Celebrating Smoothies - Celebrating Life with Paula Blog at Allrecipes.com - 269530

Celebrating Life with Paula

Celebrating Smoothies 
Mar. 7, 2012 11:06 am 
Updated: Mar. 20, 2012 12:51 am

As I've begun writing my blogs, I realize I am following a theme here...celebrating. I want to celebrate life...enjoy it...look for the good in it. Life is too short to be caught up in envying, back-biting, wishing for the what-ifs, and being miserable. So, celebrating is my theme and my chosen view for life.

This week I have celebrated smoothies...green ones to be precise. I have made smoothies before and thoroughly enjoyed them, but I had never tried green ones. I went to the store with the intent of buying kale, but it looked terrible. I then went to Sam's, again to buy kale, but they didn't have any, so I bought spinach instead.

I became interested in green smoothies by reading Alaskansnobunni's AR blog. She lives in North Pole, Alaska. I got started reading her blog (and petey's) just because their lives are so different from mine, in different places, with very different circumstances, not to mention weather! In Karla's blog, she mentioned the benefits of green smoothies, and I got interested.

So, my first green smoothie to try was...drum roll please...Green Smoothie! This particular day, I had read and reread all the recipes and other sites. I guess I got myself confused, because I kind of made this recipe...and I kind of didn't. I guess I now officially belong to Zeebee's RTA, Recipe Tweakers Anonymous. I used spinach instead of kale, I didn't freeze my banana, I added ice cubes, and I added vanilla yogurt. What? Not the recipe at all you say? Oh well, read the reviews. The others aren't either! But I was hooked on green smoothies. I couldn't taste the spinach at all!

The next day, I tried Groovy Green Smoothie. I did follow the recipe this time...except I put in 2 cups of spinach instead of 1 1/2 cups. Again, it was delicious. I've had people who don't drink green smoothies ask me what it tastes like, and all I can say is that it is a predominant banana and yogurt fruity deliciousness with a beautiful shade of green.

Now, these two smoothies were very sweet. Probably because of the vanilla yogurt. So when I went to the grocery store, I bought something I had never tasted but had been wanting to try - Vanilla Almond Breeze. My thoughts were that this would diminish the sweet taste considerably. So, for my next green smoothie, I made up the recipe myself. I used 1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Breeze, about a cup of grapes, a banana, 2 cups spinach, and some whole frozen strawberries. Sure enough, this smoothie was less sweet but still very good, and I still could not taste the spinach. The only thing is that it was a much darker shade of green, not as pretty as the others I had made. It looked much better when it had just 1 cup spinach in it, but that's an easy fix. And because I was sick with a terrible head cold, I forgot to take a picture. Wish I had so you could see how ugly it was :)

Today for lunch, I decided to try Green Slime Smoothie. (The title should have given me a clue) I put my spinach in the freezer an hour before I wanted lunch and waited. From reading the reviews, I realized I would probably have to add liquid, especially since I don't own a Vitamix. I had some pineapple juice in the frig from some canned fruit and decided to use 1/2 cup of that to start with. Then I added my banana and blended well. After that, I added half the spinach and blended and then added the other half and blended again. I then added 1 cup of my frozen strawberries. My smoothie was quite thick at this point, so I just added another cup of refrigerated strawberries.  It was so thick, I knew I didn't need any ice.  And because I'm not fond of honey, I omitted that, too. I got the not so sweet smoothie I was looking for, but the color was less than desirable. It was a pale chocolate color. Odd to look at and then drink. I'm not sure what the predominant flavor was. Definitely not banana. Maybe a mix between pineapple juice and strawberries? But it was still good and I felt as though I was feeding my cold something good and healthy to make it go away faster.

My next green smoothie experiment will be to try the kale. Hopefully, I'll be able to find some that looks decent. I'd also like to try some green smoothies with carrots and other veggies in them. I'm wondering what they're like.

