Watermelon Smoothie | Teaching Colors in the Summer

Watermelon Smoothie


Hello Summer!   Whew – has it been FORever!!!  I just could not keep up with my usual exercise routine, full-time teaching, PTO meetings, updating the class website and add recipes to here all at the same time.  I am sorry.  I always post what is new and what everyone loved eating and just haven’t been making anything much new in a while.

I’ve been updating the laundry “room” with shiplap and it looks great!  I will post photos when it is all finished!

This recipe is KID approved as usual, fast and delicious!  Plus, I heard someone does not like bananas – this recipe has NO bananas in the smoothie!  How cool is that?  You can really taste the watermelon in it.  It is very refreshing especially since we have had 100+ heat index almost every day this summer.

I’m one of those weird moms that relates everyday things to learning and this recipe is a perfect example.  If you notice online or in green smoothie books (such as Simple Green Smoothies where I based this recipe), then you will find recipes that contain green items like spinach and red items like strawberries.  Now, the photos in the books don’t actually take a photo of the smoothie – only the ingredients neatly layered.  Once you mix red and green – which are complementary colors on the color wheel – you get ugly brown.  This ugly brown is delicious I promise.  But you might want to put it in a non-see through glass if the kiddos are picky.  On the plus side, you can’t tell there is spinach in it since it isn’t green 🙂


RED + GREEN SMOOTHIES = don’t take photo of the final product if you are Simple Green Smoothies book

Watermelon Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 2 large servings
  • 2 cups watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup peaches, sliced
  • 2 cups ice cubes
  1. Add watermelon and spinach to the blender. You may have to use a tamper to blend it. Turn the blender on and liquify the watermelon and spinach together. About 30 seconds will do it!
  2. Add the strawberries, peaches and finally ice. Blend on “smoothie” mode for a Vitamix or turn up your blender until the smoothie is consistent and ice is crushed.
  3. Sip and enjoy!


Skywalker Smoothie

Skywalker Smoothie Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Good morning fellow Star Wars fans!

Book Update:  I finished “Three Weeks with My Brother” by Nicholas and Micah Sparks.  It was our book club book for this month.  It was really good!  It is the story of Nicholas growing up while woven with his present day story of his trip around the world with his brother.  Oh, he had such a sad life!  Not growing up, but later.  The writing is great.  It is interesting reading it too knowing that he eventually separates from his wife.  That happened after the book was published – or shortly afterwards.

You learn a lot about the famous author and a lot about his world tour.  Like that the Moai on Easter Island used to have eyeballs.  But they were made of wood, so eventually the eyes decayed.  Also the entire island looks like Kansas.  There are no trees because the natives used them up rolling the giant Moai statues across the island in addition to cooking and making shelters.  Conservation was not on the list.  Once the trees were gone, they turned to fishing.  Once the fish were eaten up, they turned to cannibalism.

In the picture of the Last Supper in Peru, a guinea pig lies in the middle of the picture.  Guinea pigs are a delicacy in that country.

It’s so interesting to see how other people live.



Speaking of how other people live…. A long time ago (last week) in a galaxy far, far away (in my kitchen)…

My son has checked this book out of the library more times than I can count.

Skywalker Smoothie 5 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville MissouriSkywalker Smoothie 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri










It is where we got the recipe for Yoda Soda earlier, which we liked, so I figured we should try more of the recipes.  They are quite good actually.

Skywalker Smoothie 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri


Many children’s cookbooks are very disappointing – especially themed books.  This one has fun photographs and delicious recipes.

Skywalker Smoothie 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri copy

For a quick breakfast or post workout drink – this smoothie is GREAT!  My 9 year old made it for us and we all really enjoyed it.  The weather is warmer and we are in need of a nice cool drink every now and then, so I might as well pack in some fruit with it.

*If you don’t have orange juice on hand, I just add a half of a peeled orange instead.  Or a whole one depending on how big they are.

Skywalker Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries or partially thawed frozen strawberries
  • 4 ice cubes
  1. Pour the orange juice first into the blender. Peel the banana and cut in half or fourths. Add to blender.
  2. Remove the stems from the strawberries if they haven’t been removed yet. Add to blender.
  3. Top off with ice.
  4. Blend until smooth.
Recipe from “Wookiee Cookies and other Galactic Goodies” by Robin Davis


Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 4 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Smoothie time!  But before we get to smoothie time, here is a quick pic of the beautiful senior I had the pleasure of photographing last week.  The next day I learned that the park had mowed the grass  — so we got there right on schedule!

