Greens, Bananas and Coconut Smoothie

Tasty greens, frozen bananas, and coconut water = healthy shake! Bonus, a nice, wide tumbler from www.potterybarn.com makes it easy to get down to the bottom of the deliciousness!

Big news – we are pregnant! Which means I have unusual cravings for rice, banana bread, cereal, and yogurt (to name a few) and I have aversions to things I used to love; namely salads. Pregnancy is an important time to eat healthy and make sure you’re getting extra vitamins and minerals from greens and fruits. However, whether pregnant or not, most of us do not get enough of them. Because who looks at a leaf of kale and goes “OMG I HAVE TO GET THAT IN MY FACE RIGHT NOW IT LOOKS SO GOOD”? No, we save that for cake. Obviously.

So I looked into an easier way to get all my greens down and looked into shakes. Most pre-made shakes or shake recipes are chock-full of fruit, additives, or sugary juices and aren’t worth the small amount of green intake that you get. They can also take FOR.EV.AH to make in the morning. No thanks! This recipe is green-focused, but is sweetened by a bit of banana. The secrets to this recipe are (1) freezing the ingredients beforehand so you don’t have to deal with large chunks of ice that never get blended (2) coconut water for a low-sugar, but fresh-tasting flavor. So let’s get to smoothie-ing and getting some greens in you!

Bonus – I included ingredient amounts for both a single smoothie AND for making a large batch of smoothies. I’ve found that making a large batch ahead of time and freezing individual baggies saves me a ton of time in the morning.

Ingredients (bulk smoothie)
4 – 5 ripe bananas
4 cucumbers
Bag of baby spinach
Bag of baby kale
Small pot of wheatgrass
2 lemons
Frozen mango (optional, if you like it a bit sweeter)
2 33.8-oz coconut waters

Instructions
Break bananas into either halves or thirds, depending on how sweet you like your smoothies. Freeze ripe bananas at least overnight. The longer you freeze them, the sweeter they get. Cut cucumbers into 1/4” rounds. Wash spinach, kale and wheatgrass thoroughly. Squeeze juice of lemons. Based on the measuring of ingredients below, fill quart-sized freezer baggies and freeze. To finish off the smoothie, add the 1/4c – 1/3c coconut water and blend.

Ingredients (individual smoothie)
1/3 to 1/2 of medium, frozen banana
4 1/4” rounds cucumber
Large handful of baby spinach (washed thoroughly)
Small handful of kale (washed thoroughly)
Large pinch of wheatgrass – about 25 blades (washed thoroughly)
1/2 tsp lemon
3 cubes frozen mango (optional, if you like it a bit sweeter)
1/4 to 1/3c coconut water

Blend ingredients together. I use my Vitamix from Williams Sonoma for the most consistent, easy to blend smoothies. Worth. Every. Penny. Note: If you freeze all ingredients beforehand, the consistency is more smoothie-like. If you don’t, it’s more juice-like. Enjoy!!

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Frozen baggies of individual servings make mornings fast and easy!

Random tips for you:

To keep spinach and kale fresh, place a piece of paper towel in the bag before putting it back in the fridge. It keeps the extra moisture off and helps it stay longer.

Throw your lemon rinds down your garbage disposal instead of your compost. The lemon rinds help deodorize and make your kitchen smell fresh.

Change your sponge and or dish rag often! Smell it – it’s way dirtier than you think it is.

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Sugar-Free Sparkling Meyer Lemonade

Sugar-Free Sparkling Meyer Lemonade

New Year, new you! Quite a few of my friends are sober/cleansing/detoxing in January. I am not – my friends all know I can barely go an evening without Pinot – but I’m hosting a dinner party for some of those healthy January friends and needed to find them a tasty drink. Serendipitously, our dear friend Todd brought us beautiful Meyer lemons from his family’s home in Napa. So when life gives you lemons in sober January, you make sugar-free sparkling lemonade!

This lemonade is made with Truvia, which is a stevia sweeter. Stevia is a calorie free, plant-based sugar substitute made from the stevia rebaudiana plant in South America. It is significantly sweeter than sugar, so make sure to use less of it whenever you substitute it for sugar. I also like my lemonade to taste like lemons, so this recipe is high in lemon flavor, high in bubbly fun, and high on my list to replace my pinot tonight.

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Sparkling lemonade: serve in a Crow Canyon Home pitcher and pour into a Pottery Barn old-fashioned glass!

Sugar-Free Sparkling Meyer Lemonade

Ingredients
1c boiling water
1c Truvia
2c Meyer lemon juice (9-12 lemons)
6c water
24oz (2 cans) club soda
ice
mint (for garnish)
sliced lemons (for garnish)

Directions
Stir boiling water and Truvia together until dissolved, about 5 minutes. Add in Meyer lemon juice, water and soda. Cool in refrigerator about 20 minutes. Add ice, mint and sliced lemons to finish. Note: to make this recipe even more bubbly, substitute out more of the water for club soda.

Tasty lemonade with a sugar substitute will help you keep your sugar free detox New Years resolutions!