Frugal Foodie Mama: Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Green Smoothie

Friday, January 24, 2014

Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Green Smoothie

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I know some of you all may be viewing the whole green smoothie craze as just that... a fad that will just fade away as soon as we roll into February.  
And for some (maybe many), that will be the case.
But I have actually found that I am loving green smoothies!  I have one just about every day for a healthy afternoon snack.

Okay, so some of you may not have heard of a green smoothie before.  Basically it a fruit smoothie with a handful or two of fresh leafy greens blended in.  Often times, it will give the smoothie a green tint (thus the name ;) ), but you really can't taste the greens at all.  People use a variety of greens in their green smoothies- from kale to swiss chard.  I personally prefer spinach- it is a softer leaf and more mild in taste so it usually just completely disappears into my smoothies.
(Pssssttt... moms! This a genius way to get your kiddos to eat more veggies and fruits without them even knowing it.  It even works with green veggie-phobic husbands. Shhhhh... ;) )

I often find myself needing a serious pick-me-up by the time baby girl's afternoon nap time rolls around... you know, when she decides to take a decent one.
We are still bedsharing, and I am often woke up every night at least 3 times by baby girl. We are about to start transitioning her to her own bed in our room, and I am a little giddy thinking about the extra sleep I may start getting as a result of this milestone.
But in the meantime, I have concocted a delicious, creamy afternoon smoothie that gives me a little extra energy to get me through the rest of the day.... or at least until daddy comes home from work. ;)
I have looked through quite a few energy snack recipes and they all seem to have the same 2 ingredients in common- peanut butter and oats.  I did originally try this smoothie recipe with oats straight from the container, and I hated the taste.  Giving the oats a quick toast gives them a rich nuttiness and added so much flavor to the smoothie!
Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Green Smoothie
by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10-12 minutes (for the toasted
Ingredients (1 smoothie)
  • 1/2 frozen banana, chopped
  • 1/4 cup coffee (leftover from the morning is perfect!)
  • 1 tbsp of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup nonfat or low fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • Handful of fresh spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • Drizzle of honey (if needed)
  • 1 tbsp toasted oats (recipe follows)
For the toasted oats
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the toasted oats
Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the oats and coconut oil until the oats are well coated. Spread the oats/coconut oil mixture evenly over the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring halfway through.
Allow the toasted oats to cool completely, and then transfer to an airtight container to have on hand for lots of smoothies!

For the Afternoon Pick-Me-Up Green Smoothie
Combine all ingredients listed above except for the honey in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.  Give it a taste & if it needs a little more sweetness, add a drizzle of honey and blend again.  Often though, the fruits in the smoothie provide plenty of sweetness & additional sweeteners are not needed.
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Almost all of the green smoothies I make start with half of a frozen banana.  When I bring home a new bunch of bananas from the grocery store, I usually peel and cut in half at least half of them.  I wrap each unpeeled half in aluminum foil and store them in the freezer.  When I am ready to make a smoothie, I unwrap a banana half and let it sit at room temperature for a few minutes before chopping it up.
Frozen fruit is a great way to make cool, refreshing smoothies without having to add ice!

I use almond or coconut milk in most of my smoothies, but feel free to use soy, skim milk, or even whole milk.  Whichever is your preference.  
I love using Greek yogurt for the extra protein, but regular nonfat or low fat vanilla yogurt works just as well. 

If you want to learn more about green smoothies, be sure to click on over and check out Simple Green Smoothies' Green Smoothie 101.  And no, this isn't a sponsored link or anything.  I have just found some great inspiration from their site and from their Instagram account and wanted to share that with you all. :)

So, what do you all think? Are you going to give green smoothies a try? Because I just may have a few more green smoothie recipes coming to the blog soon...

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