When my brothers and I were little, my mother used to make us shakes from frozen strawberries (or other fruit frozen), bananas and milk. When we got older, we preferred using orange juice or apple juice instead of the milk. I first got into green smoothies when I was pregnant. There was a recipe in a cookbook for kale, pineapple, and coconut milk shake (or something like that).
It was a revelation to me that I could add greens to a shake and not really taste them. I adopted the green smoothie on the spot (though I didn’t know that was what they were called). Now, hardly a day goes by without one. In fact, the last time I felt myself getting a cold was when I ran out of spinach and lettuce and decided to wait to get more on my shopping day four days away (of course the cake and ice cream we had for Caleb’s birthday didn’t help either).
So, that said, I don’t use “green smoothie” recipes. A lot of them sound kind of disgusting to me. I’m into health food, but only when it tastes really good. 🙂 I just add spinach or some other green, spinach has the mildest flavor, to a delicious shake.
My basic smoothie consists of the following
4 bananas (3 if they are extra large, 5 if they are small) that are spotty. Spotty bananas are ripe. That’s when the starch has been fully converted to sugar. If you keep them around too long, then the sugars will start turning into alcohol and taste nasty. In my opinion, bananas are a non-negotiable ingredient. They give it creaminess and make it filling.
2 cups (give or take) of some other fruit, generally frozen, if I use all fresh, then I add some ice cubes. It doesn’t matter what other kind, but something with a strong flavor is good. Apples (though many disagree) don’t make a very good smoothie, in my opinion. The best fruits are berries, mangos, peaches, and pineapple. Grapes and pears are nice, but not alone.
A big, huge handful of spinach. No more than 5 oz, 3-4 is better, 6 is too much. It’s probably beneficial to vary your greens, but generally I don’t.
Add some water or juice, maybe 1/2 cup. I use water at my house, because I’m too cheap to buy juice. My mom usually has orange juice, cider, and pomegranate juices on hand, so I’ll use a splash of one of them.
This makes about quart of liquid. My favorite shake uses pineapple. It turns out a beautiful green color (strawberries make a muddy looking shake, which is still tasty).
The shake using 2 cups pineapple, 4 bananas, and 5 oz of spinach is about 600 calories.
It usually holds me until lunch, but only if I eat it around 9 a.m. If I am too hungry and eat at 7, I’ll need a snack midmorning. Generally I wait to eat breakfast until after I work and Caleb wakes up in the morning about 9 usually. I have lunch at 1 pm.
But then I’m 6 feet tall, I work out, and I have a semi-active vocation, so I have a larger appetite than most women. You may not want this much.
I love having a shake for breakfast because it’s fast, portable (Caleb usually wants me to play something with him while I have breakfast), and it gives me energy for my morning. It fuels me, but doesn’t slow me down. I’m getting a huge hit of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals first thing in the morning. It digests easily, and all the soft fiber helps wash out all the food I ate yesterday.
Breakfast-green smoothie-bananas, frozen pineapple and mango, and spinach
Lunch-tomatoes and black beans with jalapenos and about 8 baked tortilla chips and about 1/2 pound of strawberries and dates
Post workout snack-fresh OJ, 3 dates
Dinner- 4 small pieces of Dominos pizza (without the cheese) and probably something else for a bedtime snack, maybe some fruit, because I’m still hungry.
Workout- ran on the treadmill for about 25 minutes, but I ran faster than usually, because Caleb was impatient to get to the pool. I also played tag and basketball with Caleb for a half and hour and swam around in the pool for a half an hour. I don’t count that stuff in my workout, because I do them almost every day. But those active non-workout things are still important for good health. Long-lived populations are very active all day long.
Work done-assembled those three kitchens and sanded some animals, lacquered the peg people I painted yesterday, and of course I wrote a blog post. 🙂
Videos-I watched some while I was assembling the kitchens (which is probably why I went slower than usual). And we watched an episode of BBC Wildlife’s Wild China while we ate our pizza. Caleb is obsessed with nature videos. I’ve learned more about biology in the past 2 years that Caleb has been watching, than in all my years of schooling. BBC Wildlife is awesome. Especially anything that David Attenborough does.