(Green) Smoothies!

Smoothie Me 071911

One of the things I’ve learned to do over the last few years is to consume foods I never, ever thought I would, and to consume them in unusual ways – the best example of this? The green smoothies I consume almost daily. When I tell people I drink smoothies regularly that have greens (kale, lettuce, spinach – if it’s green, I’ve probably tried it in a smoothie), they almost always adopt the same look of horror. But here’s the thing – they’re GOOD! No, really! Why would I torment myself with drinking liquified green vegetables if it wasn’t good? So get yourself a decent blender (I own a VitaMix, but I’m going to be testing a Ninja for the blog in the next couple of weeks! Oh, and if you need some of the other crucial ingredients, I’ve posted links to the least expensive and highest quality ingredients available right in the recipe), and stay tuned here – I’ll post smoothie recipes regularly, and if you just try them, I promise you’ll like them! Oh oh! and even if it’s not noted, I often throw in some kind of protein powder to my smoothies (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein).

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March 4, 2013

Craving chocolate again – could it have anything to do with another day of gray blah in Maine?

Chocolate Monkey Smoothie

Chocolate Monkey Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 large handful baby spinach leaves

1 tbsp all natural organic peanut butter

1 banana

1 heaping tbsp organic raw cacao

1 dropperful SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia or 1 tbsp raw organic agave syrup

Blend all ingredients til smooth. Add 1 cup ice and blend a minute more before serving. Keep telling yourself spring is coming as you sip.

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March 3, 2013

Did anyone tell Spring it’s March now? Still cold and snowy and dark and gray and yuck, so maybe not. This smoothie perked me up, though – not too sweet and rich with raw cacao.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie

Chocolate Almond Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

1 large handful baby spinach leaves

1 tbsp coconut oil (I like Nutiva’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil – take a moment and rub the excess left on the back of the spoon over your winter-dry hands)

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 heaping tbsp organic raw cacao

2 tbsp raw shredded coconut

1 dropperful SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia or 1 tbsp raw organic agave syrup

Blend all ingredients til smooth. Add 1 cup ice and blend a minute more before serving. Sip and let the chocolate wash away the winter blahs.

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February 28, 2013

One of the many things I miss about living on Oahu is the easy access to fresh, tropical produce. Papayas, pineapple, coconut, mango, avocado were all in plentiful supply at the local farmers’ markets (and also from local farms at Whole Foods Market in Kahala) and relatively inexpensive compared to East Coast prices. On this gray dismal day, looking at the Sunrise papayas I had bought on a whim at my local Hannaford, I decided to go with my longing for the warm trade winds of Hawaii.

Hawaiian Tropics Smoothie

Hawaiian Tropics Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 large handful baby spinach

1 cup coconut water

1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (or unsweetened if using canned)

1/2 small ripe (flesh should give a little when pressed) papaya, seeds removed

1 banana

2 tbsp shredded raw coconut

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 cup plain yogurt (I use Stonyfield’s organic whole milk yogurt)

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 dropperful SweetLeaf Valencia Orange flavored stevia or 1 tbsp raw organic agave nectar

Cut the papaya in half and use a spoon to remove and discard the seeds. Then, using your spoon to slide between the skin and pulp, separate the pulp from the skin, and add it to the blender along with the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth, then add one cup of ice, blend a minute more. Serve and taste the islands in every green sip.

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February 25, 2013

I took a week off from blogging during my kids’ school vacation, but don’t worry – I was still smoothie-ing it up. Strawberries were on sale at my local grocery store last week (2 quarts for $4 – gasp!), so I stocked up, washed them down, fed the green tops to my dog Riley (he loves them – go figure), and froze as many as my freezer would hold. I’ve been a little strawberry obsessed ever since.

Strawberry Almond Smoothie

Strawberry Almond Delight Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 1/2 cups strawberries (frozen or fresh)

1/2 cup raw almonds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 large handful baby kale or 3 large kale leaves, stems removed

1 banana

1 dropperful SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia or 1 tbsp raw organic agave syrup

Protein Powder (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein)

1 cup ice

Add all but last two ingredients to your blender and blend til smooth, add sweetener and protein powder and once combined, add ice and blend on high til fully crushed and combined. The chia will fluff up some, so don’t be alarmed at the excess amount of smoothie – it will fill you up and energize you for the day!

