The Secret Ingredient Missing in Your Smoothies

Smoothie_9 on Whisk Together

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.

Smoothie_3 on Whisk Together

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.

Smoothie_10 on Whisk Together

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.

Smoothie_5 on Whisk Together

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.

Smoothie_6 on Whisk Together

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

Batidos (Fruit Shakes)

Batidos on Whisk Together

 

This recipe is from the Caribbean and Latin America.  Traditionally, the batido or “fruit shake” is made with any tropical fruit like pineapple, banana, mango, papaya, guava and passion fruit.  In the photo, I used strawberries because we had a lot of them to use up before going moldy.  Frozen fruit can be used instead of fresh – just eliminate or decrease the amount of ice.  For those eliminating sugars, you could of course eliminate the sugar added or replace with honey, agave, etc.

Kid approved, healthy and fast!

Batidos (Fruit Shakes)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups ripe fruit, chopped for blender
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 and 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

Instructions

  1. Throw everything into your favorite blender and blend until smooth.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/06/29/batidos-fruit-shakes/

Batidos – “Fruit Shakes”

3 and 1/2 cups ripe fruit, cut for the blender
2 cups ice
1 and 1/2 cups cold milk
1 Tb. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch salt

Blend and drink!

Pineapple Coconut Muffins

Pineapple Coconut Carrot Muffins_2 on Whisk Together

I finished “The Chaperone” by Laura Moriarty.  I was pretty good and neat to read about the era of silent movies and prohibition.

**Recipe**

I was trying to use up my carrots and pineapple and arrived at this recipe.  If you like pineapple and coconut combos, then you will like this recipe!

Pineapple Coconut Carrot Muffins_3 on Whisk Together

Pineapple Coconut Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup AP flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or white whole wheat)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger (optional)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup or 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil (or sub applesauce)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 and 1/2 cups grated carrots (about 3 medium to large ones. I use a small grate.)
  • 1/2 cup plus additional sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup of pineapple cut into small chunks or drained from a can

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prep your muffin pan with cupcake liners or baking spray. This recipe makes 18 muffins.
  2. In a great big bowl, mix the dry stuff: flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger.
  3. In a medium size bowl, mix the wet stuff: milk, applesauce, brown sugar, oil or applesauce, egg and vanilla.
  4. Add wet to dry. Stir until just combined and leaving streaks of flour.
  5. Add the carrots, 1/2 cup coconut and pineapple. Stir gently.
  6. Scoop into the muffin about 3/4 - to almost full.
  7. Sprinkle more coconut on top. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on cooling rack. Store at room temperature or freeze for later.
http://www.whisktogether.com/2014/05/18/pineapple-coconut-muffins/

 

Recipe from Kitchen Treaty

Pineapple Smoothie

Pineapple Smoothie on Whisk Together

After years of making green smoothies, Maddox asks:  “Mom, can you make a smoothie that isn’t green, please?”  Oh, okay fine.  Here is a super-simple smoothie recipe that definitely brought a little of the “tropics” to our below freezing weather.  Feel free to add anything you like!  The great thing about smoothies is that they are so changeable.  And feel free to add that green spinach!  Or kale!

Pineapple Smoothie_2 on Whisk Together

Pineapple Smoothie  (Print Version)
serves 2

1 banana
1 cup pineapple – fresh, frozen or from a can
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
6 oz. (3/4 cup) water or coconut water
optional:  1-2 cups of fresh spinach
optional:  1-2 Tb. sweetened coconut
optional: 1 cup ice cubes

1.  Make sure the ingredients are chopped into chunks like the banana and pineapple.  Add the liquids and then the solids on top.  Blend until pureed!  Feel free to top with more coconut!
2.  If using ice cubes (my kids and I do), I find it easier to puree the rest of the ingredients and then add the ice in later.  Since I don’t have a vitamix, this allows the ice to sink to the bottom and puree better than when I added them all together.

Have fun  whether you choose green or yellow!  🙂

Tuscan Luau Chicken

Tuscan Luau Chicken on Whisk Together

 

 

Tuscan Luau Chicken!  This is a fancy name for a simple pineapple dish that all of us loved.  It is a Wildtree recipe that is part of the “Savory Selections Workshop”.  I used my Costco 9×13″ pans, so all I had to do was thaw the pan in the fridge, pop it in the oven and throw it away.  Before recommending them, I wanted to make sure these pans worked.  30 half size pans are $5.69.

Freezer Chicken Meals_1

Tuscan Luau Chicken_1 on Whisk Together

Tuscan Luau Chicken
serves 4-6

2 lbs. chicken breasts, 1″ pieces
1 and 1/2 Tb. Wildtree red bell pepper and garlic blend (substitute: chopped bell pepper, coriander and garlic powder)
2 Tb. Wildtree European Dipping Oil- Tuscan (substitute olive oil)
2 tsp. Wildtree Lemon Pepper blend (substitute lemon pepper)
1 cup pineapple chunks (canned in juice), reserve juice
1/2 cup pineapple juice (from the can mentioned above)
1 cup uncooked long grain rice*
1 and 1/2 cups chicken broth

*If your kids are like mine and like things separate, then you can make this with the rice cooked on the stovetop in 2 cups of water and simply eliminate the broth from the recipe.

1.  In a freezer bag, foil tray or in a sprayed baking pan, combine the chicken, red bell pepper blend, oil and lemon pepper.
2.  Add the pineapple, pineapple juice and rice and broth if using.  Freeze or cook immediately.
3.  To cook:  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Put the meal into a 9×13″ pan if you have not done so already.  Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes.  Let stand for 10 minutes.  Remove foil and check to make sure rice is cooked.  Serve with a side of veggies.  This was yummy with low-sodium soy sauce.

Recipe from Wildtree Freezer Meal Workshops

 

 

Dark Chocolate Covered Pineapple

dipped pineapple_1

I know, I know it sounds weird.  But it actually was good!  I saw this idea on my Facebook feed under Whole Foods and figured since I had everything for it, why not try it?  The kids ate it.  Maddox ate several and Juliana licked the chocolate off and skipped the pineapple.  Which is odd since she eats way more fruit than he does.

Of course you could try other fruit, too!  Trader Joe’s carries this huge hunk of dark chocolate for $4.99 – over a pound!  We’ve been nibbling it for 3-4 months now.  If you don’t have lollipop sticks, then go out and buy some.  They have tons of uses:  dipping marshmallows, making cake balls, dipping brownies, small pies, cookies on a stick, rice krispy treats, cupcake toppers, etc.  Or, just use your fingers 🙂

Dark Chocolate Covered Pineapple

2 oz. dark chocolate chips or small chunks
pineapple, cut into 1-2″ chunks
sea salt or fleur de sel salt
lollipop sticks

1.  Melt dark chocolate in the microwave until most of it is melted.  Then, stir until the rest melts to avoid burning it.
2.  Take your pineapple chunks and blot the excess water off of them.  Stick a lollipop stick in them and dip into chocolate.
3.  Dry on wax paper or silicone mat.
4.  While they are still wet, sprinkle a little salt on them.  Dry and eat.

Recipe idea: from Whole Foods Market

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