Monday, February 25, 2013

The Secret to Green Smoothies

A few years back I decided to try green smoothies.  What's not to like about drinking a fruity smoothie packed with the goodness of spinach, particularly when "you can't even taste the spinach at all!"?  So I tried it.  Ick.  Nasty.  The Hubs and I couldn't even finish our single cups of green disgustingness.  It tasted like fruit...wrapped in a bag of spinach...and covered in spinach sauce.  Ew.  I had no idea how anyone could believe the green smoothies didn't taste like spinach.
Spinach: great in salads, not my favorite in juice form.
Fast forward to July of 2012.  I figured that I should include more healthy foods in my diet to replace the unhealthy ones I was cutting back on.  That was when I discovered the Green Monster Smoothie.  I honestly don't know which site was the first one I saw that showed me the correct way to make a green smoothie.  A Google search will yield quite a few sites that lead to the same Green Monster Smoothie recipe.  It's pretty basic: milk, yogurt, spinach, banana, and sometimes some peanut butter.  That was my breakthrough.  I finally tried a green smoothie that didn't taste like spinach with a hint of other flavor.  Woot!
Banana weighs down the spinach...and covers the flavor
I tried several other recipes after that which had much less spinach taste than I was used to.  They all had one thing in common: banana.  It's like it cancels out the taste of the spinach.  It works wonders with kale, too.  And kale's flavor is quite a bit stronger.  No one ever pointed it out that I saw, but a banana makes ALL the difference.  Now I have green smoothies several times a week and love them all.  They got me used to the flavor of spinach in my smoothie so that when I make one without banana I don't hate the taste.  Win, win.

The Green Monster was my gateway smoothie, but I have since found a favorite way to make a Green Monster Smoothie.  It is the Chocolate Green Smoothie.  For a large single serving it is:

One cup chocolate almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla flavor Greek yogurt (also tasty with strawberry flavor)
Two handfuls of spinach
One frozen banana

Layer the ingredients in the blender as listed and blend until smooth.

I could drink this every day.  EVERY day.  If you want to be all cutesy you can drink it from a mason jar with a striped straw.  I don't have those.  Sorry.  Mine goes in the souvenir cup we got at the zoo with the fattest straw I could find at the store.  It still tastes good.  Give it a try. "You can't even taste the spinach!"  ;)  It's also a great post-workout drink.