After seeing my friend Mandi’s posts about having green smoothies every day and how much better she felt, I gave them a try, way back in September. And guess what? Every word she’d written was true! I am totally hooked, and now I want you to be, as well.
And can I tell you how thrilled I was to find a blender in our condo on vacation? I know, it wasn’t there for making non-alcoholic drinks, but we were able to kick off each morning with a healthy smoothie to power us through our often rather unhealthy days in the parks.
I think my “Holiday Food Hangover” is even worse than usual this year, since we threw in our family vacation to Florida right before Christmas. The overindulgence started at Thanksgiving, and never let up, it seemed. I could see a huge difference in my kids’ attitudes…cranky, tired, and generally not themselves, despite the fact that they were getting plenty of sleep and exercise. Diet had to be the culprit.
The worst part of this whole situation is that I’m a professional chef, and a science (chemistry) geek, so I know what we should be eating…and we’re going to get back to that, immediately!
We started our New Year with green smoothies for everyone for breakfast. They’re filling, chock full of nutrients, and, most importantly, very delicious!
You can find tons of basic recipes online…here’s the one I’ve settled on, after tinkering with Mandi’s original one and others that sounded tasty. She doesn’t use yogurt and only sometimes adds almond butter. I feel the added protein of the yogurt or almond butter everyday helps me to feel fuller longer, as does adding chia or ground flax seeds.
Basic Green Smoothie
- 1 apple, cored and chopped (but not peeled)
- 1 banana, chunked (frozen or fresh)
- 1 cup frozen fruit such as mango, pineapple, berries, or a combo
- 1 container honey Greek yogurt (for protein and sweetness)
- 16 oz water
- 2 big handfuls of spinach (to fill the blender)
Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth. That’s it.
Some variations (but these up the calories, so keep that in mind):
- A couple of tablespoons of chia or ground flax seeds
- A couple of tablespoons almond butter (instead of yogurt)
- 1 cup orange or cranberry juice in place of half the water
- Add in 1/3 cup canned pumpkin and use cranberries for the frozen fruit
I can tell such a difference in my mood and energy levels on the mornings I take time to make a green smoothie…and I try to have one for lunch on the days I don’t get one made for breakfast.
By the way, you can find Mandi at her Facebook page, The Bad Vegan. She posts some really helpful info and it’s well worth your time to check it out!
Here’s hoping your new year is off to an amazing start…these smoothies will definitely help begin each day on a bright note!