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February 15, 2013

I tend to sort of happily get stuck in a rut when it comes to breakfast. I’ll make the same thing over and over for a few weeks until I get sick of it, then switch to something new for a few more weeks, then something else – well, you get the picture.

But the great thing about suddenly keeping a “smoothie log” is it’s been forcing me to step out of the box and come up with new and different combinations that I can share with you all, and thus today’s green smoothie:

Strawberry Oatmeal Ingred Strawberry Oatmeal Smoothie

Strawberry Oatmeal Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water

1 1/2 cups strawberries (frozen or fresh)

1/2 cup uncooked rolled oats

1 large handful baby kale or 3 large kale leaves, stems removed

1 cup plain yogurt (I always prefer Stonyfield Farms Organic Whole Milk Yogurt, but you can use Greek, too)

1 tbsp raw organic agave nectar

1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract)

Protein Powder (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein)

1 cup ice

Add all but last two ingredients to your blender and blend til smooth, add protein powder and once combined, add ice and blend on high til fully crushed and combined. This makes enough to share, so pour some strawberry oatmeal green yumminess for you and a loved one and enjoy!

February 14, 2013

Today was a thrilling day for me – first, a close friend of mine mentioned this morning that she had finally discovered my blog and wanted to give me a hug after reading “The Hardest Post” (just part of why I love her). Then another close friend came over to the house and after hanging out a bit worked up the nerve to ask, “So, are you going to make me one of those green smoothies, or what?” She and I had been talking earlier about her wanting to try the Chocolate Coconut Wonder smoothie, so I immediately offered to whip that one up (“Oh good! I can watch you do it then!”). I felt like I was on a cooking show as I pulled out the ingredients, explained why they’re important, and then finally (and I’ll admit, nervously) served her her first Green Smoothie. The look on her face after that first sip made my day – the pure shock and delight of “Wow! This really IS good!” I didn’t even say I told you so.

My son (who is an extremely picky eater and still loves my smoothies) has been asking me for a raspberry smoothie for awhile – almond milk gives this one a creamy texture, while the raspbury and pineapple keep it light and sweet. Perfect for a sunny (warm, by Maine standards, at 35 degrees) morning.

Raspberry Sunshine Smoothie Raspberry Sunshine Smoothie Cup

Raspberry Sunshine Green Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 cup frozen raspberries

1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed (if using canned, use unsweetened)

1 handful baby spinach

1 cup ice

1/2 dropperful SweetLeaf Valencia Orange flavored stevia and 1/2 dropperful SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia or 1 tbsp agave

Protein Powder (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein)

Throw all but the last three ingredients in the blender and blend til smooth. Add ice, and lastly add your optional protein powder and stevia/agave. Pour into tall glass and enjoy the sunshine and thoughts of spring!

February 13, 2013

So, today I got a call from one of my favorite friends who had just started checking out my blog. “Are those green smoothies…do they…do they actually taste good?” I reassured her they really do taste good (while I’ve learned to eat a lot of things I never thought I would, generally I don’t continue eating them if I can’t find a way to make them taste good) – and that they were way better for her than say, the Naked brand Green Goddess smoothies or Odwalla SuperFoods smoothies she had tried in the past – both of which are loaded with fruit sugar and are flash pasteurized, thus killing most of the good stuff you’re hoping to get when drinking a green smoothie. I could tell she was still skeptical when we hung up, but I know this smoothie will convince her (yes, this one’s for you, Christy!). It’s a little loaded with higher sugar fruits (which I tend to do when I’m PMS’ing), but its sweet yumminess is a great introduction to the whole idea of green smoothies.

Tropical Smoothie

Tropical Berry Green Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water

1 handful baby kale or 2 kale leaves, stems removed

1 cup frozen raspberries

1/2 cup strawberries (I used fresh, but frozen are fine)

1/2 cup fresh pineapple (if you can’t use fresh, use unsweetened)

1 banana

1 tbsp coconut oil (I like Nutiva’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil)

1 cup ice

1 dropperful SweetLeaf Valencia Orange flavored stevia or 1 tbsp agave

Protein Powder (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein)

Add all but the last three ingredients to your blender (pausing a moment to swipe off the excess coconut oil from the spoon used to scoop it out and rubbing it into the backs of your hands – it smells and feels great) and blend until all ingredients are liquified. Add ice, then the last two ingredients. Pour into a tall glass and sip away while pretending your enjoying summer on Kauai rather than winter wherever you are.

