My friend Lauren recently blogged about a healthy smoothie called the Green Monster. I was instantly intrigued but put off giving it a try. Monday I woke up eager to find something quick and healthy for breakfast. Sunday mornings are rushed around here, as they probably are in most church-going households, and I seem to be the one in the family who consistently misses breakfast. There’s always something yummy in the choir kitchen after worship, but it’s always carb-laden baked goods (Presbyterians kill each other slowly through irresistible biscuits and cakes), and those make me sleepy. Lauren’s post about the Green Monster, invented by Angela at Oh She Glows, seemed just the ticket. So Monday at Kroger I gathered the ingredients and got to work at lunchtime!
Here are the ingredients I used:
Can we talk about how cute my “T” plate is? A student gave me that a few years ago with home-baked brownies on top. Adorbs. (Mental note: teacher gift!)
1 cup almond milk (much cheaper than I feared!)
2 handfuls (about two cups) raw baby spinach
1 medium ripe banana
1 tbs peanut butter (recipe calls for almond butter, but hello $$$!)
1 tbs flax seed (ground is best, but I had whole in my freezer, so)
A few ice cubes
That’s it! Easy and fairly cheap! You don’t have to use banana; you can easily substitute any fresh or frozen fruit. Next time I go to Kroger or my farmers’ market, I’ll get some fresh Mississippi blueberries and try those with about a teaspoon of local honey added for sweetness. Strawberries would be great, too, or peaches.
Here’s the blender doing its work. Pretend this is a Vitamix blender. And pretend I have $400 to spend on a Vitamix. I layered everything according to Angela’s instructions: milk, flax, peanut butter, spinach, banana. Having the banana on top to weigh everything else down really does help the blender. I blended everything for about 30 seconds and then added three ice cubes for another 30 seconds. And here’s the beautiful result!
Pour it into a pretty glass, and breakfast is served! Or, if you’re like me, drink it out of one of the zillions of Broad Street or Burgers & Blues cups you have lying around, but only put it in a fancy wedding gift tea glass that you never use for photography’s sake. I try to keep it real and honest here at the ‘Mama, y’all.
YUM. I promise 100% that you don’t taste anything weird. Spinach on its own, raw, barely has a flavor at all. I don’t taste the almond milk. The flax seeds give a nutty chew to the smoothie, but they don’t have a flavor, either. What I’m tasting, honestly, is peanut butter and banana. And anybody who likes both of those things knows that’s a tasty flavor combo no matter how it’s served.
I calculated this particular drink to be right around 300 calories, with 10 grams of unsaturated fat (mostly omega-3′s); a whopping 10 grams of protein; and so little carbs, sugar, and sodium that it’s not even worth calculating. This baby is jam-packed with good fats, tons of fiber, and antioxidants, and counts as three servings of fruits and veggies, all before I’ve really done anything productive with my day, like taking a shower or putting pants on my kid.
Thank you, Lauren, for blogging about this drink and introducing me to it. OT loves it, too, and let me tell you, if I can get him drinking this a few mornings a week before preschool instead of choking down that dumb, nasty Pop-Tart he loves, I just might have to give you a hug after choir.
Try it, friends. Just trust me that it doesn’t taste like grass.