15 Smoothies in 15 Days, Day 15: Green Sunrise Smoothie (and a bonus!)

Well, folks, our 15-day smoothie journey has come to an end. I have to say, this was tedious at times because I don’t really do daily projects very well. I can’t keep to that kind if a schedule. BUT, I’m happy I did, because I discovered a lot of new smoothie recipes that taste great, are packed with nutrients and foods I don’t eat enough of, and satisfy my pregnant sweet tooth. I call that a win.

To conclude our journey, I have a pretty ugly (but tasty! and easy!) smoothie for you. The Green Sunrise smoothie. It a variation on the Sunrise Smoothie from yesterday, but with spinach. You can use whatever berries you have on hand. I happened to have raspberries.

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Green Sunrise Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups orange juice
-1 cup frozen raspberries
-2 bananas
-2 generous handfuls of spinach

Directions:
Blend and enjoy!

And, as a bonus, I hid some spinach in another favorite smoothie, the Banana Bread Smoothie! This one is much prettier. If you like green.

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Green Banana Bread Smoothie
Makes two 16-oz smoothies

Ingredients:
-2 cups coconunt milk
-1/2 cup chopped walnuts
-2 ripe bananas
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
-1/2 teaspoon ginger
-2 generous handfuls spinach

Directions:
Blend and 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.

Paleo Smoothie: Green Pumpkin Smoothie

‘Tis pumpkin season! I’m so excited about this, because pumpkin is one of my favorite things. I love eating them in pretty much everything from pies to side dishes, drinking them in delightful beverages from pumpkin spiced lattes to pumpkin beer, eating the seeds both raw and roasted, decorating my yard with them… the possibilities are endless! How can you go wrong? Pumpkins take center stage from late September until after Thanksgiving, and rightfully so. They are generally inexpensive and you can get a lot out of them – food, seeds, and decor! Plus, when you flavor it with all the right spices, you have a cinnamon-ey, comforting starch that’s better than potatoes any day (though I do often pair pumpkin with sweet potatoes, as you will see in my next post!) because it’s packed with beta carotene and vitamin A which is great for your overall health.

Pumpkin is so awesome, I’ll actually try to put it in just about anything. Including my green smoothies.

If you are a little confused by this because orange pumpkin is completely opposite of green spinach on the color wheel, you were obviously paying close attention in art class because you are correct. However, just because something isn’t green doesn’t mean you can’t put it in a green smoothie! The awesome thing about coconut milk and spinach is that neither really taste like anything, so you can add whatever flavors you want to get the smoothie you desire and still get a serving of green leafies in your smoothie.

The idea to add pumpkin to my green smoothies came to me as I was prepping this week’s meals. As often happens, I was sipping a beer as I prepped. This week, it happened to be a KBC Pumpkin Ale from Trader Joe’s – my absolute, all-time favorite pumpkin beer (which is why I’m OK with it not being Paleo in the least; it’s worth a cheat!). As I was drinking it, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if I could get this flavor in a drink that was actually good for me?” And BAM! It hit me. Pumpkin smoothies.

This recipe is an experiment adapted from Nom Eat Nom, and I think it turned out really great! I drank all the leftovers, and I’m pretty excited to drink the rest of these bad boys this week.

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Green Pumpkin Smoothie
Makes one smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix, just the pumpkin)
  • about 3 cups raw spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • scant tablespoon Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter (you could substitute maple syrup or honey for this if you don’t have it; I would also recommend not buying it from that link because it’s only $5-ish in the store and $13 is ridiculous to pay for it – I just included the link so you would know what it is)
  • You could also add some nut butter if you wanted to have a little more protein
    If you are drinking this right away and not freezing it as part of your meal prep, add some ice

    Directions

  • Toss everything into a blender and process for about a minute. Pour into a glass, chill, and enjoy!
  • Eating Healthy During the Week: Meal Prep

    Weekdays suck. I don’t mean that they are terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. I mean that they literally suck all of the life and energy out of you. If I get to Friday and I haven’t said “I really want pizza” one time, it’s been an amazing week. Usually, by around Thursday, I’m so beat that I absolutely cannot cook one single thing.

    If this were me last year, I’d just hope that I had some kind of leftovers to take for lunch, and that those leftovers were mildly healthy. This year, though, you’re looking at a new me. And a new Tim, too! He’s loving this eating healthy thing so much that he’s totally into this whole Paleo process. It’s always easier – and more fun – with a sous chef in the kitchen.