When I checked my recipe box, I realized I have tried 22 smoothie recipes and liked most of them! Do you have any favorite ones? What about any TNT or personal recipes for green smoothies, especially ones that aren't quite so sweet? And finally, what about recipes with Vanilla Almond Breeze?

Mar. 7, 2012 11:19 am
Great blog and thanks for sharing! I have only tried the groovy green smoothie with ,of course, some tweaks due to availablities such as no grapes and used applesauce instead of reg apples...delish! The only reason why I made that drink is because my 9 year old loves that green machine naked drink...so good but expensive.
Mar. 7, 2012 11:31 am
I wish I had known about green smoothies when my children were young. Seems like a much more healthy thing to give kids than popsicles or milkshakes or sugary drinks.
Mar. 7, 2012 11:37 am
I make a lot of smoothies. I have to be careful what I throw in them because it can get very calorie dense quickly. I buy sweet fruit at Aldis and always have a freezer full. Blueberries, grapes and watermelon are a favorite combo but I will use just about any fruit. Kiwi I freeze whole with the skin (it's full of vitamin c). I also like to add cottage cheese to my smoothies, but again watch the calories. Wheat germ is very healthy and easy to toss in. Greek yogurt, flaxmeal, almonds. You can make a full meal with smoothies! And, it's easy to throw in things that you have in the fridge.
Mar. 7, 2012 11:50 am
Thanks, Scotdog. This is the first I've heard of cottage cheese. I am using the smoothies as my lunch meal lately.
Mar. 7, 2012 11:58 am
I'd love to give you some ideas, but, alas, I love to chew my calories! I've tried smoothies and other things like that, but then I just want something else.
Mar. 7, 2012 12:05 pm
I have been trying to incorporate more oatmeal into my diet. I'm not fond of just a bowl of oatmeal, nor do I like bread or sweets, so I discovered putting a handful of oats in my smoothie, don't even know it is there. I'll also toss in flaxmeal for fiber often. I have never tried a green smoothie, but will certainly give it a try soon. I usually don't use a recipe, just toss in what I find in the fridge. I try to keep sugar out and use honey if needs to be sweetened.
Mar. 7, 2012 12:07 pm
I do have to agree a bit with Marianne, the reason I don't make smoothies too often is I am hungry much sooner than if I had regular food for breakfast. But an ice cold smoothie is refreshing after a couple mile walk in the hot summer.
Mar. 7, 2012 12:08 pm
It's also a good way to use up leftover oatmeal or steel cuts.
Mar. 7, 2012 12:08 pm
That's why I bulk mine up with protein. If it's just a fruit smoothie your blood sugar is going to soar & it's not going to fill you up.
Mar. 7, 2012 12:17 pm
I find smoothies so forgiving when it comes to switching out ingredients or tweeking up and down some of the ingredients. I keep some of my ingredients in the freezer too (banana, berries, spinach and kale freeze well) and find the fruit used sweetens the drink enough without having to add sugar or other sweetener. I'll whip up a drink for the morning and find I have enough left for later in the day. It's a great way to get wholesome good foods into your diet. Love too your outlook on life. Ditto. I don't understand people who have time to be any other way. :)
Mar. 7, 2012 12:33 pm
Scotdog, I will have to try adding the oatmeal. Great idea!
Mar. 7, 2012 12:35 pm
I haven't bought anything but small premeasured bags of protein powder, but I may have to buy it in a larger container, especially if I am going to continue making these smoothies as meal replacements.
Mar. 7, 2012 1:12 pm
I am not much on smoothies. However all this talk about green smoothies has made me rethink this. I might be able to get some veggies down my 3 y.o. greatgrandaughter with this?
Mar. 7, 2012 1:14 pm
Absolutely, char! She will think it's a milkshake. I would make it when she's out of the room and give it to her in a sippy cup so she can't see the color. I would make the Groovy Green Smoothie for her.
Mar. 7, 2012 1:54 pm
