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March 3, 2014

(three-ingredient) spinach smoothie.

I am FINALLY finally finally blogging about these smoothies. I've been making them pretty regularly for at least a year, and make it a point to buy spinach and steal bananas from the dining hall purely for this.

Green smoothies are nothing new at this point. It feels like between every 10-12 butter laden or themed food items on foodgawker, there is a new green smoothie recipe. Well, here's another.

It might be sad to admit that I am really fond of these. They're just too healthy and easy. There was a period of two weeks where I had one everyday. Then I stopped because spinach was expensive that week ... and I think my digestive health was a little too healthy.

I have been making them with exactly the same ingredients ever since I've started. The only tweaks have been minor.

I think I'm slowing down. It was always the weird or seasonal stuff that caught my eye. Bring on the "Cheez-it breaded chicken nuggets" and "cereal milk soft serve." But as of late, I've been sticking to things I know I like.

Ugh, how predictable.

In an effort to change it up a little, I've included tips in the recipe below on how to enhance this already great smoothie. I only recommend the following additions because they do, in fact, make the smoothie better (and healthier).

Here are some comments, so the recipe itself isn't super long:
  • BANANAS -- I adore super ripe bananas. But the more green (unripe) a banana is, the more nutrients it has. And since they're being frozen and blended, you don't get that itchy tongue feeling. I recommend buying bananas (that are a little unripe), cutting them into quarters, and freezing beforehand. 
  • SPINACH -- baby spinach >> regular spinach. Also, I don't measure - I just stuff in as much as I can. Use a small handful if just starting out - if you make these drinks frequently, you'll find yourself adding more and more. If you add too much, it can get bitter, although you can fix that by adding more banana and milk. 
  • MILK -- Almond milk or 1% is best. This is coming from a person who generally drinks fat-free skim milk. DO NOT use fat-free milk for your smoothies. Using 1% (or higher) reduced fat milk makes for a creamier smoothie than if you used almond milk. 
Some notes on optional add-ins:
  • Whey Protein Powder -- I use a vanilla-flavored one that has low sugar. It helps thicken the smoothie and add some nice flavor. If using fat-free milk (even though I told you not to), this would probably help make it more palatable. Also, yay protein!
  • Tofu -- Yay, more protein! Using silken is your best bet for smoother blending. This also thickens. I used a regular firm tofu once, and there were all these little soft chunks left, despite blending for a while. I loved them though! They seemed almost custardy. Do however you please. 
  • Peanut Butter -- Eh, I am a self-proclaimed pb addict, but I wouldn't recommend using in these smoothies. It does something weird to the texture and taste.
  • Ground flaxseed -- I would pass on this, too. It does not help at all, and makes the texture quite gritty. If you want the nutrients and its omega-3 fatty acids, stir it into oatmeal.
Okay, the background is longer than the recipe, I swear!

Yup, same as before. I didn't take enough pictures, my b. But I like this one.

Three-ingredient Spinach Smoothies
I made up this recipe by myself - though there's not much to it that needed to be made. // Yield: 1 serving.
  • half a frozen banana (or nonfrozen banana + 2-3 ice cubes)
  • as much spinach (preferably baby spinach) as you can muster 
  • milk just poured in, to desired consistency -- start with 1/2 cup
  • optional: whey protein (1/2-1 whole scoop), tofu (1/8-1/4 cup), ice cubes for more thickness
  1. Stuff spinach into mini blender first. Using a big blender may not work for such a small batch.
  2. Add whey protein, tofu, and ice cubes next, if desired.
  3. Add banana.
  4. Pour milk over everything. 
  5. Blend until smooth. Drink up that beautiful, creamy elixir.

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