Loving the BITE: Attune Foods Probiotic Smoothie (Dairy-Free)

31
May
2012

This week, Kelli brings you a fantastic recipe that includes the Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bar from our friends a Attune Foods.  I’m a big fan of this company for many reasons, and one of them is because they use “simple, pure ingredients that help you feel your best every day”.  Attune (and their Uncle Sam brand of products) is also one of the sponsors of our new Loving the Bike kits that have now completed pre-order and will be delivered by mid-June.  If you missed out on the pre-order, look for ordering details coming soon to our Groucho Sports shopping page.

I don’t mean to sound like an advertisement for Attune, but should you not be able to find their dark chocolate probiotic bar in your local stores you can always buy them from Attune online.  For more information on Attune Foods, visit them at www.attunefoods.com.

If you want to make people uncomfortable, start talking about your digestion habits.  Or that of others.  I do it all the time.  And I get those awkward looks.  But, hey, this dietitian happens to love the gut.   To put it simply, it’s the one system in your body that nourishes all the other systems.  See how long your brain and heart work without your gut. Not long.  Want to ride a bike, with all the power and endurance of your dreams?  Better have a healthy gut.  This week, we’ll discover a wonderful non-dairy probiotic product that may be new to you.  And as you Love the Bike, I bet you’ll come to love the gut, too.

Recipe of the Week: Chocolate Banana Coconut Probiotic Smoothie (Dairy-Free)

Ingredients:

  • ½ Attune Dark Chocolate Probiotic bar
  • 1 small frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • ¼ cup canned* or homemade coconut milk + ½ cup water OR ¾ cup refrigerated coconut milk (in carton)
  • 1 Tbsp nut butter
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • Ice/water, as desired

*If using canned milk, buy Arroy-D or Native Forest to avoid BPA in the cans, which readily leaches into high fat liquids such as coconut milk

Instructions

Mix ingredients in a blender or food processor.  Add more ice or water as needed for desired consistency.

To make into a recovery smoothie, simply add ½ – 1 scoop protein powder, such as hemp, soy, pea or undenatued whey.

Comments

I’m a big-time fan of good bacteria.  Why?  Because I’m a big-time fan of gut health.  I see it as the nutrition gate-way to a healthy body.  Without healthy digestion, foods are not broken down properly, absorbed efficiently, or eliminated when needed.  Without a healthy gut, whole, harmful proteins can invade the blood stream and cause inflammation and immune-function reactions.  Without a healthy gut, immune function is decreased and overall health is diminished.

And healthy bacteria, like the ones found in the Attune Dark Chocolate Probiotic bar in our smoothie, are one key to a healthy gut.  In fact, healthy bacteria have special benefits for athletes.

Benefits of Healthy Bacteria:

  • Increase antioxidant absorption.  Yes, this really does benefit non-athletes as well.  But, since free radicals are abundant after training, it’s important that athletes meet them head-on with high amounts of antioxidants.  And, wouldn’t you know it, probiotics eaten during recovery will increase antioxidant absorption, and thereby promote extra free radical fighting just when you need it.
  • Promote higher levels of the natural virus-fighter, interferon, which is decreased in fatigued athletes.  Ever notice how some endurance athletes are sick more often than “less-healthy” individuals who don’t exercise nearly as much?  With endurance training, many athletes cross the line from improving health with exercise to hurting it (in some areas, anyway).  One area of suppression is the immune system, and specifically interferons, which are proteins made and released by cells in response to the presence of pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, parasites and tumor cells. Studies have shown an increase in interferons in fatigued athletes with the supplementation of healthy bacteria, and thereby a decrease in illnesses such as mononucleosis.
  • Increase the bioavailability and absorption of proteins and fats by improving the breakdown of these nutrients in the digestive tract.  This certainly helps a cyclist meet extra nutrition needs.
  • Reduce intestinal inflammation, bloating, and hypersensitivity to foods….common complaints among athletes during and after training.

How can you get more probiotics in your diet?  Try adding:

  1. Functional foods with added probiotics such as the Attune Dark Chocolate Probiotic Bars.  If you tire of fermented dairy or you cannot tolerated it, but want another tasty option for daily probiotics, try these amazing bars.  In fact, these bars boost 6.1 billion Probiotic cultures per serving (Bifidobacterium lactis HN019, Lactobacillus acidophilus NCFM, Lactobacillus casei LC-11).  They also contain inulin, a prebiotic fiber that serves as probiotic food (yes, your healthy bacteria need to eat, too). And, while you’re at it, replace any “junk” desserts with these delicious bars and get the benefits of high-polyphenol dark chocolate and probiotics.
  2. Eat natural fermented foods and drinks each day.  Good options include plain and plain Greek-style yogurt, kefir, kombucha, miso, high-quality aged cheese, sauerkraut, and kimchi.  We’ll even help you make your own homemade high-probiotic yogurt.
  3. If needed, add a high-quality probiotic supplement to your regimen.  Or, if you’d like to reduce the number of pills, use a multivitamin such as Rainbow’s Light that contains them.

