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!


Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie

Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie

Goooood moooorningggggg!!!!!

Welcome to a Whisk Together Original!!!

I hope everyone is doing AWESOME!!!!  Here is a new simple and easy recipe that we all loved!  I had some extra oranges leftover and didn’t want to make an orange julius copycat recipe for breakfast.  Instead, I threw some of my kids’ favorite items into the blender and they LOVED it.   And I loved it because they got a healthy dose of real oranges, mango and vitamins.  Since going back to work full-time this year, mornings are a little bit different.  No more coming home to clean up or finish a task.  We have 3 breakfasts and 3 lunches to make!  So I listed some ways to get these smoothies into your morning routine.  They would also make a great snack!

Here are some ways to make the smoothie:

  1.  Just make it!
  2. Freeze the ingredients into baggies.  Allow to thaw while you get ready or microwave them for 30 seconds.  Then add to the blender!
  3. Put them in real orange julius cups and see if anyone notices the difference 🙂

I know smoothies are not a “winter” type thing.  But oranges are in season right now and Aldi has them at $3.99 for a huge bagful.  If you won’t use them in time – just peel them and freeze them!  Yes it will work in a smoothie.  I wouldn’t recommend eating them after being frozen, but in a blender they will be just fine.

Healthy Orange Julius Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 large smoothies
  • 2 large oranges
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla unsweetened)
  • 1 cup mango, frozen or fresh
  • 3 packets of Stevia
  • 2 tsp. powdered egg whites (I use this to make royal icing; it is optional)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup crushed ice
  1. Wash the outside of the oranges with soap and water. Peel the oranges and place the segments in the blender.
  2. Keep the peel! Place a 1″ square of the orange peel into the blender.
  3. Place the rest of the ingredients into the blender in the order given. If you are using large frozen chunks of mango, I usually microwave this for 30 seconds in order to give the blender a break.
  4. Blend until smooth.
  5. 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

Super Orange Juice

Superfood Orange Juice Mary Riley Photography LLC Wentzville Missouri

Good morning everyone!  It was a little disappointing this morning after yesterday’s beautiful “hamster sized snowflakes” fell from the sky.

Kids in the Snow Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

But, this smoothie will make up for that!

This smoothie was created to use up my favorite super foods in the refrigerator and to keep us all healthy this month.  It seemed many were falling down with the flu or stomach bug, so we threw in our super foods, blueberries and spinach, and made it taste great with my biggest smoothie secret — the rind.

My kids love orange juice.  Most do.  And this smoothie tastes like orange juice!  Why?  Because I throw in half the rind of one orange (cut up into 1″ pieces).  The Vitamix blends that all together into one smooth smoothie.

I serve these often when we make “brinner”.  It’s difficult to find veggies to go with some power protein waffles… but the smoothie has vegetables, fruit and tastes great with the menu.  Plus it is fast and easy with little clean up!

Superfood Orange Juice 2 Mary Riley Photography Wentzville Missouri

**Smoothie Tips**

After many, many days of smoothies I have discovered a few things:

  1.  The blender does better if the frozen fruit thaws for 5 minutes or so.  Or if you are impatient like me, put in the microwave on high for 1 minute.
  2. The banana can make or break your smoothie!  Yeah a banana.  If there aren’t enough sweet components, a banana can make your smoothie awesome.  But if your banana has a lot of brown spots, the banana taste can really overpower everything.  I like my banana yellow with no brown in smoothies.  That way some of the starches have converted to sugars, but the super sweet banana flavor doesn’t overpower the entire smoothie.
  3. If the smoothie is not cold enough – add a cup of ice!  Smoothies taste better cold to me anyway.
  4. If the smoothie doesn’t taste great, add a quarter of a lemon or half of an orange – the rind and all.  This gives the smoothie a clean, fresh taste.
Super Orange Juice
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 2 large smoothies
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 banana, cut in half (optional)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 2 cups mango, 1″ chunks
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 orange, remove rind and cut orange into fourths
  • 1 half of the orange rind, cut into 1″ chunks (you should have about 3 or 4)
  • 1 cup ice (optional)
  1. Add the ingredients as listed or recommended on your blender.
  2. I put my machine on “Smoothie” and hit start. For non-smoothie blenders, start slow. After about 30 seconds, turn the machine up slowly to high. Stop the machine and use a spoon to push items down towards the blades if needed. The smoothie should form a tornado for 30-60 seconds and you will know then it is ready.
  3. Add ice to make it colder. I always add ice especially if my ingredients are not frozen.
I really like Cara Cara oranges in this recipe for their texture and flavor. Any orange will do as long as it is juicy and looks fresh. [br]If you are purchasing just a few lemons or oranges for smoothies, consider buying organic ones. I am not a huge organic fanatic by any means, but it does make sense to try if you are buying them just for smoothies since the skin is being consumed.



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 Peanut Butter Chia Smoothie

Green PB Chia Smoothie on Whisk Together


Book:    I just got my hands on “The Husband’s Secret” – another Liane Moriarty novel.  If only I could remember they are in Australia!  Every time I see “mum” I think they are in England.  Nope.

So far a great read with 3 separate stories that I am guessing will intertwine at some point.

The book on Goodreads has good reviews – not as high as Big Little Lies.  So far I like Big Little Lies better.

House:  I got the pantry updated!  Finally!  I have been collecting containers for a few years and buying once in a while.  After having my Silhouette machine for over a year I finally sat down and got every container labeled and LOVE the pantry.  The dry containers for flour and such are the Oxo containers.  I saw the plastic bins at my friend Katie’s house and loved how easily you could see everything in them.  Plus when I want to bake, I just take the whole baking bin with me to the counter instead of each separate item.  I couldn’t find an exact match online, but these storage bins are close.

I used to buy the cheapies at the store with no handle.  Items would fly out, you couldn’t see what was in there.  The new clear ones are much better.

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Green PB Chia Smoothie 2 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  This is my new favorite smoothie recipe!  Our other favorite is still Green Lemonade.  I like this new one when I am craving peanut butter.  You could even substitute peanut butter powder for the peanut butter to save on a lot of calories!  Have you heard of PB2?  It also comes in chocolate/peanut butter powder.

I tailor the recipe to my meal – add Greek Yogurt if I’m eating this for lunch or I will add more ice if it is after my workout.  I like to have this for after a workout or when I’m really hungry and meal time isn’t for a few hours.  The fiber really keeps you full.

Green Peanut Butter Chia Smoothie
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
  • 1 cup almond milk or unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (optional)
  • 1 Tb. peanut butter
  • 1 Tb. chia seeds
  • 2 cups spinach
  • ice cubes to taste (more for colder smoothies)
  1. Add the ingredients to the blender in the order stated. Blend until smooth. Smaller powered blenders may need to stop and push down the ice and/or stir the spinach.

I am also trying to use that little yellow bag of chia seeds I bought from Trader Joe’s 🙂  I have been making Whole Grain Chia Waffles with the rest of it.

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.



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