As a part of my continuing quest/exercise in futility for a bikini bod by memorial day, I recently jumped on the smoothie bandwagon. I realize I am a little tardy to the party, but I just always thought it seemed like too much of a pain to get out the blender, cut the fruit, and all that. But I am now a complete smoothie convert, maybe even a smoothie evangelist, thanks to a great shortcut I’ve discovered… more on that later.
I’ve always been a little weird about breakfast. Maybe because I’m a coffee drinker, and coffee is an appetite suppressant? Or maybe it’s just the way I’m wired… I’m usually not very hungry in the morning, and a lot of times my stomach feels upset if I try to eat a big meal early in the day.
But, aside from the ten minutes of “me time” I take to drink my coffee-
-I tend to be very active in the mornings, rushing around, making breakfast, packing school lunches, making the beds, putting laundry on, and dressing the kiddies. In the not-so-distant past, I often found myself ravenously hungry by 11:30, just as I was in my car running errands. Under these circumstances, it is dangerously easy to find yourself in a fast food drive thru…
About eight or so weeks ago, my buddy ol’ pal Mo switched on a lightbulb for me. She told me about a favorite recipe of hers, a “Green Smoothie.” Aha!
Besides being the perfect solution for my touchy a.m. tummy, tiding me over just perfectly to a decent lunch time where I can eat something that won’t make me hate myself, it’s packed with nutrition and sets me on the right track for the whole day! I feel so great about having so many healthy fruits and veggies every day!
However, after making this day after day for weeks on end, I did begin to tire of the smoothie making process. In and out of the fridge over and over again for one ingredient after the other, a lot of mornings peeling and cutting fresh fruit, worrying that this or that had better get eaten before it spoils, making trips to the store sometimes more than once a week to keep my fresh-fruit-for-smoothie-ingredients replenished… I was wishing for a less complicated method, maybe something do-ahead…?
Here is what I came up with: a “smoothie starter,” that gives me eight days worth of smoothies for my freezer, in easy pellet form. It starts with this recipe:
Looks Like Mud; Tastes Like Sunshine
1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cored
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 1/2 bananas
4 cups fresh spinach or “power greens”
4 tablespoons vanilla protein powder
3 tablespoons ground flax
3/4 cup orange juice
Everything into the blender, and puree until you have a thick liquid, the consistency of pudding. It looks absolutely revolting, but I promise you, it is just bursting with fresh, fruity, sunshiney-sweet flavor.
Spray a muffin tin with a little baking spray…
…and pour in the green goo. Freeze until solid.
Pry the pellets out with the tip of a sharp knife…
…and store them in a zip-top freezer bag.
When you want a healthy start to your day, place two smoothie-starter-pellets in your blender and add liquid.
I prefer unsweetened coconut water or unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Coconut water is super high in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, and sugar- and fat-free. And almond milk has a low glycemic index, and some really healthy fats and protein. The liquid quantity will vary based on how thick or thin you like your smoothie, (I like mine on the thinner side), but I’d say one cup of liquid to two pellets would be a good starting point.
Here’s to my unending quest!