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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Smoothies of Love

Because brown bananas don't always grow up to become bread...

I didn't actually get around to cooking anything this weekend because I had made soup Wednesday and have been eating leftovers ever since.  Also, I was lucky enough to spend this evening with a special friend and we went out to eat instead.  If you should ever find yourself in Kalamazoo, MI, then you should definitely check out fuel- the *best vegetarian restaurant in southwest MI, I'd say.  They've been open for just over a year, and make some of the tastiest, most creative vegetarian/vegan dishes.  I had their American plate- a house-made "burger" on toasted French bread with an olive tapenade and oven fries. Yum!

*[It's actually the only vegetarian restaurant in SW MI that I'm aware of.  But still, it is pretty phenomenal.]

So instead of posting a recipe that I created today, I'm posting a recipe of something I eat almost daily.  Yay smoothies!!!  Smoothies are love and taste like love and make you feel lovely.  I had mentioned in a previous post that I usually don't care for sweet foods in the morning, I really prefer something savory, like leftover soup.  But when I actually get up on time (read: when I don't hit snooze for an hour), I really dig making a huge smoothie before heading out for the day.  Smoothies somehow make me feel more energized.  And super healthy, like, "hey, maybe I'll actually work out today!  And eat a salad for lunch!  And not feel guilty about making a huge bowl of oatmeal with butter and brown sugar at 12:30 last night!"

Anyhow, my smoothies generally consist of 3 different kinds of fruit, a handful of spinach, cinnamon, and milk.  I don't usually measure out the ingredients, but I'll make something up in the recipe below for you.  It's the least I can do.  The base of the smoothie is always a banana, because they're my favorite fruit (and because banana kind of rhymes with Deanna).  Here's the crucial part- the amount of milk I use depends on if my banana is fresh or frozen.

"Why would your banana be frozen?"  Because, while my sweet roomie would much prefer that I make banana bread, I freeze my bananas when they go brown.  Peel them, break them in half, stick 'em in a container, and toss it in the freezer, and they're ready for a smoothie whenever you are!

Other fruit would be any combination of strawberries, blueberries (if they weren't so damn expensive!), peaches, mango, and other fruit that doesn't have annoying seeds like raspberries do.  F-ing raspberry seeds...
And sometimes, instead of cinnamon, I use pumpkin pie spice.  Because I'm fancy.

So, recipe.  Like other recipes I have posted, this is a template- change it around use different kinds of non-dairy milk (mmm, chocolate...), different combos of fruit, whatever floats your boat.  And don't worry about the spinach- it packs the smoothie with calcium, protein, vitamins and love, but doesn't taste like anything.  Your smoothie will taste like the fruit you use, not like a salad.  Promise.

1 banana
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 cup fresh baby spinach (usually a large handful will do)
several dashes of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 or 2 cups unsweetened almond milk- use more milk if your banana is frozen
*Optional ingredients:
Ground flax seeds (I usually add 1 Tbsp, but I ran out like a month ago and keep forgetting to buy more)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder, for a chocolate smoothie
Yogurt, if you feel the need, but that's going to add a lot of unnecessary sugar
Other veggies- but I must warn you, I have not yet had a successful experiment with veggies other than spinach. Broccoli does not mesh well with the fruit, I'm just sayin'. 

Put all of your ingredients in a blender.  

If you have a high speed blender, this will be a quick process.  If you have a not-so-high-speed blender, you might want to stop occasionally to move the ingredients around with a spoon or spatula.  Or add a little more milk or water.  Or cuss at it for a while and see what happens.  

Blend until it looks like a smoothie.  This will take anywhere from 5-20 minutes, depending on the level of awesome of your blender.  Enjoy!

But wait!  There's more!
  I just submitted a different smoothie recipe to the weekly contest!  It's tropical and delicious and you should definitely try it and vote for it!  Vote HERE and I'll be your friend forever.  :)

You can vote daily.  And I think you should.   :)

Tropical Sunshine Smoothie
(Serves 2.  And I mean it.  I'm still trying to finish all of it.  And I'm a good eater!)
1 ripe banana
1 cup frozen mango
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 orange
2 cups non-dairy milk
                                                 1/2 tsp cinnamon
                                                 3 Tbsp shredded coconut

                                                   Blend it.  All of it.  All at the same time.  Please peel the banana and                                                    orange first, though.  You'll thank me later.

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