A few days ago, a modest little post about green smoothies turned into a big discussion. If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a blogger, it’s that there are a few types of recipe posts that are guaranteed to generate big responses:
Why? I really don’t know, but that I suspect it has something to do with the fact that all of these recipes tend to be on the sweeter side. I don’t plan to dominate the dessert market anytime soon, but I’m happy to blog about smoothies and breakfast ideas till I’m blue (green?) in the face. For example, I can tell you all about the tasty, frozen breakfast pudding I made a few mornings ago.
After years of avoiding them like the plague, I’m slowly and surely warming up to green smoothies. I’ve learned, though, that there are a few important prerequisites for my green smoothie approval.
They’ve got to be very creamy—this means almond milk base no matter what, and a nice source of fat (avocado, nuts/seeds, nut butter, or coconut butter)
They’ve got to be banana based. This is actually true of all smoothies, for me: apples, bananas, and berries are my favorite fruits, and I’m very picky about others, so I really can’t do a mango or pineapple base. If you’re allergic to bananas, as I know some of my readers are, I’m sorry! My smoothies will remain banana-heavy, but I’m sure other raw bloggers can talk to you about suitable substitutions.
They’ve got to be nice and thick.
In keeping with that third item, I woke up a few mornings ago and wondered if I might try making a smoothie so thick that I could call it a “pudding” on my blog with a straight face. The following concoction—frozen banana, avocado, romaine lettuce, VegaWhole Foods Optimizer in the vanilla chai flavor, and ice—did the trick. It also tasted delicious, and I felt great getting some greens in before breakfast.
As a sidenote, I think recipes like this one will become more important to me now that I’m often on campus all day. When I was working and going to school at night, my schedule was demanding but I had constant access to a really impressive office kitchenette. This meant that it really wasn’t hard for me to work with fresh greens all day. Now, after years of saying that I just didn’t get why people came up with so many ways to “sneak” greens into their diets (green smoothies, kale chips, etc.), I finally understand: when you’re eating on the go and without kitchen access, it’s just a lot harder to eat huge quantities of greens. I refuse to eat any other way, and so I plan on adding a lot more greens to soups, drinks, breakfasts, and snacks.
Green Frozen Banana Breakfast Pudding (serves 1)
1 large or 2 small frozen bananas 1/4 large avocado (1/2 if you’re working with tiny avocados, as is often the case out of season) 1/4 cup almond milk 4 large romaine lettuce leaves 1 scoop Vega Whole Foods Optimizer in vanilla chai (substitute any vegan protein powder of choice) Dash cinnamon 4 ice cubes
Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender till totally smooth. It may seem like you need more liquid at first, but you can use the plunger to get this all going, and it should result in a nice, creamy pudding. If you do need more almond milk, go ahead and add it.
If you don’t have Vega or another vegan protein powder, don’t worry. Those things are expensive, and this is still a healthy breakfast pudding without them! However, if you want this to be nutritionally rich enough for a breakfast meal, and you’re working without protein powder, you might add a little silken tofu to this recipe, or a tablespoon or two of hemp seeds. You might also add some of my homemade chai spice mix , to replace the chai flavor!
And now, I’m curious: how do you all get your greens in when you don’t have kitchen access? I’ve got plenty of days each week when I’m home for lunch and dinner, in which case I’ll do my usual (which is to say, all of my lunches and dinners involve a hearty helping of greens, no matter what). But I’ve also got a bunch of night classes and lectures I’ll have to eat dinner in, and some on-campus lunch days, so I’m mighty curious about easy, portable green food options. Talk to me!