Thursday, March 15, 2012

Thursday Yummies

Is it really Thursday already? When did that happen?

Normally, the Yummies edition involves a dinner item. This week I'm going to share an awesome recipe for a breakfast smoothie you will adore.  At first, I was skeptical that it would actually be yummy - but it totally is!

I have an internet friend who adheres to a raw diet. While I doubt I'll be packing up the stove any time soon, she did give me this great recipe for breakfast that I swear by. I have amazing energy and feel really great when I have one of these in the morning. As an added bonus, it makes enough that you get to sip on it all morning so you extend the enjoyment and stay nice and full.

And I swear on all that is holy and good that you cannot taste the spinach at all. This is not one of those moments when a long-time vegetarian attemps to convice you that tofurkey actually tastes 'just like turkey.' You really can't taste the spinach. Really.

Morning Smoothie

1/2 blender of fresh spinach
2-3 cups of frozen berries
1 cup of coconut water*
1 cup of orange juice
1-2 bananas
1-2 T very finely chopped dates
Filtered water as needed

1. Pour the coconut water into the blender. Add the fresh spinach and blend until it's liquified. Add the chopped dates. Pulse for a while until the date pieces are liquified.
2. Add the frozen berries, one cup at a time. Add the orange juice in small batches to keep the blender flowing.
3. Add the bananas. I don't like a ton of banana flavor, so if my bananas are overripe I only add one. Otherwise two is great. This brings a great creamy texture to the smoothie.
4. You should have a blender full of smoothie. I use a insulated straw cup and refill throughout the morning. That way I can take it with me on errands or just drag it around the house.

Now, my raw food friend told me to use freshly-squeezed orange juice, which if you've ever had it tastes almost nothing like store bought juice. I'm not about to start juicing oranges every day so I usually use store bought juice. Also, if you don't chop the dates really, really finely you will have a chunky smoothie. Sometimes if I'm running short on time I will omit the dates. However the sweet flavor the dates bring to the party is definitely worth taking a few seconds to run a knife through them.

Personally, I've found that I adore this same smoothie but made with tropical fruit. Substitute frozen tropical fruit for the berries but keep everything else the same. It tastes like a beach vacation. The only thing is, without the color from the berries, the smoothie ends up bright green.

* Coconut water is popular these days and you can usually find it in the produce section of the supermarket. Do not substitute coconut milk as it is not even remotely the same thing. Coconut water is the liquid in the center of a coconut. Coconut milk is a product made by pressing the meat of a fresh coconut. It is healthy, albeit high in fat.

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