Build a Better Smoothie

October 1, 2012 · 12 comments

in MISCELLANEOUS, NUTRITION, RECIPE

Hey guys, how was your weekend? Mine was a nice mix of relaxing, seeing friends and productivity, although I have to say my eats weren’t really anything to write home about. And that’s OK. Not every meal needs to be an exciting event, and now that I know that, it makes my food choices a lot less stressful. Friday night I stayed in and made a spinach salad with rotisserie chicken + sweet potato fries and watched The Bachelorette. Saturday was oatmeal + Greek yogurt with fruit + veggie plate + two glasses of wine (and a handful of gummy bears). Sunday was oatmeal again + eggs w/ salad for brunch and a big mixed greens salad + pizza for dinner. Luke and I ordered in and I have to say that I was pretty proud of myself for sticking to one slice. I set myself up for success by eating a big salad first, drinking water throughout the meal, enjoying my slice and then making a cup of tea and finding a comfy spot on the couch…away from the “danger zone.” Anyway…onto today’s topic. My favorite: Smoothies!

Who remembers the blender scene from Father of the Bride? “What is this, 1958, give the little wife a blender?!” (You can watch it here.) Love that movie. Well, I had the same reaction…internally…when Luke gave me one for my birthday last year. We were going through a little bumpy patch, and although my Cuisinart blender is my most valued and utilized item in my kitchen now, I wasn’t sure what message he was trying to send with this practical present at the time. (She loves smoothies…I buy blender. I think that’s probably about as far as the thought process went. Ha!)

When I started making smoothies for Luke in the morning at the beginning of the summer, I noticed him making better food choices at other meals. Then he started exercising more and now he’s training for the NYC Marathon! I don’t know if I can credit the blender for this shift, but I do think it played a part. Now I make him a smoothie every.single.morning…I’ll never stop!

This Berry Banna Green Smoothie from my DASH Diet Cookbook is one of our new favorites. Ingredients: 1 cup spinach + 1 cup water + 3/4 cup frozen blackberries + 3/4 cup frozen blueberries + 1 frozen banana + 1 tablespoon almond butter. I never measure out my ingredients perfectly though—I just grab handfuls.

I wrote about how to make this Sneaky Spinach Fruit Smoothie before, although this one has Puffins cereal on top. It adds a nice crunch, but I don’t keep cereal in the apartment anymore. It’s one of of my mindless-eating trigger foods, so I don’t even allow myself to go there. Cereal used to be one of my very favorite foods, but I really don’t miss it! It’s amazing what changes you can make and what you can live without when you give yourself the chance.

So, I’m going to give you my secret tip on how to make extra thick ‘n’ creamy smoothies. You ready? Take a banana with the peel on and put it in the freezer and let it get totally  hard. Then take it out and set it on your counter (or a plate, it gets a little messy) and let it get realllly soft. This is important—it takes about three hours. Once it’s soft and mushy, peel it and put it in a container and put it back in the freezer until it’s hard again. I have to warn you that the mushy banana is kind of gross to peel, but this process is so worth it—it works! I have no idea why, but trust me on this. I do several at a time so I have them on hand when I need them.

And this pretty little meal-in-a-glass was adapted from celebrity trainer Harley Pasternak’s Peach Lassi Smoothie Recipe. I used strawberries instead of raspberries though and added a splash of milk—it was so good and refreshing! The Greek yogurt adds a tangy taste and nice source of protein (I don’t like powders). However, I wouldn’t recommend using an entire single serving yogurt container because the sour taste can be overpowering—a few big spoonfuls should do it. You can wrap up the rest of the yogurt and use it in your next one.

Oh and you’ll have to follow Wannabe Health Nut on Facebook to find my time-saving (and super-cute!) ice tray smoothie trick. ;)

So tell me: Have you jumped on the smoothie bandwagon? What’s your favorite combo? Any tips or tricks you want to add?

**Need help with your health and lifestyle goals? Want to lose weight without obsessing about every bite you put into your mouth? Contact me for a free consultation and let’s get started!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

ShannonSHinson October 1, 2012 at 3:04 pm

I am totally on the smoothie bandwagon now (thanks in part to your blog!) and love getting new ideas. And just like you said, I find myself making better food choices all day long after my breakfast smoothie (which I can drink in my car en route to work). I like almond milk, spinach, a dollop of lowfat yogurt, half a banana and whatever fruit we have. The best is mango – it is so delicious and the shake becomes this pretty, happy green color from the green of the spinach and the yellow of the mango.
 
Slightly off topic – have you heard about making oatmeal in the fridge? Leaving the oatmeal in milk overnight? A coworker has tried it and loves it! (she also has a baby, so this means one less thing for her to worry about in the morning). Okay, super long comment…done.

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Wannabe Health Nut October 1, 2012 at 3:16 pm

 @ShannonSHinson Ohhh I need to try mango! It’s been on my list, but then I get lazy and just stick to my go-to ingredients. Oh and Shannon, you’re talking about overnight oats, right? I tried them ONCE and did not like it, but I’m going to give it another chance. The cold and creamy texture was a little weird for me, but I’ll post my next experience with it on the blog!

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beccab October 2, 2012 at 12:44 pm

This seems like a lot of work for a banana?! I just use a room temp banana and other frozen fruits, and I kinda like the sour flavor, so I use more yogurt sometimes. But that’s the good thing about smoothies, no two are alike :)  

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Wannabe Health Nut October 2, 2012 at 12:52 pm

 @beccab Haha, I know it sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not! It just takes more planning I guess, but if you do a bunch at a time, it’s not bad. It really does make the smoothie thicker and icier. Luke can tell if I use a “special” banana or a regular one. But yes, you’re right…one of my favorite things about smoothies is the versatility. Just do what works for you!

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Gailkm October 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm

I use spinach,blueberries,whey powder vanilla, ground flax seeds, and almond milk. I need to add ice too, for a colder taste. GM

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Wannabe Health Nut October 11, 2012 at 10:18 am

@Gailkm Sounds like a good combination, Gailkm! And yes, definitely add ice, it makes a difference! Try a frozen banana too. :)

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