Monday, June 10, 2013

Green-Choco-Avo-Nana Smoothie

Green-Choco-Avo-Nana smoothie?  Whew.  That is a mouthful.  Even more impressive than the amount of words I put in the title of this smoothie, are the amount of nutrients it has.  We make a lot of green smoothies in this house.  I am fortunate that my kids don't have trouble eating their veggies, but there are a few that they shy away from, and leafy greens are one of them.  They will gobble up anything in the cruciferious family, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, and they've never met an orange veggie they didn't like, but leafy greens just aren't their favorites.  Which is bad news for mom because I know how many protective compounds leafy greens possess that simply aren't found in other veggies.  This is why we incorporate green smoothies into our mornings. 

Since the kids have smoothies on a regular basis, I am always on the hunt for new combinations to try.  I like to switch up the greens, anything from spinach to beet greens and everything in between.  Sometimes we add a tropical twist with fruits like pineapple and kiwi, other times a berry mix gets thrown in.  This morning, I served up one of their favorite variations: green chocolate smoothie.

Now I know what you're thinking, "chocolate, greens, and avocado?"  It doesn't sound the least bit appetizing.  It is however, quite the contrary.  The taste and texture honestly mimic chocolate pudding.  The avocado gives this smoothie an unbeatable creaminess and adds a good dose of healthy fats, all without altering the flavor.  The greens (depending on which ones you choose) don't affect the taste much and give this smoothie a powerful nutrient punch.  The cocoa, banana, and honey?  Well, I think that's pretty self explanatory...  they make this drink delicious.

Green-Choco-Avo-Nana Smoothie

1 banana, frozen
1/2 ripe avocado
2-3 T cocoa powder (depending on how chocolate-y you like it)
2 T honey
1 t vanilla
1/4 c raw milk or more depending how thick you like your smoothies
handful of greens* (I used an organic baby spinach, chard, and kale mix)

Place all ingredients into Vitamix and turn that baby on!  Pour yourself a glass of that chocolate-y goodness and enjoy.  Chocolate for breakfast, minus the guilt...  count me in!

Variations & Substitutions:

- to make a dairy free version, omit raw milk and substitute full fat canned coconut milk or almond milk (you can also use a vanilla almond milk, but omit vanilla extract if using this).

- instead of honey, use maple syrup or dates.

- if your banana isn't frozen, no need to fret, just add ice and increase liquid.

-feel free to play around with additional ingredients like, chia seeds, flax meal, or cinnamon.

- to make 21 DSD compliant, omit honey and use a green tipped banana.

*Spinach is the mildest tasting green, and therefore the easiest to mask.  If using any other greens, it will affect the flavor a tad but nothing to be afraid of.  Always use baby greens however, as they blend up effortlessly.

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