Note: parts of this post first appeared here in March 2014.
The heat is on here in Colorado, just in time for the start of summer. Inventing toys takes a lot of creative energy and some afternoons my brain needs something edible to spark new ideas. Smoothies make a wonderful snack on a hot afternoon.
Giada De Laurentiis' Feel Good Food cookbook has a lot of good recipes including these two healthy choices:
This Strawberry/Spinach/Yogurt smoothie is rich with sweet and green notes while the Spinach/Apple/Ginger smoothie zings on the tongue.
Strawberry and Spinach Smoothie with Yogurt (makes 2 cups, serves 2)
1 1/2 cups ice
1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 medium apple, such as Fuji or Honey Crisp, peeled (or not), cored and chopped
8 medium strawberries, halved
1/2 medium ripe banana
1 packed cup baby spinach leaves
Combine all of the ingredients in the blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.
Note: if your strawberries are not sweet enough for you, add a teaspoon of honey to the blender before processing.
The Spinach/Apple/Ginger smoothie is bright and earthy and the ginger zings on the tongue.
Spinach, Ginger and Apple Smoothie (makes 2 cups, serves 2)
1 1/2 cups ice
1/2 cup water (if you like creaminess, substitute almond milk)
1 medium apple, such as Fuji, or Honey Crisp, peeled (or not), cored and chopped
1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 cup packed baby spinach leaves
1/3 cup packed fresh flat-leaf parsley
Combine all of the ingredients in the blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve. This smoothie is sweet from the apple with a spicy kick from the fresh ginger.
Note: in both recipes I washed but did not peel the (organic) apples which is why you see little flecks of red in the glass.
Another yummy vitamin-rich smoothie you might like features pineapple, pear, cucumber and kale. Sweet pineapple and lime juice dominate your tastebuds, followed by a spark of earthy green flavor.
Lean Green Power Smoothie (serves 2)
1/2 pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
1/2 English cucumber, peeled and chopped
1/2 ripe pear, chopped
juice from 1 lime
1 cup baby kale or spinach leaves
10 mint leaves, chopped
1 tsp agave nectar
Puree ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into 2 glasses and garnish with a cucumber slice.
Any of these smoothies will cool you down and perk up your energy on a summer afternoon!