Once upon a time, I thought people who put leafy green veggies in their fruit smoothies were crazy. Smoothies and salads do not and should not mix! Then in September we gave Clean Eating a shot for the month, and my already creative cooking had to get a bit more creative.
Clean Eating has continued here, because we discovered two things: Yes, we can eat even healthier, and yes, we can do it within our grocery budget! Over the last few months, we’ve even tried out new foods and I’ve willingly done something I never thought I would do…. I put leafy greens in my smoothies.
My first “green smoothie” tasted a little too salad-y to me. I felt like I didn’t know if I should be adding ranch dressing, I could taste that much spinach. Friends encouraged me to try some different fruits to mask the earthy spinach flavor, and it worked! Know what else I’ve learned is fabulous (and really doesn’t have much of an earthy flavor to mask)? Kale!
I bought kale for the first time, last month. I’ll confess to being skeptical, but it was far cheaper than the spinach I was buying so I figured it was worth the shot! We loved it in the smoothies and Nick didn’t mind it in his salads (he’s a big salad guy, while I would rather hide those leafy greens in smoothies now). I tried making kale chips but it was a big fail, because I used too much oil. I will be attempting those again though!
Anyway, back to the smoothies! The kids love these things! Sometimes we use some plain greek yogurt (as seen above) and sometimes we don’t. Usually we use water for the liquid, but on the rare occasion we have some juice in the house, we’ll use that. In the smoothie we made yesterday (which is the one pictured above), we used frozen pineapple, blueberries, strawberries and cranberries! We’ve also thrown in apple chunks, pear chunks, kiwi, cuties, and banana. The pear is actually really, really good! We’ll use spinach or kale, and we never add sweetener.
A wise friend (hey, Jessica!) told me she buys pineapple when it’s on sale at Aldi, and cuts and freezes it for smoothies. Genius! Why hadn’t I thought of that?! So that’s what I do now; no more worrying about the pineapple going bad before we can eat it all!
I love that my kids will eagerly suck down all of these awesome vitamins, especially during this horrible cold and flu season. What about you? Do you make “green” smoothies in your house? What are some of your favorite combos?