Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Serving Up {Drink}: Green Smoothie

About two years ago I was introduced to green smoothies (here) and I became very passionate about them.  It seemed like such a simple way to get fruits and veggies into my kids diet without the battle over "one piece of broccoli" - because, really, how much benefit does one piece of broccoli really afford?

(not to mention, how else will you get your kid to wear such a cool green mustache?)

While living in Vegas we would have a shake each morning with breakfast and another shake as an after school snack.  I am not kidding when I say that I would actually crave them!  But with our move last summer we kind of fell out of the smoothie routine.  We have them here and there but not with any regularity and I have missed it!

So with the summer harvest of produce, and the heat that makes a cold shake sound REALLY good, we have slowly been getting back into the Green Smoothie routine.  Just yesterday my three year old asked me to make a shake and he even opened up the fridge and pulled out two carrots and declared he wanted an orange shake (coconut milk, carrots, apricots, tart apple, tomato, banana)

You can put out a google search and come up with more drink combinations than you will ever use.  My advice is to start heavy on the fruit and then as you (and your kids) get used to them, slowly decrease the fruit and increase the veggie content.  You will be surprised at how the veggie battle will be a distant memory as your kids begin "drinking" veggies that they never would have eaten served on a plate.

I am sharing a "heavy fruit" recipe that is packed with spinach, which is a terrific leafy green veggie yet very mild in flavor.  As you begin to add more veggies, other mild flavored veggies include tomatoes, carrots, avocado and cucumbers - your kids won't even know they are in there.  I have discovered that if I throw in 1/2 lemon (peel and all) any other flavor is hidden by the citrus and I can get away with even stronger flavors such as bell peppers.  No matter what combination we use, we always throw in some frozen fruit of some type to make it nice and cold - frozen bananas work really well for that but so do frozen berries.  We also sometime steer clear of green altogether and go for another color - beets, red cabbage and strawberries are a delicious combination and because it's red, the kids think mom forgot to make it healthy :)


2 cups liquid (coconut milk, water, rice milk, kefir)
Spinach to fill blender container twice
Orange juice concentrate
Frozen peaches
Frozen banana

Place liquid in your blender container and fill the container with spinach; blend down to liquid.  Fill the container again with spinach and blend down to liquid again.  Add 1 Tbs. OJ concentrate, 1/2 - 1 frozen banana and 1-2 cups frozen peaches.  Blend until smooth. 

**if you have any smoothie remaining (which we seldom do) put the mix into a popsicle mold and freeze it.  Delicious (my kids had apricot smoothie popsicles just this afternoon)**

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