Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lean, Green Delicious Machine

Over the weekend, I experimented with my first new recipe of 2012! I rounded up my ingredients, and made my first batch of the infamous “Green Monster” smoothies. I started with the recipe provided by Iowa Girl Eats a few weeks ago. 

  • 1 frozen sliced banana
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)
  • Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
I put a bit more peanut butter than called for (probably 1 ½ tablespoons) and subbed a plain vanilla yogurt that I had in the fridge for the Greek yogurt. I used regular skim milk rather than almond milk, and didn't measure out a full cup - just poured some in til it seemed like enough liquid.

It was pretty delicious, and I really was shocked by the fact that it didn’t taste like spinach at all! I will admit, I blended it for what I thought was a long time, but there were still little bits of spinach that I could feel myself biting down on. Other than that, I was impressed! What a simple way to get lots of healthy things into your body, all at once! My only other comment about the recipe that I used is that it claims to just be one serving, but I found that it made way more than enough for two – so I drank half, put half in the fridge, and had it again later when I got hungry again. I made this around 10 AM on Saturday morning, and didn’t feel even a smidge hungry again until after 1 PM. Pretty impressive!

Behold… the green monster!
I made another batch last night, and made a few changes to my recipe. I bought a few cups of Chobani Greek yogurt when they were on sale at Target this week, and made sure to get a couple vanilla ones. So this time, I used that (6 oz) and left out the peanut butter – I didn’t mind the flavor last time, but it was pretty intense, and the peanut butter/banana combo isn’t really my jam. This time, into the blender went a frozen banana, a diced frozen peach (from summer – delicious!), and the segments from an orange, plus the spinach, milk, and yogurt. Hit “liquefy” on my blender and left it on for way longer than last time, hoping to get rid of all the little spinach flecks. 

Chalk this one up as a success! I loved the fruitiness of it, rather than the heaviness of the peanut butter, and the vanilla Chobani really added some tang that the regular vanilla yogurt didn’t. I poured my smoothie into two freezer-proof containers and stuck ‘em in the freezer. Grabbed one this morning and brought it to work with me – can't believe what a healthy breakfast I’m having! (Although I’m sure if anyone actually saw me drinking it, I’d get some strange looks – the color is seriously GREEN!) I’m really happy with this recipe experiment, and really glad I decided to go for it! I think in the future I’m going to add some wheat germ – then this smoothie will take me straight back to my childhood, when we used to have blender drinks for breakfast all the time! My mom was a genius – now I know just how healthy that “breakfast milkshake” was!

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