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February 12, 2013

By far, the two hardest times for me to stay on track with healthy habits are when I’m sick, and when I’m PMS’d. When I’m sick, it’s as if my body automatically puts one of those flashing “No Smoking” symbols (without the cigarette, of course) over anything remotely healthy, and I start craving things with lots of butter, cheese and carbs. Anything with the word “green” even remotely involved in its description is immediately mentally rejected. When I’m PMS’ing, while that flashing rejection symbol doesn’t appear, I start craving sweets – anything sweet. I will even break into the stale caramel popcorn in the decorative tin I bought from the Boy Scouts three years ago just to satisfy that craving. The problem, though? Giving in to that craving, satisfying the urge for something, anything! sweet sets me on a slippery slope. I am not just a food addict, I’m a sugar addict – a few bites of processed sugar are like crack for me, and it’s not long before I’m headed to Hannaford cruising the aisles for those evil Lofthouse shortbread cookies with the violently pink frosting. So what’s the solution? This smoothie – perfect for satisfying both my chocolate addiction and the need for something sweet – and the avocado gives it a decadent creaminess. Even better? It’s like drinking a fancy chocolate shake, but with benefits to your health.

Avocado smoothie

Chocolate Coconut Wonder Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup coconut water or almond milk

1 large handful lettuce greens (mixed greens will give it a spicy flavor, or if you prefer a tamer taste, use plain red-leaf lettuce) or baby spinach

1 banana

1/2 fresh, ripe avocado (wrap the other half in plastic and use it in your salad later – avocados are great brain food!)

1 heaping tbsp organic raw cacao

1 dropperful SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme Liquid Stevia or 1 tbsp raw organic agave syrup

1 tbsp raw unsweetened shredded coconut

1 cup ice

Protein Powder (I add a scoop each of Nutiva Hemp Protein and Nature’s Way Alive! Pea Protein)

Throw all but the last two ingredients in the blender and blend til smooth. Add ice, and lastly add your optional protein powder. Pour into tall glass and satisfy that chocolate craving!

(One word of warning – this smoothie does have a tendency to take on the color and consistency of creamed pea baby food – get over it! It’s delicious, I promise!)

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February 11, 2013

smoothie

Blueberry-Chocolate Green Smoothie

Blueberries and chocolate? One, you’re probably thinking this sounds like an odd combination, or Two, you’re wondering if that actually could be healthy. The good news? YES! First, the key is stocking your pantry with a key, I-never-run-out-of-this item: organic raw cacao. Raw cacao is one of the best “super foods” you can eat – like the blueberries in this smoothie, it’s loaded with antioxidants.  It also delivers important minerals like magnesium and iron, and it’s a natural mood booster. In its raw, unsweetened state, consuming raw cacao is a great way to satisfy your chocolate cravings without adding unnecessary calories from processed chocolate.

Ingredients:

1 cup almond milk or coconut water

1 handful of baby kale or 3 good sized leaves stripped of their stems of full-grown kale (preferably organic, otherwise thoroughly rinsed)

1 cup frozen blueberries (I prefer the smaller, sweeter wild blueberries like Wyman’s)

1 banana (optional)

1 heaping tbsp organic raw cacao (that link will take you to the best price by far I’ve found for it – $22.49 for 2 pounds!)

1 cup ice cubes

1 tbsp organic raw agave syrup or 1 dropper-ful of SweetLeaf Liquid Stevia (I like the chocolate raspberry flavor for this smoothie)

Protein powder (optional, but I like Nutiva’s raw hemp protein or Nature’s Way Alive! pea protein – I add one heaping scoop of each)

Add all but the last three ingredients to your blender and blend until liquified. Add agave or stevia and your optional protein powder. Once blended, add your ice.

Yield: approximately 24 ounces of green smoothie yumminess

3 Comments on “(Green) Smoothies!”

  1. February 14, 2013 at 4:51 am #

    Hmm, I may actually try a green smoothie soon- normally I would be scared but your recipes sound like a realistic blend of healthy and yummy. I think I could handle it.

    • February 14, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

      Seriously, you won’t be disappointed, Rose – give me a holler, too, if you want to adjust proportions to make enough for Chris and Ezra, too. (Just to give you an idea of how good these smoothies are, Ronan actually regularly drinks them and likes them, and he’s VERY picky!) Let me know how it goes!

  2. Olga
    March 6, 2013 at 1:32 pm #

    wow you are great.. I actually want to try doing smoothies… Great inspiration.. thank you !!!

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