Something a little different today – a smoothie without greens. Banana smoothies don’t have to be milk-based, and the dairy-free option need not include highly processed substitutes such as soy milk, which is a product I personally avoid because I have come across so much information suggesting that it does more harm than good. For more information on just why you might like to think twice about unfermented soy products, check out this article by Sally Fallon & Mary G. Enig on Dr Mercola’s website.
1-2 heaped teaspoons of unhulled tahini paste
1/2 teaspoon fragrant spice blend
seeds from 1/2 vanilla pod (split lengthways)
1/2-1 tablespoon of agave nectar
250-375ml of water
Blend the ingredients together until they are smooth – simple! To extract the seeds from the vanilla pod you will need to split the vanilla pod lengthways and then run the tip of a knife or use a small teaspoon to scrape the seeds out. The seeds appear all through the smoothie as tiny black dots, each being an explosion of sensual vanilla flavour.
The tahini paste I use probably looks a little different from store-bought tahini, since I make it myself in the Vitamix. You can crush the seeds by hand also – I like to use unhulled tahini because I feel that it gives a better flavour, and storing the unprocessed seeds means that they are less likely to oxidise and turn rancid. I also keep them in the fridge.
Another reason why I like to use sesame seed paste or tahini is because it is rich in calcium in a completely bioavailable form. 100g of raw sesame seeds provides 975mg of calcium whereas the same amount of milk, both full-fat and reduced-fat, provides only 119mg.*
With osteoporosis being of high concern in our society, particularly among females, it is important to consider that calcium is actually leached from the bones when you consume pasteurised and homogenised milk and dairy products! Dairy creates excess acidity in the blood, which the body counteracts by releasing calcium from the bones. Raw organic dairy products (unpasteurised, unhomogenised), including fermented dairy such as kefir, are preferable alternatives since it is believed that they do not trigger this same response in the body, and they are also easier to digest.
The other factor to consider when looking at natural ways to boost calcium, is that this single nutrient is only one in over 70 minerals found in the body, and we need a balance of all of these minerals in order for our mind and body to function optimally. Bone tissue alone is made up from not just calcium, but also phosphorus, magnesium, boron, sulphur and strontium. In addition, we need vitamins B, D and K so that our bodies can actually absorb calcium from dietary sources – vitamins which are notably low in the average Western diet.
*Sourced from the USDA National Nutrient Database.