Hey Paula, We like to celebrate, too, and like our kale smoothies. My husband switched from coffee to a kale smoothie for breakfast! He uses 2 cups chopped kale, a banana, a handful of grapes, a dash of cayenne, and 1/2 a cup of water. I'm pregnant right now, and kale is one of the many things that I am currently grossed out by (I get so many pregnancy aversions!) I do enjoy almond breeze in my one cup of coffee in the morning! It is great, and they send out coupons sometime, too! Have fund celebrating :)
Mar. 7, 2012 2:06 pm
Thanks for your recipe, stick a fork in me. I hadn't thought about cayenne! I'll have to try that. I haven't made any smoothies with just water yet either. Guess that should be next.
Mar. 7, 2012 3:03 pm
Paula, I wish you lived closer to me, I'd love to have a cup of tea and chat. You have such a wonderful attitude and the warmth of your personality comes through in your blogs. I had to decide which I would use more - a food processor or blender and the FP won so I don't make smoothies, but I must say yours look tempting.
Mar. 7, 2012 3:51 pm
Oh, BigShotsMom, you are so kind, and I would love to have tea with you! I actually bought a very inexpensive blender at Wal-Mart, so that is what I am using now. I make sure I blend in batches. At the moment, I just can't justify the expense of a Vitamix, but who knows? Maybe someday...
Mar. 7, 2012 5:50 pm
I have green smoothies for breakfast every day! I love them. I usually have 2 fruits, a carrot, a celery stalk, and greens in my smoothie. I add soy, almond, or rice milk. Usually I add other veggies, too!
Mar. 7, 2012 5:54 pm
We tried water, yogurt, non fat milk and ultimately settled on the Almond Breeze as our liquid of choice. We're on our 5th week now, settling in with a smoothie very similar to the one in which you first tried the Almond Breeze. I put just one leaf of Kale in with every 2 cups of spinach. We also use blueberries, pineapple, half an orange and a kiwi in each smoothie mix. Breakfast of Champions!
Mar. 7, 2012 7:31 pm
Very helpful, sueb and Raedwulf! I'll try that.
Mar. 7, 2012 8:04 pm
Hi Paula, I love upbeat people with positive attitudes! You are so right too; focusing on negative things is just fruitless and ultimately toxic. Years ago, I decided I would purge myself of toxic people and toxic foods. I'm a smoothie girl from way back. And, this year, we've started juicing. Our son got us a Jack Lalaine Pro-juicer and now we're juicing maniacs. I'm hooked on PULP smoothies also. (take the pulp from the juicer, put in the blender with all your other favoriet fruits and/or veggies and liquid and blend away) YUM! You are my kinda gal Paula. Happy Juicing.
Mar. 7, 2012 8:07 pm
Try this one Paula, http://allrecipes.com/personalrecipe/62786990/quite-possibly-the-best-good-for-you-tastes-good-too-fruit-smoothie/detail.aspx
Mar. 7, 2012 8:54 pm
I like Smoothies when the weather is warm. During the winter months, I just can't get myself to drink one. I do put whey protein in my smoothies. I think the protein helps ward off hunger longer.
Mar. 8, 2012 6:23 am
Thanks, Candice. I'm definitely going to try your recipe.
Mar. 8, 2012 6:25 am
Lela, I understand about not wanting those cold smoothies in the winter. They ARE so much better in the spring and summer for some reason. I think the fruit is better then too. I'm definitely going to get some protein powder to add to my smoothies.
Mar. 8, 2012 7:48 am
I haven't tried the green smoothies, but we do have smoothies for breakfast fairly often in warmer weather. I keep telling myself I need to add greens and give them a try. I uually add a scoop of vanilla bean green whey protein powder(I get that from my local natural foods store--it has no sugar). I love the vanilla almond milk (I have an oatmeal recipe published that uses that), and I also love the vanilla coconut milk beverage..both are favorites for adding to smoothies. Have to give those veggies a try in there! I do use carrot juice from time to time, but I haven't jumped into adding whole veggies yet.
Mar. 8, 2012 10:13 am
wisweetp, I just looked up that oatmeal recipe and I am so trying that tomorrow morning! If you remember, I celebrated National Cherry Month in a recent blog and I have some of those dried cherries left over. This recipe will be a great way to use them AND my Vanilla Almond Breeze. Thanks! And thanks for that full name of the protein powder. I'll have to check it out at my natural foods store too.
