Sunday, May 29, 2011

Chocolate Mint Green Smoothie

Green smoothies have become an internet phenomenon. Frequently touted by raw foodists, vegans, raw vegans, and even fruititarians, they claim green smoothies are the key to healthy skin and hair, perfect digestion and elimination, and of course, weight loss. Weight loss, drinking over 500 calories of pure sugar? Right.

Even so, I find that smoothies are a great way to start my day. The only claim the raw foodists have right is the benefit to digestion. I was first turned on to smoothies as a way to heal my IBS. It didn't, but I fell in love with them anyway. The main difference between mine and one that is primarily fructose is fat. I add in as much protein as possible, sometimes including a raw egg or two, but it's the fat that really matters. Most smoothies rely on bananas for texture and body. Avocado contains healthy fat and, surprisingly, fiber. With avocado, you won't miss bananas for a second. The second source of fat has to come from an oil. Sometimes I use flax oil to increase the omega-3 content, but I just discovered the tastiest smoothie ingredient of all time: coconut cream. If you open a can of low-fat coconut milk, it will be a thin but slightly creamy white liquid. But if you open a can of regular coconut milk, the way nature intended, all the cream will coagulate at one end of the can, leaving some thinner, almost transparent coconut water swishing around. For a Thai coconut curry, you should mix this together to form a lovely thick, creamy coconut milk. But you can drain the watery liquid and just use the cream if you want. Not wanting to waste, I usually mix it up and use it all. It's as creamy as butter.

Our society is still afraid of fat, but it's essential to vital functions like keeping cell membranes functioning properly, keeping body temperature stable, and to maintain healthy skin and hair. In addition to drastically rethinking my fat intake once I started eating Primally, I've been struggling to eat enough protein. Luckily, this smoothie contains plenty of both.

  • 3 large frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 2 cups raw spinach
  • 2 TBS coconut cream/very thick full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 scoops (1 serving) Trader Joe's chocolate flavored whey protein powder
  • ~ 12 oz unsweetened chocolate almond milk
  • 2 sprigs mint leaves
  • 1 TBS dutched cocoa
  • stevia to taste
  • Ice (optional)

Add ingredients to blender. Pour in enough almond milk to reach about the 12 oz line in the blender. Blend. Enjoy.

Nutritional Info:
Calories: 379
Fat: 21
Protein: 23
Carbs: 32
Fiber: 9

Pictured with my afternoon snack - yum!

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