The Secret Ingredient Missing in Your Smoothies

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We are still in peak holiday season, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t prep for the rest of the day’s nutrition before the cookies and candy come.  This week – in addition to a Minecraft birthday party celebration (a future blog post)- I have been researching smoothies and how to get maximum nutrition into them while still being tasty.

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I know a lot of people use protein powder which is fine.  But, I found replacement for all those recipes that say add “protein powder”!  BEANS!  Yes, beans!  I tried out lots of smoothies, and these were the top two smoothies in the kid/parent taste test using black beans and white beans.  For white beans, I used great northern beans because that is what I had on hand.  You could use navy beans or cannelini beans instead.

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In addition, I have been cooking beans from dried.  Cooking beans yourself means using the amount of salt you want to use, and it is much cheaper.  The conversion I used is 3/4 cup of dried beans (about 4.5 ounces) = 15 ounce can of beans.  Four cans of beans is about $4.  Two pounds of dried beans is $2 …. or equal to 7 cans of beans!  Almost half the cost… not quite and some people may not think it is worth the time.  But there’s the money breakdown for you.

Smoothie on Whisk Together

Secret to great smoothies?  Use white beans in non-chocolate smoothies and black beans in chocolate smoothies.  Start with 1/4 cup of cooked beans per smoothie in your recipes.  I always rinse and drain my canned beans to remove the sodium and improve the texture of the beans.  I always have frozen chunks of bananas on hand.  There is no need to soak the bananas in orange juice to prevent browning, but you could.

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I always add the liquid ingredients first (I don’t have a fancy machine.).  Everything is diced into small chunks.  Straws make drinking them more fun 🙂  I add 1/2 -1 Tb. of ground flaxseed to most smoothies.  I use the Simply Balanced vanilla Greek yogurt from Target – I really like the flavor, texture, price and the sugar isn’t as high as many other vanilla flavored yogurt brands.  Add ice to make the smoothie thicker.

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Before we get to the recipes – I have to mention one of my favorite places for great baking and cooking products, Williams-Sonoma.  I have seen the Vitamix in action many times and it will pulverize even spinach to a pulp!  Their products have never failed and they keep improving even their best which shows me they care.  If you are interested in a blender to make smoothies for 2015 – here is a great start!

**I have not been paid and given products for this opinion.**

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter and Tropical Green Smoothie

Serving Size: 1 smoothie

Ingredients

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
  • 1 large smoothie
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen and in chunks)
  • 1/4 cup cooked black beans (or 1/4 cup black beans drained and rinsed from can)
  • 4 Tb. cocoa powder (regular or Dutch processed)
  • 6 ounces Greek plain or vanilla yogurt (by weight)
  • 1/2 cup milk (almond, cow, goat, chicken, etc.)
  • 2 Tb. peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (if using plain yogurt)
  • sweeten to taste with honey or stevia if preferred
  • 3/4 cup ice (optional)
  • Tropical Green Smoothie:
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 banana (preferable frozen and in chunks)
  • 1/4 cup great northern beans
  • 1 cup ripe pineapple, cut into small chunks
  • 2-3 cups (2-3 ounces, or 2 large handfuls) packed baby spinach or kale - your favorite leafy green
  • 1/2 Tb. ground flaxseed
  • sweet to taste with honey or stevia if preferred
  • 3/4 cup ice (optional)

Instructions

  1. In my blender: Add liquids first. Add everything else but the ice. Blend until smooth. Add ice and blend again.
  2. In nice blenders: throw everything in and hit "smoothie" or blend until smooth.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/12/15/the-secret-ingredient-missing-in-your-smoothies/

Smoothie_7 on Whisk Together

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 large smoothie

1 banana (preferably frozen and in chunks)
1/4 cup cooked black beans (or 1/4 cup black beans drained and rinsed from can)
4 Tb. cocoa powder  (regular or Dutch processed)
6 ounces Greek plain or vanilla yogurt (by weight)
1/2 cup milk (almond, cow, goat, chicken, etc.)
2 Tb. peanut butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (if using plain yogurt)
sweeten to taste with honey or stevia if preferred
3/4 cup ice (optional)

In my blender:  Add liquids first.  Add everything else but the ice.  Blend until smooth.  Add ice and blend again.
In nice blenders:  throw everything in and hit “smoothie” or blend until smooth.

 

Green Tropics Smoothie
1 large smoothie

1/2 cup almond milk
1 banana (preferable frozen and in chunks)
1/4 cup great northern beans
1 cup ripe pineapple, cut into small chunks
2-3 cups (2-3 ounces, or 2 large handfuls) packed baby spinach or kale – your favorite leafy green
1/2 Tb. ground flaxseed
sweet to taste with honey or stevia if preferred
3/4 cup ice (optional)

In my blender:  Add liquids first.  Add everything else but the ice.  Blend until smooth.  Add ice and blend again.
In nice blenders:  throw everything in and hit “smoothie” or blend until smooth.

Recipe adapted from FatFree Vegan

Smoothies on Whisk Together

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