Thursday, March 8, 2012

Smoothies by Sara

Sara and I first became friends in college, and although we had a lot of fun (These events shall remain unnamed), we seem to have kept in close contact as we grew older. About twelve years later (eek!) and now only two states away, our lives tend to be quite different at the moment. Yet, I somehow feel closer to her now then when I did then. She amazes me by her Facebook posts everyday with her innate ability to keep her life in balance- keeping up a marriage, maintaining a real estate business and a construction business with her husband, staying in shape and healthy, all-the-while entertaining and caring for their incredibly cute kids!

Sara also has a blog and this past weekend, they ventured into the world of smoothies.  I also make a smoothie about every other day.  My concoction is short, easy, and sweet, consisting of V8 Splash to get my much-needed vitamins, a small container of fat free yogurt in various flavors, 3 ice cubes, and a handful of frozen berries.  Put in the blender and DONE.  However, I have included Sara's recent blog post here so you can see all the wonderful yummy (and wholesome) concoctions that her family came up with.... and it looks like they had a lot of fun in the process! Check out her "Happy Nest" blog HERE. 



I get on kicks. It may be a low carb kick, a low calorie kick, a running kick, a reading kick, a crocheting kick, but I'm always on something. (That sounds bad, but you know what I mean.) I'm hoping that this next kick sticks around a little while and may work itself into being at least a weekly activity.

Since I've been not able to run and been on vacation (both are related but for another post), I've watching two or three pounds creep on. Now, that would be OK if I hadn't already been two or three pounds up since Christmas. Over the weekend, I hit THAT number. You know the one. The one that makes you wince when you get on the scale and say how did let THAT happen?! The one that makes you vow to not eat [fill in blank with current vice here] ever again. The one that makes you swear you'll make it to the gym every day this week. Yep, THAT number.

A while back, I created a Smoothies Board on Pinterest. My lunches and breakfasts are less than stellar these days and my fruit and veggie intake is next to nothing. I'd love to blame it on my busy lifestyle, but the truth is that I just don't make time for it any more. So, I decided to give this a try.

Over the weekend, and on another trip today, I picked up what I thought to be smoothie essentials. I also had some things on hand. Here is a list of what I planned to use.

Soy Milk
Almond Milk - Dark Chocolate
Coconut Water
Greek Yogurt - Vanilla
Strawberries - fresh and frozen
Blueberries - frozen
Pineapple - fresh and frozen
Vanilla Protein Powder
Flax Seeds

I told the girls we were making smoothies for lunch and they were stoked. This helped a lot with my excitement level too.

I let them make the first batch. I have a great blender that has two spots for separate glasses to blend. This allowed each girl to make their own. (And, later, I could make a small serving too.)

Josie's first concoction - strawberries, bananas, Greek yogurt, coconut water, soy milk and a tiny bit of Truvia. Verdict - delicious. She drank the whole glass!

Tessa's first try - strawberries, Greek yogurt, coconut water, Chocolate Almond milk and Truvia. Verdict - I thought it was awesome. Tessa didn't like it because the strawberries made it too seedy. I see where she would think that. It's just a texture thing.

Up next...

Josie - blueberries, coconut water, Greek yogurt and protein powder. She downed this whole glass too! I save a little of this back for my project at the end.

Tessa - Chocolate Almond Milk, coconut water and Greek yogurt. This tasted like a milk shake. She loved it! Gone!

Third try...

Josie - pineapple (mind you, she didn't think she like pineapple!), Greek yogurt, protein powder and coconut water. I think this tasted like a Dole whip if you've ever had one. Josie loved it too and Tessa tried a little and liked it. Then she spilled hers and didn't seem upset in the least, so not really sure how she felt about it. Josie was pleased she found something new she liked!

Tessa - strawberries, protein powder, coconut water and Greek yogurt. I think she was over it by now, but said it was good. I thought it was really good! I saved the extra out of this too for later.

All in all, it was a success for the girls. For two little ones that don't eat much fruit and would never touch Greek yogurt, I feel like I was able to get lots in their bellies. Plus, the coconut water has a lot of potassium and Vitamin C. It's too bad spinach is so green because there was no way to sneak that in!

As for me, I'll see if I can sum up everything I tried. First, I ground up some flax seeds in the blender. I didn't try to get them totally pureed because my machine isn't powerful enough for that. Then, I added some spinach and coconut water. It was hard to get the spinach pureed without liquid. I added that batch to Tessa's leftovers from her first try (chocolate/strawberry). I was blown away at how yummy it was! If you can get past the awful way it looks, the taste is surprisingly refreshing. (I'm serious - it looked disgusting!)

The next thing I did was some prep work so that I can enjoy these on busy mornings. I mixed the leftovers from Josie's blueberry and Tessa's strawberry (no chocolate). I put these into six muffin cups (another Pinterest find!). Then, I sprinkled flax seed on top. Back to the blender with spinach and coconut water. I added in a banana and some chunky almond butter. I tasted this mixture and probably shouldn't have because it was missing an important ingredient - ice! Eww! But, the taste was just fine. I put this in muffin tins too.

Both sets of smoothies are in the freezer. When they come out, I'll get them out of the cups and put them in a Ziploc to keep in the freezer. My hope is that I'll be able to pop a few in the blender for a quick and healthy breakfast!

And, love Instagram... :)

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