Molly50 For Facebook

Back to smoothie time!  I am a huge fan of peanut butter anything.  This recipe has peanut butter powder.  Every grocery store (well, except maybe Aldi) now carries Peanut Butter Powder.  There is PB2 and this one I used here is JIF brand.  Costco carries another brand that is organic.  You can reconstitute the powder with water to make peanut butter.  But, what I do is make peanut butter smoothies!  Only 3 tablespoons of powder is 70 calories and enough to flavor one drink.  I usually need 2 Tb. of regular peanut butter.  It was something fun to try and lowers the calories of the drink.  I think it would also be great in milkshakes.  🙂

This stuff is a dieter’s dream!  I know I stayed away from peanut butter the whole time I was trying to lose weight.  It just wasn’t worth the calories when all you could have is a small spoonful!  190 calories in 2 Tb. of regular peanut butter – or 70 calories in 3 Tb. of PB powder???  But the peanut butter powder tastes like peanut butter because it only has one ingredient: peanuts.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

The powder blends very well in a smoothie.  The regular peanut butter can get stuck or clumpy in the blades of some blenders.

Or add it to your oatmeal.

Or add it to frozen bananas that are pureed to be like ice cream.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 3 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Or add it to muffins, pancakes, cookies, cakes or brownies.

Here’s a blog post with a lot of ideas.  I really don’t think I will be adding this stuff to my chicken though. … It also doesn’t taste good if you dip your fruit right into it.  Now, if you mixed it with some cream cheese and dipped that might taste better.

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

Peanut Butter Spinach Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 2 servings
  • 2 cups almond milk (I use vanilla unsweetened), or regular milk
  • 1 banana, cut in half (or frozen banana chunks)
  • 1-2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 6 Tb. peanut butter powder
  • 4-6 ice cubes
  1. Blend everything in the blender until smooth.
  2. -Add plain Greek yogurt for more protein!
  3. -Add strawberries to make a PB &J smoothie

10 Days of Green Smoothies




I received the book “Simple Green Smoothies” for Christmas.  The kids and I have been having a blast with finding new green smoothie combinations!

So, this 10 day smoothie challenge consists of 1 green smoothie per day  for 10 days.  The book includes a grocery list for days 1-5 and 6-10.  This is because most produce like bananas would be past their prime before day 10.

Real Results:
1.  I lost 1 pound.  I weighed myself on day 1 and then day 7 just for fun.  Dropped from 138 lbs to 137 without changing any diet or exercise routine.
2.  The kids got their fruit and veggies every day (me too of course!).
3.  We never got sick.  (well the sample size of 3 people is quite small, but hey, it’s a positive!)

My notes about the smoothies:
1.  If the ingredients were not available fresh, I bought them frozen from Trader Joe’s.
2.  Blackberries were very tasty 🙂  They are on sale in many stores right now.
3.  To make a smooth smoothie, make sure to let the blender form a tornado and blend that for about a minute.
4. Put in the ingredients from first to last:  liquids (water, almond milk), spinach/leafy greens, nuts/flaxseed, chunks of fruit, ice.  This order blends the liquid properly and allows the heavier fruit to fall and blend into the smoothie.
5.  Add ice to make it cold.
6.  Spinach about to go bad?  Freeze it!  I add mine to freezer bags all of the time.  It is easy to blend, keeps the nutrients from breaking down and I don’t have to worry about having spinach on hand each week.
7.  Use orange peel or lemon peel for a citrus zing!  I love this trick and it really cuts down on the bitterness of the greens.  This is the trick for our Green Lemonade.  I had to increase the orange peel to a 1.5″ square.
8.  Kids love grape juice?  Try blending red grapes in the blender with some water.  Totally natural!  Add some spinach and they may not even notice it’s there.
9.  Use pint jars with lids for easy storage.
10.  No time in the morning?  Pack the recipes in bags, jars or containers at night!  Then, all you have to do in the morning is dump some water and the contents of the bag into the blender.  Stick in a straw and you are on your way out the door!
11.  To replace a meal or use after exercise:  I usually add about 1/2-1 cup of Greek yogurt.  Rolled oats is another great option.  Cooked beans are another great choice that you do not notice in the smoothie, but provide lots of fiber and protein.

