15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 12: Banana Pumpkin Bread Smoothie

As I mentioned, I had a pretty major checkup yesterday. Glucose/iron screening for gestational diabetes and anemia (for which I was supposed to fast for 2 hours, but ended up fasting for closer to 4.5 because apparently I can’t read), TDAP vaccine (so I was pretty much pricked with needles for an hour… and I hate needles), and a kind of intense ultrasound to see if my placenta moved up to where it was supposed to be (it was low; it is no longer low… yay!). Like I told Tim yesterday, it’s not that this stuff made me nervous or anything; it’s just that I had to be emotionally, physically, and mentally present through it all. Plus, I didn’t eat much, which really threw me off.

I’m really hoping everything turns out well with the blood test, and I’m so happy my placenta is behaving the way it should. But, I’m pretty exhausted today. And I’m running out of creativity. And it’s cloudy. And school starts in two days.

Top all that off with the fact that we haven’t been grocery shopping in well over a week. I sent Tim a list this morning of stuff we need, and that list was long. LONG long. This also means we are pretty much out of whatever I need to make cool and creative smoothies.

I really want to try a blueberry cucumber lemon smoothie, but we have no cucumbers. So, that will have to wait until tomorrow, because, hopefully, someone gets to the store today.

So, I woke up and opened the fridge and pantry to see what we had. Leftover pumpkin from my pumpkin peanut butter smoothie (YUM), some bananas, some coconut milk, and spices in the cabinet. Seriously, that’s about it.

Considering my pumpkin smoothie and my banana bread smoothie were so delicious, I figured, why not combine the two and take the sweetness down a notch to make a hybrid, banana pumpkin bread recipe.

I have to say, I was not disappointed. This one pretty much tasted like the banana bread one, but with a hint of pumpkin (and some more nutrients!).

If I were to do this again, I might try adding a green apple, just to get the trifecta of fall flavors and add some brightness to an otherwise thick and creamy smoothie. Maybe I’ll add that to my list of smoothies to try in the next few days as this project comes to a close.

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Banana Pumpkin Bread Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2-3/4 cup chopped walnuts (however much you want)
-1/2 cup canned pumpkin
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1 tablespoon brown sugar
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-ice cubes

Directions:
Blend until everything is pureed, including walnuts. Enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 11: Green Spinach Smoothie

I have my blood glucose test and another ultrasound today, and I didn’t sleep very well last night (surprise, surprise), so I’m feeling particularly lazy and not creative. Therefore, here is a quick oldie, but a goodie. The Green Smoothie.

This one is just a base recipe, and I often add other things to it just for some fun and different flavor. Sometimes it’s berries, other times it’s pumpkin or carrots. I’ve substituted peanut butter for almond butter, or almonds for the almond butter. I’ve also substituted kale for the spinach. Regardless of what you do to this thing, it packs a serious, nutritional punch and is, actually, very delicious. Truthfully, I’ve made this without the cinnamon in it, but the cinnamon totally makes the smoothie. With the cinnamon, it just tastes like creamy goodness instead of, well, spinach and bananas.

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(I put these in the freezer to eat in a pinch in case I’m too lazy to make an actual smoothie.)

Green Spinach Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:

-2 cups coconut milk
-2 bananas
-2 heaping spoonfuls of almond butter
-2 large handfuls (about 1/2 pre-washed package) baby spinach
-cinnamon to taste (I use LOTS of cinnamon!)
-ice cubes (unless you’re freezing it)

Directions:

Put all of the ingredients in the blender and blend for a full minute or until spinach is fully blended. You may need to add some spinach then blend it down a bit, then add the rest before fully blending it.

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 10: Paleo Banana Bread Smoothie

I’m really into the dessert smoothies lately, probably because all I really want is ice cream, but I’m trying to eat things that aren’t, like, totally terrible for you. With my blood glucose test (screening for gestational diabetes) tomorrow, I’m trying to load up on good stuff and hope for the best. For that test, you have to fast for 3 hours prior to it, then drink some nasty, sugary stuff and get your blood drawn an hour later. I’m really not looking forward to it. But, if I fail, I have to go back for another, similar test that takes 3 hours, so I REALLY don’t want to do that. I’ve heard that if you don’t eat a ton of dessert-y foods the day before, it can help reduce your chances of a false positive (which is, incidentally, really common).

So, I’m trying not to have dessert-y foods today. Of course, what does that mean I am dying to have? You guessed it: dessert.

