Monday, June 29, 2009

Green Smoothies...No Really, They're Good.

Green smoothies are a great way to incorporate lots of nutrient dense fruits and veggies into one cool drink. To be honest, the idea of drinking liquefied spinach did not sound all that appealing to me when I first read about them. They're all over blogland and I figured that if so many people were making and enjoying them and, most importantly, claiming that the spinach flavor is undetectable, I decided to give it a try.

You can read more about green smoothies here and here.

After I returned home from the gym today I made myself a pre-lunch green smoothie. I made a photo tutorial a la The Pioneer Woman only without the stellar photography and witty captions. I will, however, try to incorporate the words "whatever makes your skirt fly up" because I always chuckle when she says that even though I don't wear skirts. Maybe I'll say "whatever makes your flip flop fall off" instead? That seems more appropriate, don't you think?

Alison's Basic Green Smoothie

The cast of characters:
Pre washed spinach, a banana (the riper the better), ice cubes, vanilla protein powder and some sort of liquid (milk, juice water....whatever makes your flip flop fall off).

I bought some Almond Breeze almond milk to see what all the fuss makes good smoothies and it's low in calories although it isn't really nutrient dense. I may go back to using milk or maybe even vanilla soy milk.

Oh, and you need a blender.
And a competent blender operator.

The first thing I do is chunk up the banana and throw it in the blender with three or four ice cubes and a half a cup of liquid. You can use frozen bananas and omit the ice, but I usually forget to freeze the bananas. The protein powder is optional, but I add a scoop during this step. Don't laugh, but I bought the Biggest Loser brand of designer whey protein powder because it is lower in calories, includes fiber and isn't necessarily used to bulk up. There are only 6 grams of protein in each scoop which suits MY needs better than the body builder type stuff that you have to buy in tubs that are larger than a small child.

Next up: add 3 oz of spinach.

Because I always follow the rules and don't like to clean green smoothie splatters off the cabinets and ceiling, I put the lid on.

And plug the blender in.

This is a up close look at all the buttons on my blender. I don't know why they include so many choices. Aren't we all blending to achieve the same thing: something smooth and blended? Whip, chop, liquefy....I hate having so many choices. I used to have this rad digital blender that, um, went to the big appliance shop in the sky. Since I have a sketchy relationship with blenders, I went with the $25 variety at WalMart. It makes my smoothie smooth and that's all I care about.

Now, on to the blending.

First, I pulse the blade several times to get the ice cubes broken up.

Yes, that is my big man hand finger on the pulse button.

Here is some more pulsing action. You can see how the banana, milk and ice are beginning to break down.

Once the blender stops making the horrible ice crushing noise, and after I've checked to make sure the top hasn't fallen through, I push the liquefy button.

NOTE: if you're NOT me, you won't need to check to see if the top fell through.

Then I let it whirl until the smoothie is, well, smooth. You really don't want little bits of chunky spinach in your drink. If your spinach is having trouble incorporating into the mixture, please turn off the blender BEFORE you poke it down with a utensil. Believe me, I know this from first hand experience.

Action shot:

Once everything is all velvety smooth, turn off the blender (in case you haven't figured that part out yet).

Pour your creation into the drinking vessel of your choosing.

I prefer a pub glass.

Behold the mighty green monster.

Now smile, knowing that the verdant concoction you just whipped up will not only be tasty but good for you, as well. Also, lie to yourself by saying that this drink will undo the damage that the gigantic bowl of ice cream you will be indulging in after dinner will do. Not to mention the spoonful of peanut butter, the handful of chocolate chips, the 32oz diet Coke...oh, and the fallen bits of streusel topping from the banana bread you ate for breakfast as you sliced it up for your husband to bring to work.

Please excuse the mess that is my hair. It's a total wreck and I am getting it cut in a few days.

Now, drink up.

No, really....drink it. It's good. I promise.

Don't be scared.

See, I told you it's tasty.

You should never doubt me.

All Gone.

Last, but most certainly not least, clean up.
As we all know, food tastes MUCH better when the kitchen is nice and tidy.

Ahh, MUCH better.

You can add any variety of fruit you'd like. I've been known to throw in a handful of frozen blueberries. Just be warned that a blueberry green monster is more accurately a brown monster. Really, the options are limitless.

I hope you enjoyed my tutorial.

Now go drink some spinach!

Popeye would approve.


nancy said...

That's so funny it made my flip flop fall off AND my skirt fly up!
(Well, it made my capri pants creep up.)
Good job. Loved the shot of the plug. That proves you can blog about anything.

nancy said...

P.S. I was able to post my comment without having to do the secret word thing.

nancy said...

That one too!

Alison said...

I changed it so you wouldn't have to do the word verification thing. It's a pain. Although, sometimes the words are kind of funny.
Off to bowl with Caroline and her friends.
Send prayers!

PS--you were up early

Sissy said...

Love that you did that...and I know you did that just for me! Your pictures were awesome!

Thank you, thank you, for turning off the word verification.

Kristen's Raw said...

Fun pics! I love green smoothies. They rock the house!!!