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Food & Drink, Recipes
Green smoothies are a great easy way to start incorporating healthy greens and fruits into your diet. Green smoothies can help you get your required greens and fruit intake! Adding a green smoothie into your day is great for people who know they need to start eating healthier but aren’t quite yet ready to quit their favorite artery-clogging, unhealthy foods. Earlier, I shared with you my 3 favorite special occasion green smoothies. This recipe is a tried and true classic that you would be happy to whip up every day if you so choose. There are so many ways to make a green smoothie, the options are endless! You’re really only limited by your imagination and your taste buds. The recipe that I’ll share below is the ideal green smoothie starter recipe for anyone who loves the peanut butter & banana combo. If you think of peanut butter and banana toast as comfort food or a nostalgic trip to your childhood, you’ll love this recipe! The flavor of the peanut butter and banana will completely mask the taste of the greens. Before you know it you’ll be craving your green smoothies instead of those other unhealthy foods that you know are bad for you!

What You Need

To get started all you need is a blender. If you can afford it, I recommend that you go out and get a Vitamix, a high-powered blender, right off the bat. You’ll be able to make the smoothest, creamiest green smoothies right from day one. You won’t regret it. Vitamix is the brand that professional smoothie shops use like Jamba Juice and Starbucks. If you want to make drinks just like you would find at those stores, then you need yourself a Vitamix. If you’re not ready to jump in and get a Vitamix, that’s ok. I’ll share with you how to blend your green smoothie properly in a regular blender, it will make all the difference. Just be aware, that if you’re not happy with the texture of your green smoothies it may become difficult for you to enjoy the green smoothies that you make at home. If that’s the case, I recommend spending the extra money on a vitamix. You don’t have to get the newest model (In fact I don’t have the newest model). Just get the basic model and if you buy from Vitamix.com you can make your purchase with PayPal Credit and get the first 6 months without interest. If you don’t mind buying a used model you can look locally on apps like OfferUp and LetGo for a good deal on a used model. Just check to make sure it’s still under warranty or at least test it in person to make sure it works. I was lucky enough to get a great deal on LetGo for the 750 model and it was unopened! You might be lucky enough to find a deal too, so give it a go and see what you find.

My Blender Story

I’ve had a regular kitchen blender, the original Magic Bullet, a Ninja Mega Kitchen System, and now I’m lucky enough to have a Vitamix. Before I had the Ninja or the Vitamix I only used powered greens in my smoothies. Obviously, it works great since it’s already pulverized. However, to have the freshest produce bursting with nutrients that you know haven’t yet degraded, fresh greens are the best way to go. When I was using a Ninja, I did not enjoy drinking the green smoothies that I made because it left giant chunks of greens and vegetables in the smoothie and I was not a happy camper. As soon as I could, I got a Vitamix and now I can make more tasty, smooth and creamy smoothies for years to come!  

 

Directions For a Regular Kitchen Blender

If you have a regular blender, it’s not strong enough to blend regular greens for a smooth consistency. I recommend that you purchase baby greens for your smoothies. Baby greens are softer and easier to break down. Here’s the order to blend your smoothie with a regular kitchen blender.
  1. Put your liquids and greens in the blender first and blend on high speed. This allows the greens to have as much contact as possible with the blades to get broken down into tiny pieces.
  2. Once the greens have gotten to a good consistency add the fruit and blend.
  3. Then add the other extras like protein powders, nut butters, chia seeds, spices, etc and blend.
  4. Enjoy!
 

The Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 2 cups baby spinach (I used 50/50 spring mix)
  • 1 frozen banana (cut into 1/4 pieces, add ice if you’re using a regular banana)
  • 1 Tbs peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 Tbs chia seeds (optional)
  • cinnamon to taste (I used a few shakes of the spice bottle)

Directions

  1. Blend
  2. Enjoy!

Notes

  • To reduce calories and fat, use 1 cup water only without almond milk
  • For a richer taste, use 1 cup almond milk only without water
 
I hope that these tips and tricks help you get started on your green smoothy journey! Have you tried making green smoothies before? What has your experience been like? Leave a comment below!
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Food & Drink
Green smoothies are a great way to get started on a healthy lifestyle. You can get several servings of fruits, greens, healthy fats and proteins all in one easy to eat meal that will keep you satisfied! What’s not to love?
 
