mandag den 20. august 2012

Secret Recipe Club August: Sweet Spring Green Smoothie

This month, my assignment for the Secret Recipe Club, was Jane's Adventures in Dinner - written by Jane who is a Canadian mom, wife, sister, daughter, teacher, reader, cook, enthusiastic environmentalist and recovering overspender, to quote herself.

Jane has a lot of great looking recipes on her blog, but when I found her Sweet Spring Green Smoothie I knew this was the thing I had to make - simply because I recently got a Vitamix and have been looking for healthy smoothie recipes since.
Making a smoothie in a blender as powerful as a Vitamix is almost as good as making juice in a juicer - the blender is so strong that it more or less pulverizes the fruits and veggies. The consistency will be very smooth, and you will enjoy all the benefits of the fibres and what else leftover pulp from juicing contains.

So - smoothie it was.

I wanted to have it for breakfast, and made a double batch so Hubby could have some as well, and the leftovers were put in a drinking bottle and brought to work, where I had the rest during the afternoon, after lunch.

I made a few changes to the quantities, used frozen kale instead of fresh as this is impossible to get here, at least this time of year. Plus I replaced half of the kale with fresh spinach.
I also added a little sweetener (pure Stevia powder), and some lemon juice to compensate for the possible earthy taste of the kale and spinach. The berries were also frozen, so I didn't use any ice cubes - that was unnecessary.
Finally, I prepared as much as possible the evening before - I added milk, spinach and bananas to the blender pitcher, covered it and put it in the fridge. I measured the frozen things and put them in a ziploc bag and back in the freezer - this way, I only had to empty the ziploc into the blender and add a little more almond milk.

Easy peasy smoothie squeezy.

Well - it was supposed to be anyway.
A double batch was a little more than Ms Vitamix was happy to handle - she sounded a little funny and started smelling a bit, so at the end I had to empty some of the smoothie out of the pitcher to test if it was because of the heavy portion.
Turns out it was. 5 cups of frozen goods plus the fresh ones were a little too much, so even the mighty Vitamix has its limits.

Because of this, the smoothie didn't turn out exactly as smooth as I claimed in the second paragraph, but it wasn't a problem. It was still delicious, and the bottle I brought to work and had in the afternoon, was actually better tasting than in the morning when it was frozen.

Based on my experience with blending that big a portion, I would only recommend that you make 1 batch as in Jane's recipe, so that is what my version below is for as well.
If you insist on making double, please don't use all frozen berries and kale.
I won't replace your blender if it breaks down.
Just saying.

Sweet Spring Green Smoothie:
2-3 servings

1 cup almond milk (I used homemade) 
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
1 ripe banana (I used fresh but you could use frozen as well)

1 cup frozen kale
1 cup frozen or fresh berries (I used half frozen blueberries, half frozen blackcurrants)
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
ice cubes if you are using fresh berries and kale
more almond milk or water as necessary
pure Stevia powder or other sweetener to taste
lemon juice to taste

(If you want the smoothie to be even more filling, you could add some protein powder - I didn't have any, but will try it next time. You could also add some healthy oil, like flax seed oil or coconut oil).

Add everything to a strong blender pitcher in the order mentioned (liquids first, then soft fruit and veggies, and finally the frozen parts).
Blend on high until everything is smooth and drinkable - if you use a Vitamix, use the tamper to speed up the blending.
Serve immediately in tall glasses with straws, and maybe a spoon if the smoothie is very thick and icy.


It tastes really great (and even better a few hours later), and two glasses like the one in the picture kept me more or less full until noon (only had  a couple of small seed/nut crackers with cheese in between).
I will definitely be making a variation of this smoothie again - next time maybe I'll add some ginger or fresh mint - and a little more greens to make it even healthier.
Thanks Jane for this recipe!