos © The Muffin Myth 2014