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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Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

Zoodles! Time to get on the Spiralizer train – this zoodle recipe is HOT. And oh so incredibly easy! Don’t own a Spiralizer yet? Get this one on Amazon. It’s on Prime. It gets to your door in 2 days. It’ll probably get there before you get your ingredients from Safeway. It’s probably on your doorstop right now. So go ahead and order your Spiralizer now. I’ll wait.

Got it? Great. Now let’s talk about what this thing does. The Spiralizer slices veggies in a spiral shape, which makes those thinly sliced veggies ideal for salads, noodle substitutes, and curly veggie fries. While the Spiralizer has many uses, I mostly use it to make Zoodles. They are “noodles” made of spiraled zucchini that can be used as a spaghetti noodle substitute. They’re ideal as a substitute for gluten-free, guilt-free and paleo-friendly recipes. And they’re shockingly delicious. So let’s get to Spiralizing!

Shrimp and Zucchini “Zoodles” with Hummus Sauce

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Simple ingredients for a healthy meal (and wine for anti-anxiety)

This recipe uses a Spiralizer to make “Zoodles” and hummus to make a quick “sauce” in a recipe I call “delicious” (air quotes not necessary).

First, a few things I’ve learned about cooking Noodles:

  1. While you can boil these noodles in water for about 1-2 minutes, I’ve found better results from cooking them for about 3-4 minutes in a pan with the sauce
  2. They put off quite a bit of water when you sauté them, so use them with more concentrated sauces
  3.  Zoodles cook down quite a bit, so whatever looks like a lot of zoodles, double it. Each regular sized zucchini will yield the right amount of cooked zoodles for two people
  4. They are also great uncooked in salads, so I will spiralize more than I need, cook what I want, and save the rest for tomorrow’s salad
  5. If you want to spiralize hard veggies like sweet potatoes, don’t believe the online claims from the Spiralizer (or competitor brands). They just can’t do it without breaking your arm or the Spiralizer trying to get through those hard veggies. Instead, get this attachment for your KitchenAid to do hard veggies

Ingredients
1/3c pine nuts
3 sprigs parsley, leaves chopped coarsely (discard stems)
6 jumbo shrimp, peeled (I get mine from The Sea 2 U at our farmer’s market)
1/3c your favorite hummus or spread (I use Hummus Heaven Garlic Cayanne Pepper Hummus)
1tbs + 1 tsp olive oil
1tbs water
1 large zuchinni

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Shrimp from The Sea 2 U

Directions
To toast the pine nuts, heat a non-stick pan on medium high (do not add oils) and add nuts. Watch closely and stir until pine nuts are fragrant and light brown. Be very careful as nuts burn quickly. Set aside for garnish.

In a small bowl, add 1 tbs of olive oil, hummus and water and whisk until combined. Use some of the hummus mix to marinate the shrimp.

In a non-stick pan over medium high heat, add 1 tsp olive oil until shimmering. Sauté shrimp until browned and crispy on the outside and until the white parts on the middle are opaque. Set shrimp aside in a warm place.

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Perfectly cooked shrimp: browned on the outside and white parts no longer transulcent

In the same pan used to cook the shrimp, lower the heat to medium. Add hummus “sauce” and cook just until warmed and more liquid in viscosity. Add zucchini noodles and cook until completely coated in sauce and the noodles are el dente (about 2 minutes). Note: the zucchini noodles will let off water and should create a more liquid sauce. Add back shrimp to pan to coat.

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Sauce will start a little thicker (see here), but turn saucier as water from noodles is drawn out

Serve in a bowl and top with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. Eat and feel good about (a) how fast Amazon ships and (b) how healthy you are!