Monday, June 4, 2012

Anatomy of a Smoothie

Smoothies are one of my all-time favorite breakfasts.  They’re easy to prepare, portable and filling – can’t ask for more when it comes to a morning meal in my opinion!   I make mine using my Magic Bullet, it’s easy to judge the right amount since you build it in a single serving cup, and cleanup is a breeze.

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The key to a healthy smoothie is keeping it free of added sugar while packing in a lot of nutrients and protein.  It’s easy to turn a smoothie into a total calorie bomb by adding sugary yogurts or protein powders, so I like to stick to the plainest options possible. 

060412 - 1It all starts with a banana.  The riper, the better (great way to use up the ones no one will eat!).  Ripe bananas have a higher sugar content, and will naturally sweeten the smoothie.  You can use fresh or frozen, doesn’t matter.  I recommend cutting them into bite size pieces and bagging them individually for easy portioning and blending.

Next, I add on whatever other fruit I have on hand, fresh or frozen.  Right now berries are in season, so I’ve been doing strawberries and blueberries.

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Now it’s time for the really healthy stuff!  This is really where the nutrient powerhouse gets added.  A handful of kale, a tablespoon of ground flax and a big scoop of plain fat-free Greek yogurt adds lots of vitamins, fiber and protein. 

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Now, I know what you’re probably thinking.  Kale, in a smoothie?  Ew!  I was hesitant to try it too, but I’m so glad I did.  I promise, you can’t taste the kale at all, and you can go ahead and get one of your veggie servings out of the way first thing.

Lastly, I top off the whole thing with unsweetened almond milk, just enough to fill the cup (I would guess approx 1/2 to 3/4 cup).  Blend it all up, and it’s breakfast!

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The Magic Bullet is designed so that you can drink right from the cup that you blend it in, but I like to transfer mine to a Blender bottle.  Marlow over at Gluten Hates Me clued me in to how amazing they are, and I have never looked back!  They come with a little wire ball that keeps it from separating, and I really like the top for drinking.

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Today’s start to my mindful eating spoonful is going pretty well – for the first time probably ever, I ate my lunch without flipping through Twitter, opening a book or turning on the TV!  It was very quiet, and I felt a little unproductive, but by the time I got halfway through my meal I was really starting to enjoy the experience.  As a constant multitasker, this one is going to be hard for me!

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