I don't know about where you are, but it is a stinkin' hot summer down here in the bottom half of Texas. We use window units in the double wide. Hang curtains in doorways so we only cool certain areas of the house throughout the day. Trying to be as economical as we can.
So, I cook very, very little. We focus on meals that are fresh, light and easy (and hopefully involving nothing that requires heat). One of our all-time favorites are green smoothies. At which point, several of you roll your eyes and say, "OMG, there she goes again, friggin freaky hippie freakity-freak!"
Come on, now. Don't you remember - I don't eat things that taste like crap! And green smoothies don't taste like crap. I mean, I'm sure you could make one that does, but why would you?
And green smoothies do, in fact, fill you up. It is such a mental thing with people that something in a glass is a "drink," and therefore cannot count as a meal. But if you threw that hamburger and fries into the blender? It would fill up a glass. We have these things for dinner much like we would have them for breakfast. I usually make two batches which allows some to have a second glass, if they want.
I thought I'd give you a few ideas to ease you into the land of green smoothie goodness. "Green Smoothies for Whiney Babies," if you will.
Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie
1 can pineapple (or the equivivolent of fresh)
1-2 cups of frozen strawberries (frozen strawberries don't really sink into a cup)
1 handful of spinach leaves or kale
Vanilla almond milk to taste (I usually fill it up about halfway, then you can add more if you want it thinner)
Throw it all in a blender. Blend the holy hey-diddle out of it. Several minutes, in a regular blender. Get it as smooth as possible. The reason I posted this recipe first is because it turns purple - NOT green. See the picture above? That's the pinkish color in the middle. I made another batch without the strawberries, and two big handfuls of spinach. That is the green part you see. My kids love the contrasting colors.
I tend to start most of my smoothies with pineapple. It's a great base, and is much milder than you'd think. It adds the perfect amount of sweetness, which I usually compliment with a nut milk of some sort. We almost always have bananas, too, as they thicken the smoothie and sweeten it. Plus - potassium! This week I made up this one:
Reese's Green Smoothie
1 can worth of pineapple
1/2 bar of 100% cocao (find it in the baking aisle - get the highest percentage bar they have)
1/2 - 1 cup of almond butter (or peanut butter)
1-2 handfuls of spinach leaves or kale
vanilla almond milk to about the halfway point or higher
Again - blend, blend, blend. If you feel like it is too thick for your taste, another fun trick is to go ahead and pour it halfway into a glass and then fill it up the rest of the way with a favorite nut milk (or soy). You can then use a straw to mix it up in the glass if you wish. It's almost the same concept as a "fruit on the bottom" yogurt. It's just makes it more fun and interesting.
If the idea of having a green in your smoothie freaks you out, then take baby steps. One handful. Do it and try it. Do you already have a favorite smoothie recipe that you make? Throw in a handful of kale (the leafy part - pull it off of the stems, as those can get bitter). The smoothies I make are crazy delicious and we have yet to have kids not like the taste. Yet, you can ease your way into the appearance. Don't let the recipes on the green smoothie sites freak you out. BABY STEPS.
Come on, whiney baby! Just one. This summer do at least ONE green smoothie. I double dog dare you!