Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Green Berry Smoothie

Over the past couple of years - riding the coat-tails of the health food craze - the smoothie-juice fad has been on the rise.  Whether its juice cleanses or beverage-centric franchises like Jamba Juice, or whether they're made with strawberries and bananas or beets and kale, the health conscious just can't seem to get enough.  

And I, dear reader, am not immune.  I always like to think of myself as a non-conformist, but in reality, I'm just as easily swayed by whats ever popular at the moment.  Especially when it comes to food.  

I'm not really hardcore when it comes to health fooding, so I haven't really gotten into juices - that and the fact that our ancient juicer is buried somewhere in the caverns of the basement.  However, lately, smoothies have become a part of my daily life.  Not only do I start each day with one, but they are the perfect pre-yoga meal. 

My recipe varies day-to-day, depending on what mood I'm in and what we have around the house, but I have a few essentials on stock:

+ frozen spinach or kale
+ frozen mango
+ bananas
+ non-dairy milk (almond or coconut)

+ dried fruits (cranberries, pineapple)

Berries have been on sale this months, so I've been doing a lot of spinach and blueberry shakes.  You can add a little nut butter and cocoa powder to banana and almond milk for healthy chocolate milk shake.  Soak some oats in the milk for a few minutes, then throw them into your shake for added thickness.

A trick to making these seem more like a meal than a beverage, is to top it off with some dried fruit or a little granola and eat it with a spoon.  I think its the fact that using a spoon makes you stop and really enjoy the smoothie, instead of drinking it quickly and not really tasting it.

While these light fruit smoothies might not seem like much, they are deceivingly filling, especially if you use milk, nut butter, or oats.

Tonight before heading to class at YogaAbove (http://www.yogaabove.com/class_schedule.htm), I made myself this smoothie.  Its a little bigger than I usually make, but its basically my dinner, so I think it balances everything out.  I also topped it off with some dried cranberries and grapes nuts for some added texture. 

Berry Green Smoothie
⅓ cup dry rolled oats
½  cup almond milk
1 frozen banana
⅓ cup fresh blueberries
3 whole strawberries
⅔ cup frozen chopped spinach

+ In a small bowl, combine the oats and milk.  Give a quick stir to dunk the oats in the milk, then allow to soak in fridge for at least a half an hour. (Note: This isn't mandatory, but makes the smoothie have a thicker and smoother texture.)
+ In a blender, combine oats and milk with the rest of the ingredients.  Blend until smooth.
+ Serve immediately.  Top with dried fruit or granola.

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