Thursday, March 29, 2012

Smoothie recipes

Lately I've been really into having smoothies for breakfast, and I wanted to share some of the recipes with you.  I've been trying to add more fruits and vegetables into my diet, so I've mostly been looking for "green" smoothie recipes (aka smoothies with veggies like spinach in them).  My first reaction to the idea of drinking spinach was "won't that be gross??", but you really don't taste it.  Just make sure you blend it really well, so you don't have any spinach chunks.  Also, I've found that the longer the smoothie sits, the more prominent the spinach smell gets, so you'll want to drink it right away.

Green Monster Spinach Smoothie
from Iowa Girl Eats (click the link to see her original recipe - below is my version with some small changes)

1 frozen sliced banana (tip: peel and slice the banana before freezing to make blending easier)
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup yogurt (you can use regular yogurt, any flavor, or Greek yogurt for extra protein)
1 cup skim milk
4 cups baby spinach (or more or less - if you're a little unsure about having spinach in a smoothie, start with 1 cup and work your way up)
1 spoonful of ground chia seeds (chia is chock-ful of wonderful stuff like Omega-3, fiber and antioxidants)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Makes 1 very large smoothie.

I really like this smoothie and all you taste is the banana and peanut butter.  I've even made it with blueberry yogurt and still all I tasted was banana and peanut butter.  The only thing I don't like about the peanut butter is that Emmett can't eat it yet, so I can't share it with him (which makes him very upset if he sees me having it).  Maybe I'll try making it without the peanut butter once, so he can have some.  Otherwise it's great - even Annika tried it.  Just a side note, though - it is very green in color (especially if you use the full 4 cups of spinach).  If you're making this for your kids and you think they may be turned off by the color, here's a tip I got from a friend - get your kid a special "smoothie cup" which is not see-through (and has a lid), so they won't be able to see the color.  Oh, and make sure they don't see you making it!

Berry Spinach Smoothie
from Yummy Mummy (click the link to see her original recipe [and much prettier pictures!!] - below is my version with some small changes)

1/2 cup pomegranate juice
2-3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 frozen sliced banana
1/2 cup yogurt (regular or Greek)
1 spoonful ground chia seeds (I don't measure too carefully, just throw a bunch in)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth.  Makes 1 large smoothie.

At first I wasn't crazy about the taste of this smoothie, but it sort of grew on me.  Maybe it was the pomegranate juice.  I might try it with milk instead next time.  I made a few changes from the original recipe - I put in more spinach, and added the yogurt and chia seeds.  The kids both tried it and they liked it.  It has a really nice color, even with the spinach.

Next up I want to try a strawberry banana smoothie - a little bit boring and traditional, but it was Annika's request.  She wants a "red" smoothie, so I'm not sure I'll be able to sneak any spinach in there.  Maybe just a little. ;)  I also found a recipe on Pinterest that I want to try - it uses kale instead of spinach, so it will have to wait until I go grocery shopping next week.  I also want to make smoothie "freezer packs" (another idea from Pinterest) - you put a sliced banana and a cup of fruit (blueberries, strawberries, whatever) into small ziploc bags, and put them in the freezer, so they're ready to go when you want to make a smoothie - just add the liquid/yogurt and whatever "extras" you like.  I think that's a great idea, because I hate measuring stuff out, especially first thing in the morning.  That's the great thing about smoothies, though - you don't have to be too exact and they're pretty hard to mess up!

Anyone else have any favorite smoothie recipes to pass along?


Kristin said...

My SIL buys almost-expired fresh fruit from the 'reduced by 50%' rack at Super Store/Extra Foods and freezes everything immediately [I'd hull the strawberries before freezing]. She also chops everything up into blender-sized chunks so all you have to do is shake out however much you want.

AnitaRex said...

I make smoothies like this too everyday for lunch! I add protein powder so it's more filling and I can skip lunch! :> I also add other veggies if I feel like it, today the kids leftover cucumber made it super tasty! I use a hemp organic powder! Really fills me up!

Andrea said...

Forget the kids - I'D be the one hesitant to drink a smoothie that green color. ;)

I'm with Annika on the 'boring' strawberry & banana one!

ps: Have they changed the peanut butter rules for kids? I thought they could have it once they were a year old...

Eileen said...

Where do you buy Chia seeds?

pam said...

Andrea, yes, my doctor recommends waiting till 3 (3!!!) to give peanut butter. Partly that's because Emmett has eczema which makes him more prone to allergies, but he hasn't been allergic to anything so far (and he's actually had a little peanut butter by accident and was fine, so I'm thinking it should be okay), so I don't think we'll wait that long. Even with Annika, though, we waited till around 18 months.

Eileen, I buy chia seeds at Bulk Barn. You can get them whole or ground (although the ground ones no longer gluten-free because they've been processed). They're next to the flaxseed.