Friday, April 26, 2013

Healthier green drinks--for St. Patrick's Day and every day!

I started this post right after I posted about our homemade shamrock shakes back in March.  I wanted to give you some healthier green alternatives to drink on St. Patty's Day and beyond.  I mean, shamrock shakes are yum, but they're not something one should consume every day.

Green smoothies, on the other hand, are also yum and a great way to sneak green leafy veggies into your diet. 

Have you heard of green smoothies?  So basically you take some green leafies, like spinach or kale, and blend them together with some sort of fruit, a liquid, and protein.  They're called green smoothies because they usually end up green in color, but I promise you, you cannot taste the green stuff.

If you're not feeling confident enough to just throw a bunch of stuff in the blender, go ahead and google it.  There are tons of great recipes out there.  To get you started, here's my favorite:

Green Monster Smoothie
Blend together
  • 2 handfuls of spinach (green leafies),
  • 2 Tbls peanut butter (protein--you can use any peanut butter, but Peanut Butter & Co.'s White Chocolate Wonderful is divine...and available at Target), and
  • about 1/2 c. unsweetened vanilla almond milk* (liquid--more or less to get desired consistency), until well combined. 
  • Add 1 banana that has been sliced and frozen (fruit) and blend until smooth. 
  • You could also add protein powder, ground flax or chia seeds to up the nutrition.
This makes a very filling meal or 2-3 snack portions.

* You can also make this with cow's milk or soy milk, or any kind of milk you like.  It's your smoothie, so make it how you want to.  I just think the almond milk tastes better.  You can also add non-fat vanilla or plain yogurt to up the protein and calcium.  Make it your own.

I know what you're thinking: but it's green!  And there are little green flecks in it (that's because my blender isn't very powerful).  I promise you, friends, it tastes like a banana peanut butter shake.  So yummy.

And because I started this post talking about shamrock shakes, here's a recipe for a Shamrock Shake green smoothie style from Hubby's cousin.  The blended banana acts like ice cream--this tastes creamy and minty just like the real ones, only better.

Blend together 1 frozen banana, 2/3 cup soy/almond milk, handful of spinach, 1/8 tsp peppermint extract.  She likes to add a little piece of a cacao chocolate bar and some stevia too.

Have you tried green smoothies?  What's your favorite?
Happy green smoothie-ing!

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