Things I Didn’t Follow in the Book:
1.  I used water and not coconut water.  The coconut water at Aldi I purchased had 13 grams of sugar per cup.
2.  Instead of avocado or grapes, I used an apple.  Apples are cheap and I had them on hand.  🙂



Simply Green Smoothies at Amazon

Don’t need another cookbook?  It is at our local library – so it may be at yours, too!  Our library system has 7 copies.

Website to Sign Up for the 30 Day Smoothie Menu is here.

Mango Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1 cup chopped mango
  1. Add the ingredients to the blender in the order listed. Blend for 2-3 minutes or until smoothie. Feel free to use frozen spinach, strawberries or mango! They are all delicious. You may want to thaw them in the fridge overnight or the microwave to blend properly.
  2. Add ice if you wish for a colder smoothie!
Recipe from Simple Green Smoothies


smoothie day 2

The following photo was for a smoothie containing red cherries and green spinach.  The result is naturally brown.  Because back in preschool I learned red + green = brown.  I have no idea how the photo in the book turned St. Patrick’s Day green if blended according to the recipe.  It was still tasty though!





day 7

FREE Shipping Coupon Code & New Recipe: Tropical Green Smoothie

Cook Simple Promo


I purchased a new item at Fresh Thyme Grocery store last month from Cook Simple Meals.  It was Tamale Pie and one of the best ones I have ever made.  I couldn’t get enough of it!  In addition, it was so simple to make even my 8 year old could throw it together based on the instructions on the back of the box.  I enjoyed the meal so much that I contacted the company.  They sent these meals for us to review and share with you as well!

PLUS a coupon code JUST for Whisk Together readers.
You get 10% OFF plus free shipping on your entire order.  So even though they may have these at Fresh Thyme grocery store, I can have them shipped to my house for FREE!  Woo hoo!

Why Cook Simple Meals?
1.  No artificial anything.  All real food.
2.  The meals use quinoa, spinach, broccoli, lentils and other healthy items.  The Strogonoff for example uses black bean pasta.
3.  The bags inside that contain the meal also have measurements on the side – so you can measure the water right there in the bag instead of getting out another dish.
4.  My favorite is the Tamale Pie.
5.  My husband’s favorite is the Cowboy Chili after adding some hot sauce for more heat.  Without hot sauce it is rather mild.  I like that because we can always add our amount of hot sauce.
6.  All the meals can be made in 30 minutes or even faster.
7.  My daughter – who loves mac and cheese – LOVED the cheesy broccoli.
8.  I like the suggestions on the box to make it your own.  I liked the Sloppy Joes in our pizza pocket crust.

They are more expensive than making it all yourself.  But I like having these boxes on hand to make a quick meal which is far cheaper than going out to eat for the four of us.

If you want to try just ONE of the meals, I would suggest the Tamale Pie.


Tropical Green Smoothie


Speaking of wholesome and natural ingredients, here is Day One of the  Green Smoothie Challenge I am doing.  There is a 10 Day Smoothie Challenge in the book I received for Christmas which provided a grocery list and menu list for a different smoothie for each of the 10 days.  The very first one was very good!  We love green smoothies and always looking for a great recipe.  The internet contains a plethora… but some of them I wonder if anyone actually tried because they taste terrible.

Here we will only post the good ones that we all liked – even the kids!

To make this a meal replacement for lunch or breakfast, I add a cup of plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 cup cooked beans (usually white like Great Northern beans), or peanut butter for added protein.

Tropical Green Smoothie

Tropical Green Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 cup mango (or frozen or thawed from frozen)
  • 1 cup pineapple
  1. Blend all of the ingredients and drink!
  2. For a cold smoothie, have one of the fruits frozen like sliced bananas or pineapple tidbits.
From Simple Green Smoothies


Green Lemonade

Green Lemonade-2358 on Whisk Together

Happy Mother’s Day!

I was just watching Netflix Ted Talks again.  One talk was heralding how great white bread is due to the fact that it represents our industrialization of food.  Without that industrialization, we couldn’t live on 2% of farming familites or feed ourselves pasta from Italy.  Louise Fresco points not to the American family that lives within driving distance of a local Farmer’s market, but the millions of southeast Asians without access and those who would not thrive without access to a supermarket that carries Wonderbread.  It was an interesting take on what we normally hear in America on how everything needs to go back to small farms and local markets.

