For me, healthy breakfast eating is a seasonal thing. I mean, I try to balance my diet and get enough fiber and leafy greens throughout the year, but breakfast in the winter tends to lean heavily on pastries and granola and omelets. More fortifying fare. When spring is sprung, the blender comes out and the smoothies start.
I admit that I am not all that advanced in my smoothie making. I don’t keep jars of whey protein and flax lying around. (Okay, I do have flax somewhere in my pantry, but its obviously behind something big because I haven’t seen it in awhile.) I tend to be very simple in my smoothie prep. Whenever the bananas on my counter have nicely ripened, I throw a few in some baked goods and the rest go in the freezer for smoothies. So the usual smoothie consists of frozen banana, a handful of another fresh or frozen fruit, some almond milk, some honey or vanilla, and a handful of leafy greens (preferably kale, but spinach also does the trick and I am more likely to have extra spinach on hand as I tend to scarf kale down like I have a vitamin D deficiency). Puree and presto smoothie. Easy. The hardest part is cleaning the blender. (And sometimes that is enough to torpedo the whole effort. My blender has super sharp little blades and I have stabbed myself cleaning that thing so many damn times. The thought of it brings the smoothie making to a dead halt like half the time.)
This week has been the spring cleaning week and in the back of my mind, I knew that meant I should forsake my morning donut run and have a smoothie instead. Internal negotiation ensues in which I promise myself that next winter I am allowed to teach myself to make donuts. And cannoli. Okay, negotiation over. Ugh, but no, I keep reading all these articles about the drought and how I should be using less almond milk. (Also, how hipsters are ruining the world. Which I don’t get. Their whole aesthetic is based on recycling. So they overdo it on the trendy foods. Give them a break.) So, I need to modify my smoothie approach. Next week. Those blender blades are grinning at me. I’m not cleaning that thing yet.
Later, I am plummeting down one of those internet rabbit holes. You know, where you go online to double check the ingredients you need to purchase for dinner and end up reading the entire personal history of Martha Stewart on Wikipedia (Who is such a complex and fascinating person that I am half convinced she is actually fictional. I mean she was a model who married new money and decorated her way to an empire and then was jailed for rich people crimes that no one with a penis ever gets jailed for. Put her in a toga and I swear you could transpose this all to Ancient Rome with almost no effort.) and then clicking on one of those embedded links and going down a weird Yankees burrow (she babysat for Mickey Mantle’s kids so clicked on Mantle’s name then down the hole I went) before finally emerging having forgotten the initial ingredients I went online to confirm and having to go back to the original website. And back on Martha’s website, I see a link to this smoothie recipe at the bottom of the page. With a video. Procrastinator heaven is made of internet videos.
So, the recipe was packed full of good things (with no almond milk) so I decided to give it a spin. It makes a giant blender full of green goodness. The flavor is on point. My only real issue was with the texture. This is why stores serve smoothies with straws. After a bit, the chunks settles at the top and the texture gets all screwed up. And I am not a “stand at the sink and pound the smoothie” person. I am a “take the glass with me into the bedroom while I decide what to wear” person. I solved this problem by using a butter knife to give it a stir every now and then. Not the most elegant solution, but I’m not buying straws.
Mission accomplished. High intensity smoothie making commencing. (There is another one with the same name on Martha’s website that uses avocado and apple. I will have to try that one.)
Green Machine Smoothie
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)
1/2 cup chopped pineapple *
1/2 cup chopped mango
1/2 cup fresh parsley sprigs
6 romaine leaves, chopped
4 kale leaves, chopped
1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and chopped **
1 1/2 cups water
Add the chopped pineapple and mango to the blender. Add the water. Add the parsley, ginger and half the romaine leaves. Puree bring the volume down. Add the remaining romaine leaves and the kale. Keep pureeing until you reach the desired consistency. (You can add a few ice cubes if you are so inclined.)
This recipe makes two big glasses of smoothie. (I stuck the blender with the second glass full of smoothie in the fridge overnight and gave it a a quick puree the next morning to get the proper consistency back. It was perfectly good.)
* I did not buy a whole pineapple. In the greens section, they have that refrigerated case with pre-cut fresh fruit. I did all the other fruit and veggie chopping but I gave myself a break with the pineapple.
** I also gave myself a break with the ginger. I have a jar of minced ginger from the Asian foods section of the market. I used a teaspoon of that instead of chopping fresh ginger.