Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Green-ish Smoothie

This summer, I've been on a smoothie kick.

It's definitely part of the eating-healthier movement in our home, and let me tell you, I can think of few better ways to start your day than with a nutrient-rich green smoothie!

There are a million and one recipes out there for green smoothies, detoxifying smoothies, smoothies that will diminish bloat and clear your favorite is pretty basic, and pretty well-rounded.

I like to start with a heaping handful of organic baby spinach for the green part. I've tried kale in the distant past, but the texture and bitterness were too much for me. Spinach is also full of vitamins and calcium, and it's very mildly flavored.

Dan and I vary at this point, but since this is my blog post I'm sharing my favorite combination. So there.

After the spinach, I add a heaping teaspoon of plain greek yogurt, a 1-2 inch chunk of frozen banana (fresh works too, but we have a hard time eating all the bananas exactly when they are ripe, so a few inevitably wind up in the freezer), and fruit. My current favorite is strawberries and mango--full of antioxidants, vitamin C, and also deliciousness.

 Because, let's face it--if this smoothie wasn't tasty, it wouldn't on my daily menu.

Here is where it will vary a little bit for you. Dan and I have a NutriBullet, one of my very favorite kitchen appliances. Dan bought it kind of on a whim, and it was an excellent whim. I use that NutriBullet to make smoothies, grind coffee beans, puree soups, and more. It's awesome, and has a very small footprint, which is very important in my small kitchen. Anyway, because the NutriBullet cups are for people who don't like to measure, they have a "max fill" line. You can pack solid ingredients in above that max fill line IF you add some liquid up to the line.

I fill the cup to the Max Fill line with half unsweetened coconut milk, and half water. If your blender doesn't have a measuring line like this, you might have to experiment with exactly how much liquid to use.

Blend away!

Sometimes I like to shake it up by adding other fruits--blueberries, peaches, pineapple--depending on what we have in the kitchen. But, spinach + yogurt + banana + strawberries + mango + liquid is my go-to formula.

You should note that the shade of green will vary depending on the exact ratio of fruit to spinach. If you really wanted to go nuts you could easily add other green foods--cucumber, chard, even celery. Fewer blue and purple shaded fruits (usually berries) will mean a brighter green, which is important to some people. I personally don't mind a slightly muddied color, it still tastes great.

The reasons this is awesome? You get a huge hit of nutrients right away in the morning, it's quite filling, and it takes about 5 minutes start-to-finish (including cleanup). I like to add a hardboiled egg for a little extra protein and call it breakfast.

Do you like smoothies? Do you have a go-to method of getting some extra nutrients in your day?