Going Green–Part Deux

In keeping with Friday’s Earth Day green theme, I thought I’d repost something I wrote on my non-cooking blog before Test Kitchen Tuesday was even a glimmer of an idea in my mind: How to make palatable green drinks.

They’re all the rage, but, if you’ve never made one before, how do you know what to put in a green drink?

I think there is room to explore, and, unlike the the drink in this photo, it doesn’t have to be completely green for it to be green!

In my humble opinion, the idea is more about packing nutrition into a tidy and tasty vessel – not drinking something that looks like it belongs on a science fiction program.

I follow a pretty simple formula where I add liquid, protein, something to make it thick, something sweet, and a green. I sometimes add ice, sometimes not.

I’m to the point where I pretty much always throw in a couple handfuls of something green when I make a smoothie. The “what” just depends on what I have on hand. Everything from spinach to chard to kale work well, and just plain old romaine lettuce is great (and mild) too. The best part is, in blended form, you pretty much don’t even notice the green item.

Here are some ideas for ingredients for a pick me up in a glass. Add the ingredients in the order listed for the most success blending in a normal blender, or, toss in however you want in a Ninja Blender (though I still recommend the green as the last item added). If you’re watching calories, you can use water as the liquid, or, for a creamier drink, use skim, almond, or soy milk. Add ice if you please, or, skip if you don’t.

LiquidProtein SourceThickening IngredientSweet IngredientGreen
1 cup water or milk + 1/4 cup crushed ice1 scoop Trader Joe’s Vanilla Hemp Protein Powder1 cup roasted and cubed  winter squash (any variety), frozen1 kiwi fruit2 cups spinach
1 cup water or milk + 1/2 cup crushed ice1 scoop Designer Whey Vanilla Protein Powder1 frozen banana (cut it up and freeze it in small chunks)2/3 cup frozen berries, any variety5 kale leaves, center stem removed
1 cup water or milk + 1/2 cup crushed ice¼ cup Trader Joes Partially Defatted Peanut Flour1 banana, frozen in small chunks½ tablespoon honey2 cups romaine lettuce (really)

If you don’t like any of these combinations, just remember the formula, and you’re golden! The idea I wanted to express is that you can mix and match any variety of items to create something that suits your personal tastes, and get in some extra greens while you’re at it!

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