    Because our weekday schedules are so grueling between his cross country practice (and volleyball later in the year) and my writing, after school groups, and speech team practice, we don’t have a whole lot of time between getting home from school and getting ready for bed. This is where meal prepping comes in. We prepare our breakfasts and lunches so there’s no excuse to grab a bagel or run to McDonald’s during the week because we’re too beat to make food.

    A fair warning: Meal prep is a lot of work. I mean A LOT. Tim does half of it and it still takes us about 3-4 hours on a Sunday depending on what we have for dinner that night. However, it saves at least that much work during the week, and it makes eating healthy a no brainer. So let’s take a look at my Sunday night stocked fridge and freezer, shall we?

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    There it is! Well, most of it, anyway. If you think our fridge and freezer look really clean, you’re right. We tend to clean it out as we prep, which makes everything just a little easier. It also eliminates the question of whether or not something is good to eat. If we’ve tossed it, it wasn’t good anymore.

    Let’s start from the top with the freezer. In my freezer on every Sunday night are 10 spinach smoothies. I blend two at a time and put them in mason jars and toss them in the freezer. Every day, I take my lunch out of the fridge (because I’ve already packed it the night before) and toss one of these green monsters into my bag. It thaws by lunchtime and doubles as a freeze pack to keep the other food in the lunch bag cold. You can make smoothies this way out of almost anything, but if you are freezing them in mason (or other glass) jars be sure to leave about an inch at the top so the smoothie can expand as it freezes without breaking the glass. Here is my recipe! I think this is delicious and a great way to get fruit, protein, green leafy veggies, and a bunch of calcium.

    Paleo Spinach Smoothies
    Makes 2 16-oz smoothies

    Ingredients:

    • 2 cups coconut milk
    • 2 bananas
    • 2 heaping spoonfuls of almond butter
    • 2 large handfuls (about 1/2 package) baby spinach
    • cinnamon to taste (I use LOTS of cinnamon!)

    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.

    Next is my cucumber and lemon infused water. I drink a full pitcher of water a day, and I can use the fruit I put in the pitcher twice. I slice up about 1/4 of a cucumber and 1/2 of a lemon, muddle it up a bit, then fill the pitcher with water. If I drink the full pitcher, it’s about 8 8-oz glasses of water a day, which is just what I need! I’ll usually drink 16 oz in the morning with breakfast, then fill up a 24 oz water bottle for the day at school (I also drink a lot of tea at school), then I drink the rest at home, which is about another 24 oz water bottle full.

    Next to my pitcher is my lunch bag. It’s packed and ready to go for tomorrow! All I need to do is add my smoothie and I’m good to go.

    Next to that are my hard boiled eggs. Of course, I buy the Omega-3 enriched eggs from Trader Joe’s, so I buy half a dozen of them and hard boil them on Sundays while I’m making the smoothies. Then, I have one each day for breakfast along with a piece of fruit. Yum!

    Underneath that, I have baggies of vegetables and berries. We’re big on the anti-inflammatory foods around here, both because of my acne and Tim’s various running injuries, so we usually opt for blueberries and raspberries as one of our servings of fruit per day. We’ll wash all of the berries we buy at once, then I divide them up into 10 baggies so Tim and I can each have one per day of the week. For vegetables, we slice up cucumbers, carrots, and celery. I put them in 10 baggies, too, so we can grab them and go.

    Finally, we have cooked shrimp and chicken. Shrimp is super easy to make, especially if you buy the pre-cooked kind from the grocery store. Just thaw it and enjoy! Our chicken is easy and yummy, too. Tim makes it while I’m prepping other things, then he cuts it up and separates it out into lunch-sized portions. This makes packing a protein super easy if there aren’t any leftovers from dinner to take. Here’s the recipe:

    Seasoned Lemon Chicken
    Makes 3 Chicken Breasts

    Ingredients:

    • 3 chicken breasts – boneless and skinless
    • 1 tsp dried rosemary
    • 1 tsp steak seasoning (we use Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
    • 1 lemon, sliced

    Directions:

    Grease a cookie sheet or baking dish.

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

    Mix rosemary and seasoning together. Rub onto both sides of each chicken breast. Lay the chicken on the baking sheet. Lay slices of lemon on top of each chicken breast (I usually use 2 slices per breast).

    Bake for 40 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked. You shouldn’t see any pink in your chicken!

    That’s it! If you can do more than one thing at a time – like cook the chicken while you make the smoothies and boil eggs while you cut up vegetables, you should be able to do all of this in 3-4 hours. Once you’re done, though, you’ll be so sick of cooking that you might just want McDonald’s for dinner. To avoid that, we’ve been making quick crockpot meals that we put together before we start prepping. That way, you have a healthy meal waiting for you when your cooking is all done!

    Now, if only we could eat this well on the weekends…