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You know that groggy summer-morning feeling, when you wake up to a hot and stuffy room and immediately have to face the prospect of entering the even hotter and stuffier atmosphere of the outside world? It's not the greatest feeling, and for me, anyway, it tends to rob me of my already-minimal appetite for breakfast.
But picture the same scenario with just one difference: the knowledge that in just a few minutes, you'll be sipping down a frosty-cold breakfast shake, one that's fruity with banana, smooth with hazelnuts, and even provides a jolt of caffeine. Now doesn't that make you feel better?
I'm a big fan of the smoothie-as-breakfast—while I'm quenching my thirst, I'm also filling my belly—and this recipe is one of my very favorites. I put it all together the night before so that in the a.m. I can just stumble to my blender, toss everything in and whiz it up.
I start by soaking whole hazelnuts; as they rehydrate overnight, they also soften so that in the blender they break down completely, lending the drink a smooth nuttiness as well as a backbone of protein and fat to power you through your day. I tend to store a few peeled bananas in my freezer, and before I go to bed, I brew a cup of coffee and stash it in the fridge in a mason jar. In the morning, I just toss and blend and end up with this lovely, rich—but totally healthy—shake that fills me up and helps banish the summer morning blues.