For all of you out there who aren’t getting enough greens, you know who you are, give green smoothies a try. The fruits and spices that you add can completely mask the greens. If you’re just starting out and you simply cannot handle any “green” flavor, use baby greens in your smoothies. They have a lighter, milder flavor that will be completely covered up. This means, start by using baby spinach. When you’re feeling more adventurous, try baby kale, then when you’re ready to step up your game, use regular greens.
 
When it comes to green smoothies, they don’t always have to be green! One of the smoothies below is a completely different color all together, and a beautiful color to boot!
 
These three smoothies that I’ve listed for you below are three of my favorite special treat green smoothies. Give them a try and you’ll like them as much as I do!
 

Fancy Wedding Cake Smoothie by LifeIsNoYoke

Shalva from LifeIsNoYoke came up with this special treat green smoothie as a vegan “dupe” for her wedding cake. Lenny, her husband is vegan, so, Shalva, being the amazing innovator that she is, developed this Fancy Wedding Cake Smoothie. If you love lavender, lemons, and pistachios then you will go bananas for this smoothie!
 
When I was in living Portland, OR I was able to try edible lavender for the first time incorporated into desserts like ice cream & boba tea, I was hooked! As soon as I saw their video for this on YouTube, I had to try it! Let me tell you, it is amazing!
 
The quality of lavender you get really makes a difference as well. Make sure to get edible lavender that is a nice bright purple. If you have the luxury of choosing different qualities of lavender, go for the more expensive one. Trust me, it’s worth it! The more expensive the lavender, the less debris like small twigs and stones and the more fragrant the lavender. This means that you can also use less lavender to get that special punch of lavender flavor.
 
Give it a try, this just might become your favorite special treat smoothie!
 
Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups almond milk
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/4 tsp dried edible lavender
  • 1 lemon slice, garnish size with peel
  • 1 whole date, pitted
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 3/4 cup ice, or more to make it thicker
 

Tropical Chia by PitayaPlus

This special treat green smoothie comes from PitayaPlus. Pitaya, aka dragon fruit, has become really popular in recent years to incorporate into smoothies and smoothie bowls. I’m sure you can see why from looking at the picture above. You can turn any regular smoothie into a visual banquet, especially if you love hot pink! Kids love pitaya smoothies because of their vibrant color. Why wouldn’t you want to try it?
 
You can find PitayaPlus at your local Whole Foods Market in the frozen section. If you want to buy the actual fruit, you should be able to find it in the spring/summer from Whole Foods or your local asian market if you’re lucky.
 
Here’s a quick visual guide to help you when you’re looking for dragon fruit in grocery stores:
Dragon Fruit Types by Dr. Hazel Gois
Dragon fruit doesn’t have a strong flavor of it’s own so you can mix this into any smoothie and it will taste like the other flavors that you have in there. Since it doesn’t have a strong flavor, you might as well get the pink dragon fruit for the color.
 
Even if you don’t have dragon fruit, you can make this smoothie as a basic tropical smoothie. Add greens and you’ll turn it into a tropical green smoothie instead!
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 Pitaya Smoothie Pack, or 1/2 pink dragon fruit
  • 1/3 cup pineapple
  • 1/3 cup frozen mango
  • 5 oz coconut water
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
 

Peppermint Patty Green Monster by OhSheGlows

The third special treat green smoothie takes me back to childhood. Growing up, mint and chocolate were a favorite dessert combo. When I was a kid, mint chocolate chip was my favorite ice cream flavor and I LOVED Andes chocolates! At Dairy Queen I would always go for either a mint Oreo or mint M&Ms Blizzard. Yum so good!
 
However, since then, I’ve wised up to the detriments of dairy on my digestive system (I’m lactose intolerant), and all the other problems dairy contributes to,  so those desserts became a huge No Go for me! But what was I going to do without that mint chocolate goodness and the dairy filled desserts?
 
Enter a mint chip green smoothie! All the deliciousness of mint and chocolate without the side effects of dairy? Yes, please!
If you love mint chocolate chip as much as I do, you’ll love this version of a green smoothie!
 
Ingredients:
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 handful fresh mint, stems removed
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1/4 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
  • 1-2 tbs chopped dark chocolate to top or mixed in at the end
 

You don’t have to save them for a special occasion. I know I’ll appreciate it much more if I have them every now and again as special treats!
 
I hope you give these extra special green smoothies a try. I’m sure you’ll come to like them as much as I do!
 
What are your favorite special occasion smoothies? Let me know in the comments below!
~ Dr. Gois
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