Green smoothies, again

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

I tried twice before to embrace the green smoothie thing.The first time, I found them utterly boring, and I had trouble getting past the fact that my breakfast was entirely liquid. I wanted to bite into something solid.

The second time I started with a hard-core green smoothie recipe. I was all set to do a cleanse and everything! But that same day, Neil lost his job, and I lost my enthusiasm for trendy drinks with expensive ingredients. Honestly, though, the expense of it all was more of a convenient excuse than anything else – that cleanse-friendly smoothie tasted absolutely terrible to me.

It’s been about a year and a half since that second attempt and I’ve been doing the smoothie thing again. This time I’ve kept it up for a couple of weeks and >gasp!< I really love them!

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

So, what have I been doing differently?

Well, first, I spent my Christmas gift cards on a Nutri Bullet.

Part of the problem before was with my old blender. For one thing, it didn’t have the power to properly pulverize the greens, and for me, being able to taste the greens is a big deterrent to actually drinking the smoothie. For another thing, cleaning the blender every day was super annoying. Anyone who has dropped by my house unannounced and had a peek at the kitchen sink will tell you that washing dishes in a timely manner is not my forte.

So, the Nutri Bullet: it grinds up those spinach leaves so fine, I barely know they’re there. Excellent. Also, I just rinse the cup and the blade mechanism with warm water and set them on a towel to dry. Easy peasy. Plus, it comes with three cups, so if warm water doesn’t easily do the trick, I can set it aside to wash later and still have a clean cup ready for tomorrow.

The other key to my smoothie success is peanut butter.

I use the all-natural, no sugar, no salt, just 100% peanuts kind, and my shake comes out tasting like peanut butter ice cream. Now that’s a taste I can get behind! (I get my peanut butter at Trader Joe’s, but if you need an online source, I found this brand that is also made with 100% peanuts. I’ve never tried it, but it has good reviews.)

There are all kinds of recipes in the Nutri-Bullet documentation, and I did try one of them, but I am discovering that I really need a milky base (as opposed to a watery base) in order to like it. And I also need it to be a wee bit sweetened. Over time, I hope to wean myself off of added sweetener, but for now it is a necessary component.

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

Here’s my recipe, which I am continuing to tweak (I measure out this recipe in a pint-size mason jar):

  • 1/2 jar baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 jar fruit (I like half a banana and the rest strawberries)
  • 1 tb natural peanut butter
  • 1 tb flax/chia blend
  • 8 oz milk (I have used unsweetened almond milk, and vanilla soy milk so far)
  • syrup (optional: I use Dave’s mocha syrup with the unsweetened almond milk, but nothing with the vanilla soy)

Measure the first four ingredients into the mason jar, and then empty them into the blender cup. Pour the milk and optional sweetener into the jar, then add to the blender cup. Blend for 30 seconds. Pour smoothie back into the mason jar and enjoy!

Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage Make-Ahead Green Smoothie recipe at Polka Dot Cottage

In order to save time in the mornings (and help the ingredients last longer), I’ve started pre-filling a bunch of mason jars and putting them in the freezer. In the morning, I grab a jar, dump it into the blender cup, add the milk/syrup, and am good to go.

As I said, I’m still playing with the recipe. All of this is still new enough to me, that I don’t really understand what kinds of add-ins will benefit me the most. I’m using the flax/chia blend mentioned above, and I’m thinking of trying matcha green tea powder. My gut tells me to stick with fruits and greens as much as possible, and avoid relying too much on powders and such, but I’m open to trying new things, particularly if they don’t impact the flavor of the smoothie too much.

I’m going to have to work up to that earthy, grazing on the front lawn kind of taste. I’m not quite there yet.

So, tell me, do you drink green smoothies? Do you have any ingredient suggestions? Tips, tricks, or other ideas?

P.S. There are affiliate links in this post, but I’d have said all of this even without them.

11 thoughts on “Green smoothies, again

  1. I haven’t yet gotten gung-ho enough to try green smoothies, in part due to the blender issue. In the meantime, tho, I have to ask if you’ve tried PB2. It’s powdered peanut butter and even though it has some sugar in it (along with peanuts and salt), it’s only 45 calories for 2 tbsp. As a bonus, it’s super easy to measure for use in recipes (easier to clean up too).

    • I haven’t tried PB2. I tend to have a preference for the real thing over a powdered version, even if it costs me some calories. But I admit I’m intrigued. Think I’ll google it a bit 🙂

      • Yes, I tend to prefer the real thing too. I’ve tried mixing the PB2 and spreading it on a bagel, and it doesn’t do much for me. In recipes, however, it has been great. I made peanut butter cookies with it and I also love using it in smoothies. The easy measuring is key for me – you toss it in with dry ingredients and then increase the wet ingredients a bit to compensate, similar to dried buttermilk. If I don’t have to scrape it out of a measuring cup, I’m a fan. 😉

  2. we started drinking them in Jan. We use mixed greens, fresh or frozen fruit, almond milk (unsweetened) coconut water. We also add a slice of ginger and then a dash of cinnamon. yum. plenty sweet for us. and we LOVE our nutribullet!!!!!

    • Sounds good! Right now I’m on such a peanut butter kick, I can’t really imagine messing with my formula too much. but I’m glad to have these suggestions to look back on when I’ve had enough peanut 🙂

  3. This is the one I drink every morning:
    1 cup pineapple juice
    1 handful of baby spinach
    1/2 banana
    1/4 cup cottage cheese
    1/2 cup frozen mango ( I buy the big bag from Costco)

    It is really good and you don’t even taste the spinach. It took me so long to get used to the idea of “drinking” breakfast but now I love it.

    • You lost me at cottage cheese, LOL!
      I’ll admit I never actually *eaten* cottage cheese, but it has always looked so “blech” to me, I can’t bring myself to try it!
      Otherwise, it sounds nice. Very tropical! I bet I could enjoy it if I substituted yogurt 🙂
      Thanks for sharing!

      • Your smoothie recipe sounds yummy : ) Going to try it when the weather warms up. I want hot food in the winter! But maybe I should upgrade to a Nutri-bullet? I have the original Magic-bullet and I have nor been that pleased with it’s performance. My previous attempts at smoothies have turned out lumpy.

  4. I’m so glad that you found a recipe that works for you. We have smoothies often. I’ve recently found PB2, a peanut butter powder (made from real peanuts and everything) that tastes great and has MANY fewer calories than even the natural peanut butter as it doesn’t have the oils. I’ve got friends that swear by protein powders to keep them full but I haven’t tried those yet either. Your recipe sounds a lot like what we usually have too. Oh, and I love your use of the jars to make yours ahead. They’re cute and time-saving!!

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