I touched on this briefly in my faves post last week, but I thought that since I've been loving smoothies so much lately, it deserved its own write up.
I have to tell you that I have never cared for smoothies in the past. They have been all the rage for a while and I couldn't care less to test one out after never really having a good one (aside from the time I fell in love with a high calorie Jamba Juice version, but that's a story for another time). I finally realized that oatmeal just isn't the right breakfast for me every morning. I'm an on-the-go girl after all. So I gave the smoothie another chance.
For me, I realized that my issue with the smoothie was the ice factor. Most smoothies I'd had in the past were blended with ice and for some reason it just wasn't cutting it. Remove the ice, give the ingredients a good blend and presto! My new favorite breakfast.
The beauty of the smoothie is that you can mix in any ingredients you want. If I've just had a good workout, I add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to keep me more full and energized. On any other day, lots of fruit, some spices, and light milk will do the trick. Of course the recipe I'm about to share is subject to change over any ingredients of your choosing. This is what I've been enjoying of late, but you get the idea that ingredients are easily interchangeable!
Green Monster Smoothie
1 C unsweetened almond milk
1 ripe banana or 1 pear (peeled and chopped)
2 big scoops pumpkin puree (canned)
1 big handful fresh baby spinach
1 packet Splenda
splash vanilla extract
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
I like to use my 4 cup measuring cup for this. Start by adding the almond milk and banana (or pear).
Next, toss in the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger and Splenda.
Mix it up. I use an immersion blender to get 'her done. I got this great Cuisinart version from Bed Bath and Beyond for under $25 with a coupon. I absolutely love this item for smoothies, soups, etc. Clean up is a breeze and it blends fantastically. You can also use a regular blender of course!
I used to end it here, but then, as I've seen across the blogosphere, I decided to add a bit of spinach. You really cannot taste it at all, but it makes that gorgeous green color while you reap the benefits of its nutritional value. Win-win, no?
Blend that baby up like never before. I have under blended and had chunks of pear or little spinach leaves floating around in my finished product. YOu don't want this. Make sure it's good and blended.
Pour over ice. I fill my iced coffee tumbler with ice and pour in the smoothie. Secure the top and I'm ready to go. Heck, with this breakfast, not only is it filling but I don't even need coffee. Seriously.
So there you have it. A super easy, refreshing breakfast that takes about 5 minutes from start to finish. Not bad, huh? You could also put in a scoop of cocoa powder, peanut butter, some apples, carrots, pineapple, summer berries...the possibilities are endless! Are you a smoothie drinker? What's your favorite kind?