Smoothie of the Month: (High Calorie) Frozen Berries Smoothie

As I mentioned in my "10 random facts about me" post, I am a little underweight. This didn't come to me as a result of an eating disorder or anything like that, I've always been this way. I didn't even think much about it (except for my teenage years when I was totally unconfident about my looks) until my doctor started to worry about my hormonal levels. She told me I have to gain at least 5 kilos, but preferably more. The thing is, I am not limiting myself in the amount of food or calories I consume and I've never been trying to lose weight, so I had no idea where can I get those kilos from. I asked her how can I gain weight while keeping a healthy diet and I couldn't believe her reply. She said I don't need to worry about eating healthy (!!!) Can a doctor actually say that?

Luckily I didn't follow that advice and continued eating the way I did. And then I stumbled upon McKel's blog called Nutrition Stripped and was especially happy to find this post about underweight nutrition. If you've suffered from weight loss or have been always underweight like me, I really recommend this post. McKel has listed all types of calorie rich foods (mostly plant based) that can help you gain weight the healthy way as well as useful tips on how to add them to your diet. I have printed the PDF she provides and have been keeping it in my kitchen for reference all the time. It's also a great read if you don't know much about the issue. I really think this hasn't been addressed enough in the media, many girls are trying to lose weight and not so many of them know about the health issues that come with being too thin. Somehow many people think eating healthy equals losing weight, but that is not the case for everyone.

Alright, now let's get to the smoothie part! Why am I talking about all this in a smoothie recipe post? Because smoothies have been an excellent way for me to sneak in some extra calories into my daily diet. I always try to add some seeds, nuts or coconut oil to my daily green smoothies. Now that the fresh berry season is over, I've been stocking up on frozen berries and using them a lot in my smoothies and desserts. This smoothie is my favorite high calorie snack. I like to drink it when I get hungry but it's too early for a proper meal. It's very filling and delicious. If you are not trying to gain weight (or trying to keep your calories low), you can add less seeds, nuts and coconut oil or skip them altogether. You can also substitute the banana with one green apple. It will still taste delicious without those high calorie add-ons. Or you can have this smoothie instead of a regular meal when you are in a hurry or feel like having something cold and sweet for lunch.

High calorie frozen berries smoothie (serves two):

1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other non-dairy milk of your choice)
1 banana
1 cup frozen berry mix
1 tablespoon seed mix (flax, sunflower, pumpkin seeds)
2 tablespoons nuts of your choice*
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons maple syrup

Place everything into a blender starting with liquid ingredients and adding hard ingredients (nuts and berries) in the end. Blend until smooth, pour into a glass and enjoy!

* I usually use cashews, as they have the softest taste. This time I didn't have cashews, so I added hazelnuts. You can use any nuts you like or even better a mix of different nuts.

Hope you enjoy this smoothie! If you also watch your calorie intake (whether you are trying to consume more or cut down on them) I'd love to hear your tips!

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