I turned to none other than Pinterest to get me through this day, and found this banana bread smoothie which looked promising because it’s dairy free. But then I saw that it required tofu and gagged a little bit. I really, really hate tofu. This is probably a remnant of my vegetarian days, but I think it’s truly disgusting. Unless it’s fried, and then it loses all healthy properties.

So, I modified the recipe. I not only modified it for preferences, but also for what I had in my pantry. We were out of honey AND maple syrup, so I went with brown sugar. (Yes, I just said I was avoiding sugar. One tablespoon in a smoothie before a yoga class is not going to do me in tomorrow. I hope.) This would definitely be healthier and a tad less sweet (which would maybe be a good thing) if I had gone with maple syrup, so I’d recommend that. You could also add a dash of vanilla if you like that sort of thing. I also went with only a little almond butter because that was all we had left (Clearly, we need to go grocery shopping.) and then supplemented walnuts, but had I thought about it, I might have gone with walnuts from the beginning because what is banana bread without walnuts?

Let me just say: This. Smoothie. Was. Amazing. Maybe even better than my previous favorite, the Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie. It is sweet. It is creamy. It is delicious. It tastes exactly like banana bread. It is packed with calcium, potassium, and protein (plus some good fats with the coconut oil), which will get me through my yoga class that starts in 45 minutes. I am totally sold.

It doesn’t hurt that this smoothie kind of tastes like ice cream, either. Because I really want some ice cream.

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Paleo Banana Bread Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-2 tablespoons brown sugar (You can substitute honey or maple syrup, or cut this down by half. It was almost too sweet.)
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-Ice cubes

Directions:
Add all ingredients. Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 8: Pumpkin Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie

Pumpkin is my favorite thing of all time. All. Time. Pumpkin pie is my absolute favorite food ever. This is probably a huge reason why I love fall, because I know that pumpkins are on their way. It’s also a huge reason why I’m excited for a fall baby, because, hopefully, she will also love fall and we will have many fall birthdays to enjoy pumpkins and changing leaves and cooler temperatures together.

It makes sense, then, that I horde cans of pureed pumpkin. There was one year I remember that there was a shortage of pumpkins in the Midwest and it was almost impossible to get cans of pumpkin for Thanksgiving. I will not let that happen again.

(Incidentally, this year, I am also going to horde pumpkin beer, but that’s because I don’t want to miss the brief pumpkin beer season and won’t be able to drink any until the baby is born.)

So, because of our intense nesting this summer which included cleaning out our pantry, we found four cans of pumpkin plus a jar of pumpkin butter. Hello, early fall!

I got the idea to combine pumpkin and peanut butter from Pinterest (How’s that for some alliteration?), but was wary of it at first. Peanut butter and I have had a love-hate relationship this pregnancy. A smear of peanut butter on toast was one of the only things I could eat in early pregnancy. Now, just the smell of it usually reminds me of how sick I was and I tend to avoid it. Plus, peanut butter isn’t Paleo. But, I use the all-natural kind from Trader Joe’s, so I feel like there are probably worse things I could be eating.

So, despite my reservations about peanut butter, I realized this morning that I needed a smoothie that didn’t involve berries, just for something different. I figured, what do I have to lose? Pumpkin, spices, and coconut milk? Yum.

Holy cow, am I glad I made this smoothie. It is my absolute favorite so far. Its creamy goodness has subtle hints of pumpkin pie and just a touch of peanut butter. It is amazing. Seriously, you won’t regret making this one, even if you are Paleo.

This recipe is a combination of several I read this morning, but the end result is entirely my own.

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Pumpkin Peanut Butter Perfection Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconut milk
-2 bananas
-1/2 cup pumpkin puree
-4 tablespoons peanut butter
-2 tablespoons coconut oil
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-Ice cubes

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Days 5 & 6: Berry Coconut Dreamcicle Smoothie

Ok. I’ll admit it. I’m a cheater. I ate a smoothie yesterday, but didn’t post it, and then I made the same one today but used different berries.

But hear me out. This smoothie is so creamy and delicious and packed with nutrients, how could I NOT make it a few times? Plus, it’s pretty, and after my road tar experience the other day, I needed a few that were easy on the eyes as well as for sure delicious. This one hit the mark.

Yesterday, I made this smoothie with strawberries:

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Today, I made it with raspberries:

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I’m not going to lie to you. Tomorrow, I might make it with blueberries. And the day after, I might just make it with the leftovers of all three.

