Gushing about the Green

I am gushing about green smoothies. Especially this morning. I swear, the colors may turn out ghastly (mine always seem to…) but the taste is heavenly. Even more great is how they make you feel: energized, full, and rearing to go for the day.

Let us dissect my smoothie I had this morning:

  • A handful frozen raspberries
  • ย 4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • tons of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbs all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbs wheat germ
Let us review the health stats. These will surely have you reaching for your blender at the end of this post!
Berries: Berries are some of Mother Nature’s greatest fruits she bears. They are always low in calories, so you can liberally snack on them and add them to green smoothies, for example! (though they aren’t very green after you sneak these babies in). Raspberries, for example, are brimming with antioxidants that protect you against a variety of human diseases. It also is one of nature’s most fibrous foods, with up to 20% of its weight being fiber! Now that’s tummy-sticking awesomeness. Not to forget the vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, and other minerals. This powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber makes this a great tool to combat cancer. Take that!
Bananas: Bananas are another great ingredient to green smoothies. When frozen they not only add thickness and creaminess, but they also naturally sweeten it. Bananas are more carbohydrate rich than other fruits, about 20 grams, so that makes them a smart choice for the morning or before a workout when you need fast, clean energy. Bananas got their good rep from their high amount of potassium. Potassium is important for heart and nervous health. I’ll take my banana everyday, thank you very much!
Spinach: Spinach is another one of nature’s miracle foods. A famous and most loved dark leafy veggie, the spinach in a green smoothie is sweet and vibrant green. Always choose green. Why? They are anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, vitamin K and calcium for bone health, and so low in calories. Chalk-full of essential vitamins, their nutritional punch per calorie can’t be beat. Pile as much as you can in your blender, bloggies, and witness the benefits of the green smoothie increase!
Flaxseed: I have already gushed on how much I love flax on a previous post, but let me repeat and expand. Flaxseed is wonderful! It is an excellent source of omega 3’s and fiber for those going veggie and everyone alike. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which help them combat other diseases like cancer, and also are great for cardiovascular health.
Wheat Germ: I add wheat germ to up the nutritional content. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy functioning, because sometimes it is just hard to balance everything out! Check out these: fiber, B vitamins, iron, folic acid, zinc, protein and omega 3’s. Can I get a “hell yes!”
Peanut Butter: I use peanut butter for a protein boost in my smoothies. If you don’t have a powder on hand or can’t afford one (like me at the moment) then peanut butter offers a completely natural source of protein and healthy fats. It also, like the foods above, has antioxidant properties. Plus, eating nuts helps you control your weight, not gain it. And let’s be honest, it is simply delicious.
Almond Milk: It has no saturated fats compared to its dairy counterpart, yet is fortified with calcium and essential vitamin D. Low in calories, almond milk complements green smoothies beautifully with a nutty smooth texture. Plus it has plenty of Vitamin A, E, and protein. Pour yourself a glass… or two!
And that is what you are starting your day off with? All that packed into a delicious thick and creamy morning drink? That is why I love them. And you will too, trust me ๐Ÿ™‚ Experiment to found out your favorite variations!
I got all this health information from The World’s Healthiest Foods, click here for any information about any healthy foods on your mind! It is VERY extensive!
Also, check out the Green Monster Movement, by Angela on Oh She Glows, for great Green Monster inspiration. Get blending!
Ciao for now! -Mary

The Joys of Flax!

Good Morning!!

Well, let’s get to blogging. I promise I will become a better food blogger! I have my ย camera now sitting on my kitchen counter as a constant reminder to use it!!

So this morning, I did just that. I am extremely low on groceries right about now. Hence, the food as been extremely lack-luster for food blog worthiness. So this morning I plunged into the freezer for a so-heavenly green smoothie. I used the rest of my smoothie ingredients even, so I NEED to make a grocery trip. Pronto!

I put in extra berries into today’s smoothie, so it came out a lovely purple-hue. So purple in fact, the large handful of frozen spinach didn’t even come out to shine. One of these days I will make sure to have the greenest green smoothie to awe and inspire. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is today’s smoothie!

-Lots of frozen berries

-1 cup of almond milk

-1/2 c of frozen spinach

-1 tablespoon of flaxseed

-1 teaspoon vanilla extract

So my smoothie was so full of frozen goodies it was SOOO THICK. Too thick for a glass… so I turned it into a Smoothie-Bowl soup topped with granola. So filling and so energizing. YUM! ย Side of coffee, of course ๐Ÿ™‚

Smoothie-thickness spoon test. A must for smoothie-connoisseur and thick-smoothie lovers alike:

Talking about flaxseed, I finally added some to my college pantry. Flaxseed is so great because it is a little powerhouse of nutrients, most infamously omega-3’s. Lots of healthy fats, fiber, thingy’s called lignans, which have excellent antioxidant qualities. I recently made a trip up to Seattle for a lovely Memorial Day weekend, which included a stop at Trader Joe’s!!!!! And guess what: They are adding one in Spokane in November! Yee-hawww! I love Trader Joe’s. It’s like any foodie’s dream to shop there, and it’s not too pricey either ๐Ÿ˜‰ lots of healthy options and yummy-yumminess.

Well I bought my flaxseed there, and found out when I opened it that it was roasted! It added a very strong nutty flavor to my smoothie. That’s ok, it tasted, well interesting. Maybe some new smoothie concoctions to spin-off of the nutty flavor!? But a fun fact is that while roasted, the flaxseed is easier to eat and to absorb all the wonderfulness then its full version. So I won’t need to do all this grinding (except in smoothies, of course!) I can top it on cereals, soups, add it to baking… the possibilities are ENDLESS. What an easy addition to a college student on-the-go, ya?

Well, some other news. I found this great book at a local store in Spokane called The Kitchen Engine.

They have all sorts of classes and sooo much great kitchen ware. Bank account, beware. ๐Ÿ™‚ But they also offer classes and I hope to do a post on one someday!

Well with that, I am off to a lunch meeting with The Fig Tree, so I will catch you all later.

Ciao for now! -Mary