March 9, 2012

spinach blueberry almond butter smoothie

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

17 comments:

  1. This looks great! Thanks for sharing :)

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    1. Hi Meagan,
      you're welcome! It's my favorite.

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  2. Hi,

    would it be possible to make this the night before to eat in the morning? or would it separate too much?

    Thanks!
    Bec

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    1. I have made the smoothie the night before for my husband, to take on the run for breakfast the next morning, and it didn't separate, but with the blueberries it may tend to thicken or jell a bit. Just be sure to keep the smoothie refrigerated until you're ready to drink it.

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    2. THANKS!!

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  3. I am trying to get myself to drink more green smoothies so this looks great. Do you think it would work with frozen spinach? I'm more likely to have that on hand. (I'm thinking loosely frozen baby spinach rather than the bricks).

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    1. Hi Sara,

      I've never tried frozen spinach in a smoothie. I guess technically, whether fresh or frozen, the spinach is ending up in the same state: finely puréed in the smoothie. The most important question for me would be to find out if the frozen spinach gives you the same nutrition as the fresh, and after that, any difference in flavor or texture in the smoothie. My advice would be to try it both ways (one with fresh, one with frozen) and see what you prefer.

      A couple of tips I've learned over time in drinking smoothies...

      1. I've switched to using homemade almond milk as the base for the smoothies I make for myself and my husband. I find it's less bloating than cow's milk (and even the raw goat's milk I typically buy for other things I make at home).

      2. When having the smoothie as a breakfast meal or in place of a regular meal, I add a vegan protein powder which really helps keep my blood sugar stable, which in turn keeps me satiated until lunch or my next meal. I really like this one by Sun Warrior, because I digest it easily, unlike other protein powders I've tried.

      http://www.amazon.com/Sunwarrior-Warrior-Blend-Powder-Natural/dp/B005XAC8NO/ref=sr_1_1?s=grocery&ie=UTF8&qid=1363543712&sr=1-1&keywords=Sun+Warrior+Warrior+Blend+Natural

      Hope this info is helpful, but always trust your own body to tell you what works :-)

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  4. It is strange recipe.
    it is the first time I see almond in spinach smoothie recipe

    But I think that it will be ok.
    I will try it

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    Replies
    1. It's worth a try and very good!

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  5. I make a smoothie of some sort every morning for breakfast. I have been using Maca Powder for the protein it is also suppose to help the fatigue that goes with fibromyalgia we will see I do feel some relief but don't want to say it's gone because of things working short term. Anyhow great recipe thanks for sharing. I also use raw cashews in mine sometimes with a Nutribullet it makes powder out of any nut or seed just a little fyi

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  6. AnonymousJuly 15, 2013

    I add flax meal...I want to try Chia seeds.

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  7. I substituted coconut water (with pulp) since I didn't have any milk on hand. It was super. I really enjoyed the flavor and smoothness the almond butter added.

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    Replies
    1. Sounds great! I make this smoothie at least once a week-I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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  8. This was incredibly delicious. I thought of it more as a thick juice than a smoothie and I replaced the goat milk with rice milk. I had enough to fill a full glass and about half of one which was a nice treat for later.

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    1. My husband likened it to a chocolate milkshake when he tasted it!

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