Mar. 8, 2012 10:37 am
Hi Paula...I am sooo with you on celebrating life...isn't that what IT'S all about? I have been curious about the green smoothies for some time now, so thanks for your input. Two of my favorite smoothie recipes from AR are "Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie" and "Cranberry-Orange Power Smoothie".
Mar. 8, 2012 10:45 am
Thanks for these smoothie recipes, Mi Being Mi. They look delicious! The Nectarine Sunshine Smoothie especially appeals to me. The other one looks like a good dessert :)
Kathy D. 
Mar. 9, 2012 6:56 am
These are good very with Vanilla Soy Milk, less sugar, no dairy products.
Mar. 9, 2012 4:15 pm
Great blog, Paula, and I am inspired. Hubs is recovering from throat cancer, and getting veggies and fruits down him is taking some creativity. The acids are a little rough on his throat at this point, but he does better drinking than eating them fresh. I also have a small vineyard that came with the property when we bought it. I've been threatening to break out the tractor and pull the grapevines out and replace them with berries of some sort. But I think I'll keep them another year and try using them in smoothies. They have seeds and make excellent juice, but a blender would probably take care of the seeds easily. Thanks for the inspiration.
Mar. 9, 2012 8:45 pm
The title of your blog caught my eye, Paula! I love smoothies too, but unfortunately it's winter most of the year here so I don't get to enjoy them often. But spring is upon us, yay! I recently tried the green smoothie as well and was pleasantly surprised. I like to make breakfast smoothies incorporating oats and almonds because they're like a complete meal. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Razzy-Blue-Smoothie/Detail.aspx. This is the basic concept but you can use any combination of flavors and ingredients. The possibilities are endless, and if you add in the greens, it makes one powerhouse drink! Thanks, I enjoyed your blog :-)
Mar. 10, 2012 5:59 am
Thanks for that recipe, CC. I'm wondering about the buttermilk, but hey, I'll try anything once! I did notice someone subbed almond milk for it, so that's a thought.
Mar. 10, 2012 8:50 am
Paula, it doesn't end up tasting like it has buttermilk in it, but tweak to your heart's content! I use 1% buttermilk as it makes the smoothie thick & creamy without adding extra fat, like using full fat milk would. It also balances the sweetness with a bit of tanginess.
Mar. 10, 2012 9:23 am
Mar. 10, 2012 9:56 am
Nice job, Paula! Don't make many smoothies, though I should. I have not heard of Vanilla Almond Breeze. Is that anything like vanilla or almond Silk?
Mar. 10, 2012 12:46 pm
Mmm...I may try this. My husband loves smoothies and makes his own almost every morning. He would love these recipes...and even though I have more of a sweet tooth, I would like to try something green as well.
Mar. 13, 2012 2:51 pm
Oh so glad I logged in! My favorite on AR is the Raspberry-Lemon Smoothie....so good!!
ZJC Foodie 
Mar. 14, 2012 10:16 am
I love smoothies, and with my two younger sisters competing with me for the best tasting one. We've invented some pretty crazy combinations. Try honey, milk and green apples or like one of your followers, apple sauce. It's delicious and lend itself as a gateway to other great tasting smooothies. like you said, great for optional after-school snacks.
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I'm a wife, mother of 2, and grandmother of 6. I love to cook. I especially like to cook new and different recipes. I don't like to have the same meals week after week. My husband has decided it really doesn't matter whether he likes a new recipe or not because he won't see it again for a very long time anyway!
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I like to cook entrees and desserts. I like preparing good, down-to-earth cooking. I also decorate cakes, mostly for the grandchildren now.
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