Green is good. You've heard it here before. It's a food mantra for me, and on my blog this year I'm trying to share at least one recipe a month with lots of greens in it. Although there is no shortage of different opinions on what really is healthy to eat, most everyone agrees that getting some form of greens in your daily diet is good.
So how about greens for breakfast? You may have mixed your greens into an omelette, or sautéed them with a sunny-side-up egg on the side. The prep for either takes a little bit of time and effort, and it's easier done on a weekend when you have more time. For weekdays, though, you need something fast, and here's where the breakfast smoothie can come to the rescue. All you need is a little organization of ingredients and a sturdy blender, and then it's easy to get your greens in a meal-in-one glass.
My basic weekday smoothie goes something like this: milk, nut or seed butter, frozen fruit, and greens. I almost always add a banana which helps add the right amount of sweetness, a nice texture, and balances the flavor of the greens. For milk I use raw goat's milk fresh from my local farm. As an alternative to dairy, there are nut milks like almond and cashew or coconut, which you can easily make at home ahead of time so they're ready to go. A good amount of protein and healthy fat is also really helpful for satiety and steady blood sugar; I like mine in the form of nut or seed butters. For a variety I make cashew butter, almond butter, and sunflower seed butter. To get the most nutrition from the nut butters, I go through a process to prep the nuts and seeds so they're more digestible, just as I do when I make nut milks.
For the greens I've used either baby spinach and mixed baby greens, but other options I'll be experimenting with are chard, kale, beet greens, lettuce, and parsley. Depending on the combination of ingredients you use, sometimes a little extra sweetness is needed; medjool dates or a small amount of honey work great.
My favorite special treat meal when I was a kid was a hamburger, fries, and a chocolate shake enjoyed car-side at Sandy's Burgers. In college it evolved into a burrito and a chocolate shake (Naugles). I like to think I've learned a bit since then about what's good for me, but one thing that's always necessary is that it tastes really good. I think this smoothie hits both those targets. For the body, it provides good fuel. For the kid in you, it's pretty much like having a milkshake any day you want.
Spinach Blueberry Almond Butter Smoothie
(recipe adapted from the Fat to Fit Plan by Drew Manning)
1 cup raw goat’s milk
2 tablespoons almond butter
1 small to medium frozen banana, sliced into 2-inch chunks
1 cup frozen blueberries
3 cups spinach, well-packed
Put all ingredients, in order listed, into high-powered blender. Blend on high speed until ingredients are smooth and reach the consistency you want. Eat.
Makes about 2-1/2 cups