Green Lemonade-2457 on Whisk Together

RECIPE: We have been trying to perfect green smoothies for about 4 years now…. I may like them and then the kids do not.  This Green Smoothie here was the last success – and quite a few years back!  Now a Vitamix blender does help mix it up so there are no flecks, but I have made this in a regular blender as well and it works great.  The regular blenders sometimes take a little starting and stopping to get the spinach to pull down into the blended mixture.
Or this could work in a Magic Bullet!

Green Lemonade-2464 on Whisk Together

In regards to ingredients, I always make it with several core ingredients listed below.  The 1 cup of fruit changes depending on what I have left in the fridge or what is going to be too ripe in the fruit basket.  It doesn’t matter if I use a pear, pineapple, grapes or kiwi – the kids LOVE this smoothie.

Green Lemonade-2454 on Whisk Together


Blending Tips:  Always add liquid first.  Add the soft ingredients, then the spinach and ice always last.  The weight of the ice will push the rest of the ingredients down towards the blades.

Lemon Tip:  We love lemon with spinach.  It really masks the bitter flavor of spinach and kale in smoothies.  We have had to increase the amount of lemon from 1/2″ square of lemon peel to 1″ square of lemon peel.  The Vitamix blender blends it to a pulp and a regular blender may need lemon zest.  Feel free to add or subtract the amount of lemon zest to your tastes.

Green Lemonade-2365 on Whisk Together

Green Lemonade
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 banana, sliced in half
  • 1/2 apple, sliced into quarters
  • 1 cup fruit, diced (pear, pineapple, grapes, etc.)
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. of lemon zest or 1″ square of lemon peel
  • 2 handfuls spinach
  • 1/2-1 cup ice
  1. Add ingredients to blender in order listed. Blend and serve.



Green Oats Smoothie

Green Oats Smoothie_3 on Whisk Together

Book:  I hope everyone had a fabulous Valentine’s Day!!!  I forgot to post the sugar cookies I made for the Super Bowl last week, so here they are!

Football Sugar Cookies on Whisk Together

Superbowl Sugar Cookies on Whisk Together

I found a science project book at the library – it was published in 2000 that states that the public is now moving towards margarine and away from butter because it is more “heart healthy”.  And then goes on about the experiment.  Ha!  Too bad he didn’t do experiments on trans fats and cholesterol….

Green Oats Smoothie_4 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  I needed to use up my extra spinach and got really tired of salad.  This smoothie fit the bill.  Even Juliana drank it all 🙂

Green Oats Smoothie_1 on Whisk Together

You really taste the oats which to me isn’t a bad thing.  Certainly yummy and delicious, smoothie creamy and tastes like a bowl of cold banana oatmeal… in a good way.  Next time, I might try adding a little dash of cinnamon.

Green Oats Smoothie


  • 3/4 cup milk or almond milk
  • 1/2 banana (or frozen banana)
  • 1 handful spinach (about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 Tb. ground flaxseed
  • 4-5 ice cubes (optional but I like it cold)


  1. Blend it all up and drink! I blend everything but the ice first. Once the smoothie is smooth, I add the ice.
  2. Enjoy!

Green Oats Smoothie
serves 1

3/4 cup milk or almond milk
1/2 banana (or frozen banana)
1 handful spinach (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 Tb. ground flaxseed
4-5 ice cubes (optional but I like it cold)

Blend it all up and drink!  I blend everything but the ice first.  Once the smoothie is smooth, I add the ice.



Chocolate Soda

Chocolate Soda_13 on Whisk Together

Want to enjoy Valentine’s Day and still stay low calorie??  Read on!

Book:  I am half-way through “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple.  It is funny and a fun read.  On Goodreads, my friends give it 4/5 stars and I would agree.  It is pretty neat to see what friends have read the book you are reading and what they thought of it!  Again this one is for book club.  I also have “Simply Salads” by Jennifer Chandler which I can barely look at because the photographs are terrible.  (Sorry to be a downer!  I know I should not judge a photograph by it’s cover!)  But also almost finished with Devices and Desires:  A History of Contraception which states that almost all the Christian churches were actually against contraception until the 1930’s.  It is then that the Protestant churches began to okay contraception or… I guess basically say it was NOT a sin unlike the Catholic church’s stance.