Bonus Recipe: Homemade Coconut Milk

Heat 4 cups water until hot, but not boiling.  Add 1 ½ – 2 cups unsweetened coconut flakes and water to high-powered blender (the better the blender, the better the consistency) and blend on high for several minutes until thick and creamy. Pour through a colander and filter out the coconut pulp, then squeeze through a cheese cloth to filter the smaller pieces of coconut.  Refrigerate and use within 3-4 days.

It may not be the most popular topic of conversation, but your gut is important.  Treat it right.  Give it the healthy bacteria it needs from a variety of sources.  Try our Chocolate Banana Coconut Probiotic Smoothie with an Attune Dark Chocolate Probiotic bar, and your taste buds will thank you, too.  A healthy gut could be the difference between killing it on an epic ride and being stuck on your couch at home with a cold.  The choice is yours.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.

Photo by Alisa Fleming for Attune Foods

Enjoy Your Ride

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15 Responses to “ Loving the BITE: Attune Foods Probiotic Smoothie (Dairy-Free) ”

  1. Ms. Seaweed on May 31, 2012 at 5:55 pm

    What does riding my bike have to do with my gut? I am riding 200+ miles this week and will take in anything I have in my jersey pocket-sure don’t need to worry about cutting calories or fat!

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 9:40 pm

      Thanks for your comment. No need to cut calories/fat unless you’re trying to lose fat/weight. As far as the cycling and gut connection, the healthier your gut, the better your immune function, the less your inflammatory response in your body, the less your risk of chronic fatigue and illness. Also, with better digestion, more antioxidants, amino acids, and fatty acids are delivered to your cells. These are all important aspects of energy production, which absolutely impacts cycling (especially 200 miles per week).

      • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 9:42 pm

        Also, this is more about Daily nutrition than what you’re carrying in your jersey (Training Nutrition)…in that case, yes, pack adequate calories and nutrients for your ride. Take care of your gut in Daily Nutrition.

  2. pedalmikester on May 31, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    to make it even leaner, you might want to even try using PB2 instead of a nut butter. cut the cals and still get the taste. stuff is pretty amazing.

  3. AmandaGaleKotyk on May 31, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Thanks for this recipe Kelli, and all the info along with it. I love that it’s dairy free, and I love adding spinach into anything I can.
    I just have one question…do you have any good suggestions for a substitue for nut butter (too many nut allergies in my house)?
    Thanks again!

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      You’re welcome Amanda! You can certainly use 2 Tbsp Hemp Seeds for the nut butter. Or, if sunflower seeds are okay, use 2 Tbsp sunflower seeds or 1 Tbsp sunflower seed butter. The sunflower butter is always an easy substitute for nut butters, and even tastes somewhat like peanut butter. To make it yourself, place sunflower seeds (I usually roast mine first) in a food processor and process until smooth. You can add oils like olive oil to get your desired consistency. Then, salt to taste if desired. Hope this helps!

      • AmandaGaleKotyk on May 31, 2012 at 7:55 pm

        Awesome…this really helps. I have hemp seeds and raw sunflower seeds at home right now. I was actually going to roast the sunflower seeds tomorrow, so I think I’ll try making some sunflower seed butter (I’ve never tried that before).
        Have a great night!

  4. Greg on May 31, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    Wow, this is a lot of great information. So many things that I never knew about before. When you first started putting these recipes up on the website I wasn’t so sure about it but now I know how beneficial good advice can be to improving my cycling. thanks guys.

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 3:41 pm

      Glad you like ‘em, Greg!

  5. Brent on May 31, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Thank you for this information on Probiotics. I have been meaning to read into it some more and realize now how important they are. I’ve seen Attune bars at my local organic grocery so I’ll pick some up the next time I’m there and mix this one up.

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 1:33 pm

      Thanks for your comment, Brent. Yes, I believe they are VERY important for everyone, and even more so for athletes. Let us know what you think of the bars…

  6. Jackie on May 31, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    I love the fact that this is dairy free. I am taking in less and less dairy all the time and have been looking for great non-dairly recipes.

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      Hi Jackie, I hope you enjoy the recipes. Both the coconut milk and Attune bar can give you great dairy free options.

  7. PamelaFaganHutchins on May 31, 2012 at 9:42 am

    This really looks great!

    • Kelli, RD on May 31, 2012 at 1:34 pm

      It’s yummy! I hope you enjoy it!

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