Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spinach Smoothies

For the past year or so, I've been making a green smoothie a part of my normal morning routine. I love being able to get a serving of vegetables for breakfast! There is a surprising range of flavors you can get depending on what you pair with the spinach.

There are three parts:
- Spinach, a couple large handfuls
- Fruit, to your liking. (I do two pieces, like an orange and a pear.)
- A liquid (I use soy milk or almond milk. Juice is yummy, too, but adds a lot of sugar)

Plus any extras, to give it more flavor, texture, or make it more filling:
- Protein powder
- Oats
- Granola or cereal like Grape Nuts
- Nuts or nut butter
- Ginger root
- Cocoa powder
- Cinnamon

There's no right or wrong way to make this- just throw everything in a blender (or better yet, use an immersion blender!) and blend to your desired consistency. Too thick? Add more liquid! Not sweet enough? Add fruit or juice.

It's fun to see what different flavors go well together. I was surprised at how well cantoloupe goes with my chocolate protein powder. And grapefruit? Uh, yuck. I love grapfruit, but somehow putting it into a smoothie makes the whole thing really nasty. Bananas are one of the most versatile ingredients, but unfortunately for me, I have a banana intolerance and don't get to reap the benefits of this inexpensive and portable fruit.

To see more recipes and pretty photos, check out this blogger's master green smoothie list!

PS- Apparently, smoothies are better when they are consumed through a straw, out of a mason jar or other unique glass, and/or with a pretty cloth napkin. Food blogs just kill me.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Stuff I Dig: Immersion Blenders

For Christmas, my mom got us an immersion blender from Costco. We love it! As an avid spinach smoothie drinker, this is the perfect kitchen tool. Regular blenders are hard to use for a single serving smoothie and require more cleanup. Those little smoothie blenders just don't work very well. But this immersion blender, or hand blender, is perfect.

We use this for spinach smoothies, pureeing soups (this roasted acron squash recipe is my favorite!), and the food processor attachment for quick jobs when we don't want to get the big food processor out. I hate chopping onions, so this little tool is awesome. Clean up is a cinch because the wand detaches from the base with a quick press of a button, and after a rinse in the sink it's ready to go again.

When the subject of immersion blenders first came up between Beau and I, I was describing it and he said, "Yeah, a milkshake maker." Depends on your perspective, right? Green smoothie maker... milkshake maker... whatever your heart desires.
Want to jump on the green smoothie bandwagon, but not sure where to start? This week I'll post on how to make a great spinach breakfast. I'll give you a hint: you need a bunch of spinach, some fruit, and it's super easy.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Fit-tastic Friday Links

1. Love this article from Runner's World about thinking while running. One of my favorite things about running is the forced alone time. What do you think about when you're running?

2. I don't even know what to say about this. In college, I focused a lot of my research papers on body image and the influence of the media. Even after pages and pages read and written on this subject, why do I still not have an answer?

3. Active.com has some really good articles, like this one titled "What Happens to Your Body During a 30 Minute Run".

4. I cannot get enough of this no sugar banana cranberry bread! I've made it 3 times in the past several weeks.... it freezes well and makes a great snack.

We're off to the hills this weekend for an overnighter on the AT. Happy Friday!