My Scrumptious Freezer Meal Workshop is on Saturday!  Woo hoo!  If you would like to follow along, the details are here on this post with all the ingredients, shopping lists and recipes.

I have a speaking engagement in March on “Thriving” with moms as the audience.  We will review exercises that in positive psychology have proven to make parents (and kids) happier.  Maybe I will elaborate more as we get closer to March.  Or make a youtube video.  Or a photo that makes you “click here” so you can find the answer!  Instead of just putting the answer right there on the photo or video.  Yes, I have your secret sauce figured out Facebook.  🙂

Chocolate Soda_9 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  This recipe is sooooo simple it is ridiculous.  Seriously.  Get the stuff and just have FUN with it.  We made these for a baby shower Italian Soda bar and I will make them again for Valentine’s Day.  It is a special treat and pretty light on the calories!  This is really light if you make your own homemade chocolate syrup like we do – about 35 calories instead of the store brand of 100 calories.  The kids and adults loved making and drinking these.  To make a cute presentation and because it is more practical to have a lid for shaking, we used canning jars for “glasses” to serve these drinks.  Go ahead and try any combination you like and try it with raspberry syrup if you have some!  Oh, boy was that delicious.

There is also a twist on this old-fashioned drink called a “phosphate”.  You would add 1 tsp. of the phosphate to the recipe below.  It can be found at Amazon, though a little pricey.

Chocolate Soda
serves 1

1 pint canning jar (optional)
8 oz. club soda (carbonated water)
2 Tb. chocolate syrup
whipped cream (optional, but tasty)

Chocolate Soda_6 on Whisk Together





Chocolate Soda_7 on Whisk Together


Chocolate Soda_10 on Whisk Together
Step 3:  Add club soda and shake!

Chocolate Soda_12 on Whisk Together

Top with whipped cream, chocolate jimmies, chocolate syrup, a cherry on top or whatever you like!

Chocolate Soda


  • 1 pint canning jar (optional)
  • 8 oz. club soda (carbonated water)
  • 2 Tb. chocolate syrup
  • ice
  • whipped cream (optional, but tasty)


  1. Fill jar 3/4 full of ice. Add chocolate syrup. Add club soda. Twist the lid onto the jar. Shake. Top with whipped cream.
  2. *** Added option: Add 1 tablespoon of raspberry syrup. Ooh, yum! This syrup can be found in the coffee and tea section of most grocery stores. Or add half and half or cream with the chocolate syrup.

***  Added option:  Add 1 tablespoon of raspberry syrup.  Ooh, yum!  This syrup can be found in the coffee and tea section of most grocery stores.    Or add half and half or cream with the chocolate syrup.

Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi at Whisk Together


Book Update:  I took ALL my books back to the library!  We move next week!  I already found a school library book from last May under our dining table.  Oy vey.

Recipe:  A lassi is a yogurt based drink mainly found in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.  Feel free to substitute the mango for another fruit and the orange juice for milk or more ice.  Fruits could include berries, papaya, pineapple, oranges, etc.  Basically, try 1 cup of yogurt, 1 cup of fruit, some ice cubes and some honey if you like.  For denser fruits like mango, I had orange juice or water.

Something fast and delicious!  Great way to get my kids some vitamin A since they really dislike carrots and I don’t have any canned pumpkin right now.  Frozen mango and organic mango is sold at Trader Joe’s for $2.30 per bag, so it is a staple around here especially with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.  Add it to your kid’s lunch box or use it for a breakfast on the go.  You get vitamin A and C from the mango, protein from the yogurt, and more vitamins from the orange juice.

Mango Lassi


  • 1 cup frozen or fresh mango, diced
  • 1 cup plain yogurt, or vanilla
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, optional
  • 1 Tb. ground flaxseed, optional
  • 4-6 ice cubes (or more if the mango is not frozen)


  1. Blend together in a blender. Adding liquids first seems to help my blender blend faster.

Mango Lassi

1 cup frozen or fresh mango, diced
1 cup plain yogurt, or vanilla
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tsp agave nectar or sweetener of your choice, optional
1 Tb. ground flaxseed, optional
4-6 ice cubes (or  more if the mango is not frozen)

Blend in a blender and drink!  Usually adding the liquid ingredients first seems to help the blender process in mine.



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