For awhile I wanted to get a juicer, but couldn’t justify spending the money for it. I knew I would be crazy about juicing for a couple of weeks, then relegate the juicer to a dusty corner of my pantry. I had borrowed my mom’s juicer in college and it went straight back to her because I lost steam using it, and knowing how hectic life is now with a 22-month old, I have to admit meals are a rushed affair.
I also know for sure that I hated washing the thing with its many parts, and though juicing is really good for you, you’re missing out on the super-beneficial fiber that fruits and vegetables give you. I tend to make stupid-easy foods now, and though I try to incorporate as much fruits and vegetables as possible, it’s hard when you want to play with your kid and spend that precious time with them!
So, for starters, I looked online for some green smoothie recipes. You still get the fiber with smoothies, keeping you fuller longer, as well as all the beneficial nutrients fruits and vegetables have to offer. I had never made them before and wanted something that was a good meal for breakfast. Hubby tends to not eat breakfast unless I peer-pressure him to eat a banana before he goes out the door. I figured this would be quick for the both of us to consume. I basically wanted all of us to have a head start to our days with fruits, vegetables, and dairy for protein under our belt.
I found a recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod, which looked delicious and a good start to a green smoothie recipe. I didn’t have Greek yogurt, so I just used the fat-free vanilla yogurt I had in my fridge, and frozen mango chunks instead of the orange and strawberry. Wow! This was so yummy, and easy too! I’ll experiment more in the future with other greens, but this was a great starter for this veggie smoothie novice. You can’t even taste the spinach in this smoothie – the mango and banana are really good in here!
Let me break down the health benefits here. You’ve got a full serving of vegetables in this recipe. The spinach provides you beta-carotene, folate (great for you pregnant mommies out there!), lutein, zeaxanthin, plant sterols, and vitamin C. Bananas give you potassium, great for regulating your blood pressure, and vitamin B6 and tryptophan, calming any anxiety you may have. Mangoes give you vitamins A and C. And the protein in the yogurt and soymilk keep you fuller longer, along with other benefits such as calcium. Now that’s what I call a healthy breakfast in the morning! Whoop!
serves 1 – makes about 10-12 oz
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup fat-free vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup milk or soymilk
Blend it all together until smooth. Drink up!