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Let's face it, mornings can be hard for everyone and as people get busier and busier, it's increasingly difficult to find the time to prepare something nutritious in a hurry.
Instead of just grabbing a coffee and heading out the door, TODAY nutritionist Joy Bauer recommends adding that coffee to a nutrient-rich smoothie that's loaded with antioxidants, fiber and, yes, a little bit of that much-needed caffeine!
"I'm calling this my Smart Smoothie because it is packed with all sorts of power foods and beverages that help to boost brain power," said Joy, who originally developed this recipe for her kids (who are always studying hard in college!) to help them stay energized without sugary sodas or highly caffeinated drinks that contain less-than-stellar ingredients.
The main ingredient in this smoothie is blueberries, which, due to their anti-inflammatory properties, have been shown to help boost memory and are loaded with antioxidants.
There are a lot of studies out there about coffee but the latest research indicates that people who drink coffee are more likely to live longer than those who don't, possibly due to its antioxidant-containing properties. The extra boost of caffeine is great in this recipe too, but of course, if you're sensitive to caffeine, you can substitute water or your favorite low-fat milk here.
Another brainy ingredient in this smoothie? Chia seeds. Chia are nutrient rich and contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, protein and calcium.
With the addition of chia, this recipe actually performs double duty since the seeds will gel and thicken up when allowed to set overnight, creating an easy, vegan chia pudding that you can top with nuts, more fruit or Greek yogurt.
If you love this recipe, check out Joy's recipe for a delicious Cocoa Chia Smoothie.