The first time I served Mr. Mike a green smoothie, I watched with satisfaction as the expression on his face turned from doubt to pleasure.
Mike was completely convinced the handful of kale I’d stuffed into the blender’s jar would overwhelm his smoothie and he’d be slurping a salad. I insisted he wouldn’t taste the “green,” so he reluctantly gave it a shot.
With complete surprise, Mike finished his smoothie and headed off to work. As much as the words “I told you so!” were on the tip of my tongue, they never escaped my lips.
I have specific criteria for my smoothie recipes. I want a smoothie to pack in a serving of greens, protein, healthy fat, fiber and lots of antioxidants.
- Greens like kale and spinach add fiber and phytonutrients that have an antioxidant effect on the immune system.
- Protein in the form of Greek yogurt or whey protein powder keep me satiated for more than an hour or two.
- Healthy fats like ground flax seed or chia seeds have an abundance of fiber and omega-3 essential fatty acids. They also help the body absorb the nutrients in the greens and fruits.
- Fruits like bananas, berries and stone fruits for their antioxidant properties and essential nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C and folic acid.
All this gets pulverized in my Magic Bullet, then served in a fancy glass just for the fun of it.
I have all my bases covered don’t I?
The only trouble I sometimes encounter is calorie bloat, so I follow the recipe below to keep them in check. This smoothie recipe uses apricots because they are so fragrant and in season, but often times I’ll use 1/2 a banana when summer fresh fruits aren’t available.
Give this green smoothie a try and you’ll be amazed at how energetic you’ll feel!
- 2 cups baby kale
- 2 ea apricots, pitted and halved
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 cups 30 calorie unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoons flaxmeal or chia seeds
- 2 packets stevia if smoothie needs sweetening
- Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
Saturated fatty acids: 1.86g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 1.29g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 2.44g
Total fat: 5.60g
Calories from fat: 50
Carbohydrate, by difference: 43.95g
Total dietary fiber: 5.73g
Total lipid (fat): 6.14g
Total sugars: 31.32g
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Sad to say, but watermelon is not my thing. It’s just too clingy sweet for my taste.
I know that colorful melon is good for me, and most people think it’s crazy that I avoid it. In fact, World’s Healthiest Foods states that “Alongside of tomatoes, watermelon has moved up to the front of the line in recent research studies on high-lycopene foods. Lycopene is a carotenoid phytonutrient that’s especially important for our cardiovascular health . . .”
Sounds like a good reason to get over my aversion to it, so I decided to tone that clingy sweetness down by adding it to my favorite salad ingredients – quinoa and kale.
Along with the pile of grapes on the counter, a lovely bunch of tarragon and a few crumbles of feta cheese, I was able to mellow out that watermelon and turn it into a salad I was completely happy with.
I must admit, this is definitely a colorful dish!
As I was digging through my recipe archives, I discovered this earlier version of a watermelon salad with chickpeas and red onion. The chickpeas add a nice protein boost, making it a meal in a bowl. But alas, my pantry was bare.
Let me know what you think of this easy salad combination. With just a handful of ingredients and watermelon readily available this time of year, it’s really a fun combination of flavors. Even this watermelon avoider loved it!
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions and cooled
- 4 cups watermelon, cubed into smaller pieces
- 2 cups grapes, halved
- 2 cups kale, finely chopped
- 1 cup low fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons tarragon, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 squeezes lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and gently toss together to combine ingredients.
Saturated fatty acids: 6.18g
Monounsaturated fatty acids: 4.28g
Polyunsaturated fatty acids: 0.81g
Total fat: 11.27g
Calories from fat: 101
Carbohydrate, by difference: 44.16g
Total dietary fiber: 4.29g
Total lipid (fat): 13.76g
Total sugars: 18.51g