I never thought I was the ‘green smoothie’ type. Nor, the ‘recipe sharing’ type. Nor, the ‘chia seed’ type.
A series of events changed all that.
For the past six months, I trained for a marathon. I used training as an excuse to eat all the cookies within my grasp. So, I ran, and I lost weight, and then I gained weight! I could *in theory* chalk it up to muscle from my miles and miles of hitting the pavement. In reality, with an Oreo intake of approximately 1 glorious cookie sandwich / mile — I needed to check my sweet tooth.
That’s why I signed up for a challenge to eat a green smoothie per day in April. A green smoothie looks like algae but tastes like heaven. I like the smoothies a lot, which surprised me! I probably had about 25/30 for the April challenge. The challenge idea came from a website called Simple Green Smoothies. For me, it was a way to curb my cravings and eat more fruits and veggies. I like having one for breakfast with some yogurt in it. Green smoothies are easy. You just need two cups of spinach or kale or some combo off leaves. First, you blend them with 1 cup of liquid (like water, fruit juice or almond milk) and set aside. Then you blend 3 cups of fruit with the remaining liquid. Then, you blend the green mix and the fruit mix together. I like using frozen fruit to keep costs down and also make the smoothie nice and cold. I also used canned fruit in juice, because then you can use the fruit juice as a natural sweetener. And, it’s cost-effective.
I should mention: I messed up my knee and never finished that darn marathon. However, my smoothie habit stuck.
I should also mention: I’m not Pioneer Woman. She is Oklahoma’s favorite blogger, and her blog is amazing, and she seems super cool. Plus, she is really good at making and sharing recipes, which I am not. Her photos are gorgeous.
I only mention this because I feel like such a phony sharing recipes. As if, I’m good at this kind of thing. Also, I decided to make week 1 of my blog a day in May for CF awareness about recipe sharing and food, because we think of food 24/7. It’s May 5 and I’m running out of things to say! Note to self: write Pioneer Woman.
Back to the green smoothies. Eli loves my green smoothies! This was such a pleasant surprise. I add heavy cream and whole milk yogurt to his. I have also put wheat germ and Chia seeds in his smoothies for extra cals and nutrients. My smoothies make him happy. Plus, I feel good because he’s eating a nutritious, high-calorie snack that I whipped up, with just a slight modification from my nutritious, low-calorie snack.
Laila is not sold. She doesn’t like the seeds. She will only eat a pink smoothie. No green smoothies. Slowly, she’s getting on board. It helps when she assists in the smoothie-making process. Mark loves green smoothies, too – a pleasant surprise.
Any how, here are three recipes that Mark, Eli and I approve of, with dumb names for extra oomph.
1. Bootylicious berry cherry blast
2 cups spinach
2 cups water
2 cups of any frozen berry combination (I like using mixed berry frozen fruit, but you could also use 1 cup frozen strawberry and 1 cup frozen blueberry)
1 cup frozen dark cherries
We just use our Magic Baby Bullet to make smoothies since we don’t have a blender. That means I do half the spinach with 1 cup water, then add the remainder, and set aside in a glass.
Next I blend the fruit – about half of it with half the water. Then the rest, with the rest of the water, and set aside in a glass.
Then, I blend half the veggie and half the fruit mix, and pour it into serving cups, and repeat.
At some point we’re going to buy a proper blender, thus eliminating a few steps. The Magic Baby Bullet is growing tired.
There are an endless supply of blenders out there marketed to smoothie people – Nija, Vitamix, etc. etc. The sky’s the limit when it comes to cost. For now, the itty blender will do.
2. Put the lime in the coconut and drink it all up
2 cups of spinach, or kale, or a blend of lettuces
About half a can of pineapple juice, from canned pineapple rings (or chunks) in juice
1 – 1.5 cup of water OR 1-1.5 cups coconut water (Walmart has a good price on coconut water!)
Squirt of lime. You can use a half lime, or, a 2-second squirt from a plastic lime juice container thingy.
1/2 can of pineapple rings
Sections from 1 orange
Blend up your spinach or kale with half the liquid, set aside.
Blend fruit with remainder of liquid.
Blend veggie and fruit mix together with a squirt of lime juice.
This almost begs for tequila. Not for breakfast, unless on vacation!
You can add yogurt or Chia seeds or wheat germ or anything, really, to boost the protein and make the shake more filling. It’s easy to fatten a shake up for a child with cystic fibrosis with whole milk, half n half, heavy whipping cream, whole milk yogurt, or, whatever you have on hand.
3. My carrot cake milkshake brings all the boys to the yard
2 cups spinach or kale or some combo of greens
4-5 roasted carrots
Sorry, gotta roast first! Maybe use the carrots from dinner the night before!
3 peeled and sliced apples
Sections from 1 orange, peeled n seeded
2 cups almond milk – OR – 1 cup almond milk 1 cup skim milk, or 2 cups skim milk if you can’t drink almond milk. I have found too much almond milk can give a smoothie a ‘Play-do’ taste.
1 pinch nutmeg, 1 pinch, ginger, 1 pinch pumpkin pie spice.
Holy cow this tastes like carrot cake!
Blend spinach or kale with half the liquid of your choice. I use almond milk because it’s low cal and creamy. I’m sure you could use regular milk of your choosing, too.
Blend up your apples, orange and 1/2 banana with the rest of the liquid. Add pinches of ‘pumpkin pie’ -esque spices. Nutmeg and ginger are strong. I messed up on my first go at this one by putting 1 tsp of each. Way too much! start with a pinch and add more to taste.
Next, blend with the veggie mix. If you feel your smoothie is too thick, just add more liquid.
I use ‘light n fit’ vanilla yogurt from Dannon and it adds a whole new dimension to this smoothie.
After one month on the green smoothie challenge, these three rose to the top as favorites, and, I lost a few Oreo cookie pounds. Please let me know of other great combos you have discovered by sending me a note or commenting below!
How do you make your smoothies kid-approved, or, fatten them up for a lil’ baby with CF, or, a little baby who just needs a few extra cals?
I’m taking ideas!
Now, I must write Pioneer Woman for more, because I’m almost out!