Protip: If you use frozen berries and a frozen banana (just slice it up before you freeze it), you don’t need ice cubes.

Berry Coconut Dreamcicle Smoothie

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 banana
-1 cup frozen berries of your choice

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 4: Green Blueberry Smoothie

I’ll start this one with a protip: Don’t mix apple cider vinegar and coconut milk.

I mean, I’m pretty sure it’s fine, but alternative milks can curdle when mixed with apple cider vinegar. Even then, I’m pretty sure it’s fine to drink, but I got about 1/4 of the way through drinking this smoothie, panicked and tossed it because I’m paranoid and pregnant and hormonal.

But, what I did drink was pretty good (which probably means the milk wasn’t curdled at all, because doesn’t curdled milk taste awful?), and super healthy, too. I would try to make another one, but it’s grocery shopping day and I used the last banana and avocado for this bad boy.

Anyway, I’ll leave the ACV out of the recipe because… just don’t. Also note that this smoothie looks a good deal like tar, especially if you don’t gulp it down all the way and let it sit for a while. This could be fixed by using 1/2 an avocado instead of a full one, and less spinach. You know, if you don’t like eating things that taste OK but look like you could pave a road with it.

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Green Blueberry Smoothie
Makes 1-2 servings

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 avocado
-1 banana
-3/4 cup frozen blueberries (fresh works, too, but then you should add some ice cubes)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-generous handful or two of spinach (I used two handfuls, so if you’re looking for less green, use less spinach)

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 3: Apple Pie Smoothie

Yesterday, I mentioned my recent love of chocolate. Today, I’m going to admit that the love of chocolate really extends to the love of all things sweet and dessert-y. Apple pie? Definitely one of those things. But, when you don’t want the carbs and the added sugar, what are you supposed to do when the craving for this all-American goodness strikes?

Make a smoothie, of course!

The added bonus to this smoothie is that if you want to add apple cider vinegar to it, there’s no better way to mask the taste of it than to add it to a smoothie that already has apples in it. You’ll barely even know it’s there!

A few tips on this smoothie, though. The one I made was pretty good, and I’ll include that recipe, but I used a green apple because that’s all I had on hand and I have difficulty getting my pregnant self to the store, a red apple or other super sweet variety of apple would have made this taste much more like apple pie. However, if you do only have a green apple on hand, some honey would have been nice to add a little bit of sweetness. Also, the banana I had was still a little green, so a really ripe, sweet one would have tasted much better, too.

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Apple Pie Smoothie
Adapted from FitSugar

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 ripe banana
-1 sweet apple (cut chunks for the blender, but leave the skin on; that’s where all the nutrients and fiber are!)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
-ice cubes

Directions:
Add everything to your blender. Blend, and enjoy!

15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 2: Chocolate Banana Smoothie

I’ve never been a huge chocolate person. I’ve enjoyed a square or two of dark chocolate or a melt-in-your-mouth truffle on occasion, but I never craved it. Chocolate ice cream or fudge on a sundae? Skip it and give me the plain, old vanilla. A handful of chocolate candies? No thanks.

Enter pregnancy and, suddenly, I. Love. Chocolate. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate, chocolate shakes, mint chocolate chip ice cream (I seriously cannot get enough of that stuff), oatmeal chocolate chip cookies… You name it, I’ll eat it. Just now, even talking about chocolate, I had to walk over to the cabinet and get some.

I’m not sure what’s up with that. I don’t even CRAVE it, like I absolutely have to have it RIGHT NOW, but if given the opportunity, I won’t pass it up.

So, when I came across this recipe, I figured, why not give it a try? Coconut milk, coconut oil, chocolate, and a banana? Doesn’t sound like you can lose.

Frankly, it was just OK. It definitely satisfied my chocolate craving, but it could have been a little thicker and sweeter. If I made it again, I might add an avocado for some added health benefits plus a little extra creaminess. I did, however, feel full and satisfied after drinking it, which is tough to do these days.

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Chocolate Banana Smoothie
Makes one smoothie
Adapted from Skinny Ms

Ingredients:
-1 cup coconut milk
-1 banana
-2 tablespoons cocoa powder
-a good shake of the cinnamon shaker (to taste)
-2 tablespoons almond butter
-1 tablespoon coconut oil
-1 avocado (optional)
-ice cubes

Directions:
Add everything to the blender, blend until it’s liquified, and enjoy!