Thursday, April 11, 2013

Green Smoothie Monster

So, as you may have inferred from my posts since September, I do very few things each day that are unrelated to A) work or B) wedding planning.

In December, I was perusing the pinterest rabbit-hole when I saw a bride mentioning nutrition as an important part of her wedding planning.

Well, knock me over with a feather, that sounded like a GENIUS idea to me.  Along with readying my heart and my mind for a life with Mr. RH (and working on our relationship together), it only made sense to me that, in wanting to look my best, I might want to think of looking my best from the inside out. 

Enter the "green" smoothie.

I've been eating smoothies for years.  I love fruit (fresh or frozen), and I love an icy, cold thick milkshake-y beverage.  Mmm.

So I googled green smoothies, and promptly disregarded everything I had learned.

For me, eating yogurt is extremely important.  Let's just say that I have a slightly imbalanced system, and yogurt (of any kind) helps keep it in check.  So there's the base of my "green" smoothie.

Now, I know that Greek yogurt is all the rage.  And, on my first go-around, I went for the Greek.  However, I had been reading some kinda iffy reports on how the yogurt is made, and that there is a lot of by-product waste created in the process of making it.  So I downgraded (in price!) to regular and haven't missed it a bit.

And then there were the greens.  I started with spinach.  Then I kept seeing people talk about kale on twitter amongst health-related discussions.  As wikipedia just told me, Kale has lots of vitamin A, K, and C.  Spinach has A, C, and calcium and iron.

This is only my first week using kale, but so far so good.  

If I know I'm not going to use up the ingredients before they go bad, I simply toss a bunch of handfulls of the greens into the freezer in a ziplock bag.  Because the greens are so small, I can put them directly from the freezer into the smoothie with no defrosting.

I use the same greens consistently, but as for the fruits, I like to mix it up.  Typically to coincide with whatever fruit is on sale at the grocery store that week.  This week, blackberries were on sale, as were strawberries. 

If the store is looking particularly paltry when I go (which happens semi-frequently in the fresh fruit area), I just grab a bunch of the cheapest frozen fruit.  When I wake up in the morning, I just throw any frozens into a cup and let them thaw while I get ready.  They're usually ready to blend in 30 minutes or so.

For the actual blending, I use an old mini food processor that's seen better days.  We don't have a blender, and I don't really miss it.  Plus, I like my smoothie really thick, and the food processor handles that better.

Two scoops of yogurt (I use unflavored because it has less calories and also I add plenty of flavor with fruit), and then to the top with greens.  Blend for a minute...

Then add the fruit.

I know some people add ice to thin out the mixture a bit, but I usually skip that step.  When it looks like sludge, you know you've hit the jackpot.

 Mmm, healthy goodness.

I've tried a whole bunch of fruits, and I can't say I'd recommend them all.
  • Pineapple - really couldn't get it to blend all the way.  So, only if you like it quite chunky.  (Gross)
  • Avocado - it was fine, kinda thick and weird, but I'll just leave my avocado for guac from here on out
  • Blackberries - quite seed-y, the seeds are much larger than you think and won't break down from blending
  • Blueberries - delicious but they are kind of a nasty color
  • Mango - YUM
  • Peaches - perfection
  • Strawberries - a little seed-y, but not unbearable
  • Melon - skip it, in my opinion

Now, I have seen on twitter something that reeeeally kinda irks me.  And that would be the juicing trend.

In juicing, you basically take fruit and veggie, remove all the fiber and some of the nutrients, and are left with the sugary deliciousness of the juice.

In making a smoothie, you can actually increase the amount of nutrients absorbed from the spinach/kale/blueberries/whatever.  How?  In essence, chopping them up into tiny bits makes the nutrients more "bio-available" - which means your body is able to use them more easily because they are already broken down a bit and easier to absorb.

Pretty nifty, huh?

I do have to say, that in about three months of doing this I think my fingernails have NEVER been stronger.  I've always had issues with peeling nails, and I am shocked that they seem less bendy lately.  In fact, at work last week I found myself filing down my nails because the length was starting to bug me.  That never happens!

So, in short, I'm pretty pleased with myself.  Doing something "for the wedding" might actually be a good habit for my health.   Go figure!

8 Classy Comments:

Meg @ write meg! said...

I decided to get in better shape before the wedding, too -- both for the obvious reasons (looking super cute) and the more important ones... like better health! I love the idea of a green smoothie, and your recipe sounds delicious! I'm also a big fan of the chunky milkshake, haha... think I'm going to have to give this a whirl! (Whirl... heh. Get it? Whirl? Okay, sorry -- back to drinking my Diet Coke and waking up over here!)

Shannon said...

Does it taste spinachy?? To me, spinach has a weird texture. I may give it a shot though because of what you said with your nails. Mine are the SAME way.

Classy Fab Sarah said...

Not spinach-y at all!! Cause goodness knows I probably wouldn't be able to stomach that.

Andie said...

I keep seeing all of these posts and suggestions for smoothies with spinach and kale- I am going to have to give this a try because on some days I BARELY get my full allowance of fruits & veggies and this would probably knock it out in one meal!

mangovino said...

I highly recommend that you register for one of the stick or immersion blenders. they are super small easy to use and clean up in a flash. They come with a cup that's perfect for smoothies!

mangovino said...

I highly recommend that you register for one of the stick or immersion blenders. they are super small easy to use and clean up in a flash. They come with a cup that's perfect for smoothies!

K said...

I've been intrigued with the whole green monster thing, but the whole spinach and kale thing weirded me out. Is it more of a fruity taste?

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

i LOVE smoothies...i'm strictly a fruit girl. i usually use fresh bananas and frozen chunks of mango and pineapple we buy in bulk, plus some spinach and some V8 v-fusion juice.

if you want an amazing smoothie maker, get a ninja blender. we got ours at walmart for about $30, it has a spout so it's easier to get the smoothie out, and it will make even the hubs' ice and protein powder into a ice chunks at all!!

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