Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Little Green Wonders

I have been making green smoothies for over a year now-- Noah is a picky eater and it is one fool proof way to get a green in the kid. After a dear friend turned me on to this website I really started to step up our green game. And it has been awesome! I drink at least 16 ounces of green smoothie a day, and it has helped to improve my energy, my complexion, my mood... I am less bloated and I just feel... fresh!

A few people have asked me how we got started and what recipes I recommend. So I thought I would share!

Of course, having cute cups helps anything taste delicious. 

The first YEAR we did the same thing:

2 cups spinach

1 cup OJ

1 banana

We do not have a fancy blender. In fact, we have a very basic 7 speed Cuisinart blender. But it works for us. Of course I am lusting over a Vitamix. And we are more than likely going to get one soon, but this is how I blend with my little humble contraption. 

The trick is to blend your green and your liquid very well before adding anything else. So I would blend my OJ and spinach on the highest speed until I could no longer see specks in the OJ, about 1 minute. Then I add the banana, one chunk at a time. 

And about the bananas... 

A banana makes anything green taste good. The more ripe, the better. So whenever I have a banana that is about to turn, I peel it, cut it into chunks, and throw it in a ziplock bag for the freezer. This also makes your smoothie nice and frosty, and a cold green smoothie is a good green smoothie. 

And that's it! If you are just getting started, I really recommend keeping it simple with this recipe. You can not taste the spinach at all, and the kids love it. I usually make a double batch so I can make popsicles with the leftover. The kids ADORE popsicles and think they are getting a treat. Desert before dinner? Sure, why not! 

So for the past couple of weeks I have been changing up our smoothie routine, thanks to the gals over at Simple Green Smoothie. Our go to recipe was great, but I felt like I should try to incorporate different greens and attempt a liquid other than OJ, which is high in sugar. Now, our smoothie routine looks a little like this:

I keep my freezer stocked with frozen strawberries, mangos and peaches, along with the banana bits. And whenever I have any fresh fruit that is about to go bad before we can eat it (grapes, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi, melon...) I add it to the banana bit bag. A note about frozen fruit: as to not wreck my humble contraption of a blender, I often put the fruit I will use in the fridge in an air tight container the night before so they defrost a bit. This also helps sweeten them up. If I am being honest, I usually forget to take the fruit out to thaw and end up defrosting in the microwave for a minute or two. This probably does something to the nutrients, but oh well. I think this is why ye old Cuisinart has lasted 4 plus years. 

Along with adding different fruit to our smoothies, I slowly started to change our liquid base. I started by cutting the OJ with water. With the additional fruit, the kids did not seem to notice at all. Now, I can use unsweetened almond milk and they still think it's the bees knees. I also throw in 2 tbs of milled flax seed so it can do all it's flaxy magic. 

I have also gotten a little more adventuresome with our greens. I have tried romaine and bok choy... the romaine had a very strong taste, and the kids did not like it. I didn't mind it but it was not my favorite. I still prefer spinach.

Basically, that's it! I love making up new combos and looking for fun new liquid bases and greens at the Japanese markets. And I love that it is something the kids are into. They both get their stools to reach the counter and help me pick out different things to add. We all stick our straws in for a taste test and decide if it is just right or needs a little something else. 

It really has become a routine that we all love, and all feel better for. But be warned... you AND your toddler will pee a whole lot more, so keep close to the john. 

Happy blending! 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Namaste, y'all

Something has changed.

Besides the obvious changes around this humble blog (new url! new title!) there have been some changes of the existential kind over in these parts. 

I've taken up yoga. And green smoothies. And overall happiness as a life choice, opposed doom and gloom and woe is me. 

I was trying to force things: our move back to the States, becoming a runner, the type of marriage I thought I wanted. 

Then I learned to down dog it, y'all.

Expect more posts in the future... but until then- it's nap time and I have a date with my yoga mat.