Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Smoothie (shhh, there is spinach)

One word: Yum. This is an idea that I originally got from a conversation I had with a couple of my friends. One of them was Anne Mahon  who is a dietitian/mom of 3 (click her name to check out her nutrition blog)
 The blender. This is my most used kitchen appliance. Well other than the coffee maker. (Can I get an Amen?) Almost everyday I make smoothies. My kids actually ask for them all the time and if you promise not to tell them, I will tell you a secret. The smoothies are SUPER healthy! SHHHH!
Yep, that IS spinach. Quite a bit of spinach. It is AMAZING how much spinach you can hide in a smoothie without tasting it. One tip on the spinach: use fresh, not frozen. I have done both and frozen just does not blend the same. My son even told me once that I had "put too many leaves in this smoothie" So I start with a banana and spinach. The banana can be fresh or frozen. Why would you have a frozen banana, you ask? Well if your bananas are about to go bad, peel them, put them in a freezer bag and freeze them for later use in a smoothie. Waste not! An IMPORTANT tip on freezing bananas....DON'T skip the PEEL IT part. You WILL regret it, trust me...
So, in your blender you should have a banana and spinach. Now add a piece of fruit. Don't you love recipes that are completely NOT specific? I know, I usually hate that too, but in this case you really can't go wrong. I have used an apple, pear, pineapple, mango, grapes, an orange,  or strawberries. Throw in whatever piece of fruit you have lying around.
I always add a little bit of water to help it blend better. Start with about 1/4 of a cup and then as you add stuff if you want the smoothie to be thinner, add more. You can also use juice instead of water. I used to use V8 fusion, but stopped when I started watching how many calories I eat in a day. I now have a really hard time "wasting" calories on a beverage. Water is my friend.
This is my favorite part. When you blend those things together this is what you get. Green liquid. Green because of all of that healthy spinach. I LOVE spinach! It is so good for you and so easy to sneak into things. Don't worry there will definitely be a blog post about my spinach love with other sneaky ways to feed it to children. 

Moving on... Now add frozen berries. No specifics on this either. My kids really like this kind:
I recently discovered this tropical one at Costco and I love it. The kids will drink it either way, but prefer if I put at least a cup of the 3 berry mix above.

My current favorite is about a cup of the 3 berry mix and 2 cups of the tropical, but you really can mix it however you want.
After adding the frozen berries let the blender work for a while. Don't just stop when it quits making grinding noises because it won't be smooth enough and you will notice more blackberry seeds. Add water or juice until you get the consistency that you want.
And there you have it a blender full of yummy healthy goodness that even your picky kids will eat, or should I say drink...
I do think for me and the kids almost everyday, but if my hubby is home I fill the blender all the way up so he can have some too because yes, Thomas Cumming, I fully believe you would eat nothing that was healthy without me telling you to! ;)
My smoothie blog would not be complete without pictures of my adorable munchkins suckin' them down!
Nate 5yr
Adah 3yr

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