After the birth of my daughter I was feeling all the feels; love, joy, excitement, a little nervous about keeping this tiny human alive… But from a physical perspective there’s only one word to describe how I was feeling: depleted. I experienced a long and complicated labour that ended with a Cesarean section. This meant that in addition to the new demands of breast feeding and caring for an infant I was also recovering from major abdominal surgery.
Once we were discharged from the hospital I knew that optimal nutrition was more important than ever before, particularly since I knew that sleep was going to be difficult to come by in the weeks ahead! While I was in hospital I was craving a ginger molasses cookie, so I set out to recreate the flavours of my favourite treat in a low sugar and high protein smoothie that would promote healing while being tasty enough to satisfy my craving. I made this creamy shake as soon as we got home, loading the blender with a few choice ingredients:
- Protein: Our bodies need high quality sources of protein to build and repair tissue – this goes for after surgery or even an intense workout. I used my favourite protein powder to make sure I was getting 20g of good quality protein in this shake.
- Molasses: Not only did this lend sweetness and a deep flavour to this shake, molasses is rich in minerals like iron, important for replenishing blood stores.
- Tahini: Made from ground sesame seeds, tahini isn’t just for falafels. Like molasses, sesame seeds are a great source of iron, but also copper – another essential nutrient for tissue repair and maintaining blood volume.
- Vitamin C: Collagen is found in the fibres of our body’s connective tissue and vitamin C is vital for its production. Studies show that supplementing with vitamin C after surgery can significantly accelerate wound healing.
- Ginger: While a good chunk of ginger gave this shake the flavour I was craving, ginger contains anti-inflammatory compounds.
This shake isn’t just just for new mamas or someone recovering from surgery or illness – it’s a delicious treat loaded with nutrients that will make you feel good at any time.
Ginger Molasses Cookie Smoothie
Makes 1 large serving
1 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp Blackstrap molasses
1 large handful spinach (about 1 cup)
1/2 inch chunk fresh ginger, or to taste
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp ground flax seeds
1 scoop protein powder
Vitamin C powder (optional)
1 cup almond milk
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth.