Spinach Smoothie

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It’s that time of year where everywhere you look you are surrounded by heaping plates of holiday cookies and endless decadent desserts.  It is no surprise that this month I have a lot of dessert recipes to post; however, I will try to interject some healthy snack options.  In fact here’s one of my new favorites!

Lately there is a fascination with green juices and smoothies because of their health appeal.  I don’t know about you, but for me at least there is nothing appealing about a vibrant verdant hued drink.  Many people, including myself, fear this color because we associate taste with color and why would you want to drink something that tastes and looks like grass?

My brothers and I love making smoothies for breakfast and snacks, so I wondered if there was anyway I could incorporate the benefits of a green smoothie without that unattractive color or anticipated taste.  I came to the conclusion that if you add enough dark colored berries (i.e. blueberries, blackberries) you can avoid the green.

I’m not sure if you will like the muted purple color of this smoothie, but I can guarantee it will taste great! Here’s my recipe for a green smoothie:

Spinach Smoothie

Yields 2-3 servings

Ingredients

3/4 cup of orange juice

1/2 cup of water

1/2 cup of ice

1/4 cup of plain or vanilla Greek yogurt

1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

2 Tablespoons of chia seeds (this are increasing in popularity in grocery stores, but if you can’t find them you can omit them – they expand and take on a gelatin-like texture giving the smoothie more texture.)

1/2 cup of chopped, frozen pineapple

1/2 cup of frozen raspberries

1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

1/2 cup of frozen blackberries

2 handfuls of washed raw spinach

Directions

Add all ingredients in the order listed and blend until smooth.  Pour into glasses and enjoy!

Why you should add more spinach to your diet:  Contrary to what was once believed spinach is not actually a rich source of iron for humans.  It has a substantial amount of oxalic acid which actually blocks the body’s ability to absorb iron and calcium.  Therefore we do not get the iron we once thought we were getting from spinach.  This is no excuse to not eat your spinach, however; spinach is rich in many crucial vitamins (such as A, B6, C), potassium, folate, thiamine, fiber, and zinc. You will get the most health benefits from spinach raw so it is perfect in a smoothie!

Sources:
“Vegetarian [Paperback].” Vegetarian: Nicola Graimes: 9780760749531: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. (37)
“The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion (Deluxe Edition) [Hardcover].” The Deluxe Food Lover’s Companion (Deluxe Edition): Sharon Tyler Herbst, Ron Herbst: 9780764162411: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2012. (406)