3.30.2012

"go green" smoothie

This pretty much goes without saying, but.... TGIF!! What a long week this has been, and what a long day, too. Just a few recaps: orgo chem lab quiz, the start of SC&OO (woohoo!), life-cycle nutrition exam, online eating disorders module assignment, and to top it off- an orgo chem lab practical. Can't even begin to explain how happy I am all that is over, but not happy about basically doing it all over again next week. Am I boring you yet? Yeah, I'm doing that to myself too.

..But don't worry (or stop reading!!), I didn't plan on leaving you with just a post about my stressful week. Get excited because you're about to see something so yummy and so nutritious, that you're going to be glad you chose to read this instead of the rest of your Facebook news-feed. (I mean, if you're going to procrastinate, at least make it worth it!) haha ;)

I'm about to unveil to you what I call the "Go Green" Smoothie. There are so many different kinds of green smoothies all over the internet, but I have found that I really love this particular recipe. You can hardly taste the spinach, just peanut buttery banana goodness!

So the question is, what made me crave this refreshing drink today? I'll be happy to tell ya!
I couldn't drive to class today since my usual parking lot was closed for some event at the museum. This poses quite a problem because that is the only lot I can park in. Yep, you've read that correctly. Out of the whole UF campus, commuters that are undergrad are given one option: The park-n-ride lot. Long story short, I ended up parking at my friend's apartment complex, which is only about a 15 minute walk from my class. Honestly, I really don't mind walking (and almost prefer it), so it was a nice change of pace. The walk to class was breezy and enjoyable. The walk back, however, was hot and sticky, and all I could think about was something to quench my thirst. First thought: "Go Green" Smoothie. Ever since that moment today, I knew I'd be making that baby as soon as I got home. Well, after I tended to my garden, of course!

"Go Green" Smoothie

Yield: 1 serving (~2 cups)

Ingredients: 
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  •  1/2 cup almond milk (I use vanilla. Can be sweetened or unsweetened)
  • ~1 tbsp almond butter (or any nut butter you prefer)
  • 1 tbsp of ground flaxseeds
  • 2 tbsp of wheat germ
  • 1 frozen ripe banana, sliced into chunks
  • 1/2 cup of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt
 Directions:

1. Rinse baby spinach
2. In a blender, add almond milk, banana, ground flaxseeds, wheat germ, almond butter, baby spinach and Greek yogurt. Blend until it has a smoothie-like consistency.


Note: Instead of a regular blender, you can use the magic bullet or an immersion blender, also referred to as a hand blender. I use/only have an immersion blender. It's cheaper and it's so handy. Yes, pun intended.

Also, If using an immersion blender, I find it best to add the ingredients to your cup in the order that I've listed it in the directions. If the spinach is added first instead of (almost) last, the small blade has trouble reaching the leaves at the bottom. I haven't found this to be an issue with anything else I use the immersion blender for, though.

Oh one more thing: as a convenience, I slice my ripe bananas ahead of time and place them in a freezer bag. It saves time (and a dirty knife & cutting board.)

P.S.- I plan on adding to this recipe in the near future (maybe throwing in some different kinds of berries and whatnot.) I will be sure to keep you posted, though, as always!


 Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fats that are essential to a healthy diet. They help to prevent heart disease, maintain our cell membrane's fluidity, and support a healthy immune system.
Did you know?
"The lower rate of heart disease among people in the Mediterranean region of the world is often attributed to their liberal use of olive oil, a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids."
(I love referencing my old nutrition textbooks!)
Who would've thought that wheat germ would taste SO good. I'm not even kidding, I could eat it by the spoonful. It's full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and omega-3s! Essentially, it is an all-natural supplement. A tasty one, too ;)

 You can substitute any nut butter you'd like. This is homemade almond butter that I put in a mason jar, but I have also tried it with store-bought, chunky, peanut butter and it tasted yummy also!
 This is what the bottom half of the immersion blender looks like. The blade isn't very big, but it's pretty powerful! Love, love, love it. I use it all the time, especially for my butternut squash soup. (I'll get to that soon!)
 And there ya have it, folks! A delightful, nutritious, and refreshing smoothie.

Remember.... Go Green! ;P

1 comment :

  1. OMG! This is awesome!! Everything about this blog is wonderful! Let's see where do I begin? You are teaching in a fun way what's healthy by including your knoweldge into these recipes. That's really clever Ash! The pics are so colorful and make the recipes exciting =) Your love and enthusiasm for healthy eating is evident and it's contagious when reading this! I am looking forward to your next one ;) By the way, we used to buy wheat germ when I was young but I can't remember what we used it for. Maybe ice cream? I am looking to take some credit for your yearning for being health conscious. ;P I know I tried to steer you in a good direction while growing up with healthier choices. But I never thought what a great chef you would be and that you would take it to this level. I love it!

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