July 8, 2013

Green Smoothie Re-do FP

I got a new toy recently, or a new baby, as I like to look at it.  A Blendtec.  With Wildside and Twister jars even.  And it is dressed in a lovely shade of yellow even.
At first I felt like I was cheating on my Ninja.  After all, it served me well and made great smoothies.
Or so I thought.....
To be honest, there is no comparison.  I'd blend a green smoothie for 3-5 minutes in the Ninja and it still had little chunks.  Good smoothies that we enjoyed, but we were confused in thinking that was as good as it gets.
In 30-45 seconds on my Whole Juice setting, I have a perfectly smooth drink.
But I'm losing focus here.

The point is green smoothies.

I loved them so in my vegan time before pregnancy and in early pregnancy even, until there was an unfortunate incident with raw milk kefir that had gone bad, and I thought I was just being a pregnant wimp and forced it down.  (That was not a good thing, just to let you know.)

The magic ingredient in my green smoothies was always bananas.  They made most any combination of greens palatable, but now, per Trim, Healthy Mama,  my beloved bananas are no longer a part of my life.  This was the single hardest thing for me to give up to lose weight.  I ate bananas daily, but they are high in sugars, albeit natural ones, with a high glycemic index.  Bananas are not the best choice if you want to lose weight.  I loved bananas and they made smoothies creamy and sweet, and I was dubious that one could make a green smoothie taste good without them.
But once again, I've been proven wrong.  I don't know if it is the Blendtec's superior blending or just a change in my palate, or both, but using mellow greens, like spinach, as a base, and flavors, like sweet berries, and a touch of stevia seems to be working for me.  Then add a bit of protein powder and you have a great FP (fuel pull) drink that can work as a meal replacement or as a post-exercise refresher.

Green Smoothie THM-style -  FP
makes 2 servings

  • 1.5 - 2 cups of water
  • coconut water, the liquid from the inside of a young thai coconut, or 1/2 cup of ice (I buy a bunch of young thai coconuts at once, prep them, and freeze the water in an ice cube tray).  This increases the nutrition, but if you don't have access to coconut water, consider it an optional item.
  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries 
  • 4-8oz fresh spinach
  • 2-6oz fresh kale  (start with smaller amounts and work your way up, if needed)
  • Dash of NuNaturals Pure Stevia
  • 1 scoop of protein powder, I use Swanson's.  You mainly want no carbs or fats.

Blend all ingredients except the protein powder together until smooth.
Add the protein powder and pulse a few times to blend.

I often don't measure, but will just fill up the blender with whatever I have on hand.  You can use any greens, veggies or fruits.  Be adventurous and feel free to share you favorite combos!

Also remember that raw fruits and veggies contain fiber.  If you are not used to eating many you may have some abdominal distention and gas.  It takes a few days to get used to the increased fiber, just drink more water and give it some time.  You'll be enjoying the benefits of green drinks before you know it!

Don't forget to check out Trim, Healthy Tuesday at Gwen's Nest and Stacy Makes Cents for more THM ideas and recipes!


Beth said...

I've had to leave the banana behind also after reading realizing how much natural sugar is in it.
I'm curious about the coconut water. Is the kind you buy in Krogers a good type to use without having to get the fresh coconuts? The brand name is Naked. I use the plain kind, no juice added.
I also was wondering about spirulina being used as the protein powder??
I need to get the hardcopy of the book so I can really study this out. I have the ebook it's just not my favorite way of reading. But, your posts are really helpful. Lots of great ideas.
Thanks so much for writing, Beth

Gwen said...

Great review on switching from Ninja to Blendtech! I'd love to add that to my small appliance line up one day.

So, this looks like a liquid version of my favorite: strawberry spinach salad!

Stacy Makes Cents said...

I <3 my Blendtec. It's worth every penny. I use it a million times a day...except for Green Smoothies. I've yet to make one. They scare me. LOL
Thanks for linking at Trim Healthy Tuesday!
You can have up to half a banana in an E setting - I've just nixed them completely like you did. They're a trigger food for me. I could eat a whole bunch.

See the Blue Sky said...

Beth... I often leave out the coconut water if I don't have any from an actual coconut, but I have used the low-fat canned coconut milk from the grocery store.
Another option that would keep this more THM-style would be to use 1/2 cup of almond milk (you can get this with 30-40 calories in a cup)
Spirulina would also be good, but protein powder is optional as well?
I tend to drink these as a meal or post-exercise drink so I like having the extra protein, and you might have to use a lot of spirulina to get 15-20 grams(that's what I shoot for)

colleen said...

I, too, loved my ninja and it served me well for many years. I thought it made the "perfect" smoothies until I got my blendtec...Now, I would be lost without my B...absolutely NO COMPARISON
Green smoothies are the best. Have at least one or two a day. In my 50's and feel better than I did in my 30's

jwells said...

Can you make these in advance? How long will they keep in the refrigerator?

See the Blue Sky said...

Yes, you can make this in advance and keep in the fridge overnight. 24-48 hrs is probably as long as I'd leave it without using.