It’s this time of the year that I make lots of Smoothies and Protein Shakes. There are so many variations out there, but I want to share my personal favorites. In this post, I’m sharing one that could easily be consumed as a breakfast or lunch because it has not only spinach and fruit, but also Greek yogurt for great protein to sustain you until your next meal. I mean, really it’s like a huge salad in a cup! I do pack a LOT of spinach into this smoothie, but I have a trick for not giving it a spinach-y taste. Keep reading…
In this smoothie, I use frozen fruits for a healthy and refreshing thick drink on the spot. I start with some orange juice to get things flowing and add frozen blueberries and strawberries, a frozen banana, tons of spinach and a secret ingredient. Keep reading…
Since it does take a little effort to make a smoothie, I like to make mine in batches and freeze it. In the mornings, I’ll grab one out of the freezer and take it to work. by the time I’m ready for my morning breakfast or snack, It’s a bit thawed but yet thick and slushy. After a quick stir, my morning is complete. Or, before we go out to do yard work for a couple of hours, I’ll take a couple out of the freezer and set on the counter to thaw. When we come in all hot, tired and in need to rejuvenate with something cold, I’ll grab a spoon and stir it up. Sooooo refreshing and satisfying!
UPDATE: Since I’ve been working on combating inflammation and pain in my body, I’ve been researching different foods to see what the better choices are to consume. I happen to love smoothies and that’s a great way get them into my system. This Purple Spinach Smoothie has flavonoids (key element for fighting inflammation) in the spinach, strawberries, blue berries, lime and orange juice, if fresh squeezed.
Purple Spinach Smoothie
Lets talk briefly about blenders. In this post you will see that I add ingredients in a certain order and I blend after adding each fruit/ingredient. That’s because my blender is a traditional everyday type of blender and I need to do it this way to blend everything properly and not have the blender freeze up on me. So, I do the liquids and spinach first and that helps my blender when I add the frozen stuff.
If you happen to have a Vitamix, Blendtec, Breville or Ninja brand blender, you can do the dumping method. That’s where you dump all the ingredients into the blender at once (as long as you have room) and pulverize it in no time flat. You may still want to do the spinach with the juice first just because the fresh spinach initially fills up the blender. These high end blenders are wonderful and someday maybe I’ll have one. But for now, this works and only takes a few extra moments.
Well, I guess I’ll start with the secret ingredient. My friend Dianna is the one who got me started on this whole smoothie bit. She makes a different variation of this but hers does also contain spinach. She told me that if I put a wedge of lime into the smoothie, it tames the spinach-y taste! How cool is that? I truly didn’t know that. So, here’s what I do…
Cut the lime in half, then cut one of the halves into 4 pieces. Carefully, with a sharp knife, cut the peel from the pulp. The pulp is what we’re going to drop into the blender for the smoothie.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: I’ve been researching ingredients with flavonoids which help fight inflammation and making smoothies accordingly. I have learned citrus peels are high in super flavonoids and can be added to smoothies. So, I will not be removing the peel in the future! I do suggest using organic since pesticide can get into the peel.
In the blender, add the lime wedge (with the peel) to the orange juice. Throw in a whole bunch of fresh spinach. Cover with the lid and turn on your blender to puree the spinach.
On my recipe card, I do tell you the measurement in both cups and weight. Just because that’s what I do at home when I’m writing recipes. When vegetables are measured, it can depend on how well you pack it into a measuring cup. You can put in as much or as little as you want.
If you have one of the before mentioned fancy dancy blenders, you can add the rest of the ingredients below and blend at once… but for me, I blend after each frozen fruit.
Now throw in the Greek yogurt and frozen blueberries. Cover and blend on high to puree the blueberries. (Hence the purple in Purple Spinach Smoothie)
Throw in the frozen strawberries, cover and blend.
I mentioned earlier that in my recipe below, I gave the measurements in both cups and weight. One of the reasons I do that is for the convenience of buying fruit. If I know it takes 8 ounces of blueberries and 8 ounces of strawberries, then I know how much fruit to buy. 8 ounces is a half pound. So, if I buy a 16 ounce bag (one pound) of fresh or frozen fruit, then I know I can get two recipes of smoothies.
Break up the frozen banana and add with the honey, cover and blend.
I do like to add a little sweetener to the smoothie. It is natural that after fruit is frozen, it looses some of it’s sweetness. Honey is a great and healthy sweetener, especially if you use a local honey.
Then I pour me a nice refreshing glass and enjoy a healthy drink, snack or even a meal out of it.
And you won’t taste the spinach.
For this recipe, it makes approximately 42 ounces, give or take. When I do batches to go into the freezer, I divide one recipe into three of those plastic cups.
Then I cover them with those fold and close sandwich baggies. All you’re trying to do is prevent anything from falling into the smoothies. Place in the freezer.
One more tip. If you don’t have time to set it out and let it thaw at room temperature, take one out of the freezer, remove the plastic baggie and put it in the microwave for 1 minute and stir. Put it back into the microwave for 30 second increments and stir again until it becomes the consistency you want.
Here’s another Smoothie recipe!
For other beverages on my blog, check out:
Here’s the printer friendly recipe.