A while back I was taking firefighting training for one of my positions as an Environmental Scientist for the State of California. After fighting a practice blaze with my team, I felt completely depleted. Low blood sugar, I thought. So, I grabbed a sugary snack. I didn’t feel better. Hmmm. Maybe dehydrated, so I downed at least a pint of water. Didn’t feel any better. Then I tried chocolate coated expresso beans. Didn’t help either. Where is a diet coke when I need one? Then the instructors passed out Gatorade. The stuff tasted ghastly, but it worked. I felt much better. Same effect as Diet Coke without the caffeine. Later I compared the ingredient labels of Diet Coke and Gatorade side by side. What do they have in common? Potassium.
I brought the experience up with my doctor during my next visit. He agreed. He told me that it was common for people in hot climates to not get enough potassium. “Eat a banana every day,” he said. “That should take care of it.” Ever since then, banana smoothies have been a staple in my summer diet. These tasty treats are quick, cold, and help my body handle working and gardening in the high desert heat.
Basic Recipe for Banana Smoothie
Add the following to a quart canning jar:
1 very ripe banana
2 cups ice cubes
dash of cinnamon to taste
Add milk until the volume of the jar contents reach where the neck starts to curve.
Attach a blender base to the jar. Turn it upside down and put on your blender. Blend to a slushy consistency. If you need to go out the door with your smoothie, add a canning jar lid to keep it spilling.
One or more of the following additions can be made to taste.
Replace ice cubes with frozen fruit of your choice.
Replace ice cubes with cubes of frozen coffee.
Add a spoonful of Nutella.
Add a spoonful of peanut butter.
Garnish with ground nutmeg.
Sweetener of choice: honey, agave syrup, sugar, stevia, aspartame, sucralose, etc. (In general, the lower the glycemic index of your ingredients will result in a more satisfying beverage and better blood sugar regulation. The glycemic indecies for common sweeteners are as follows: Pure honey (58), Agave syrup (10-19), Sugar (58 – 84), stevia (no results), aspartame (no results), sucralose (no results).)