Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Super Delicious and Also Nutritious Smoothie - Part 1

I love drinks. Juice, lemonade, tea, coffee, even soda sometimes provided it's not full of junk. But my favorite drinks of all - especially during summer time - are the frozen kinds. Blended coffees, tea blends, shakes, and smoothies. I could probably survive on an entirely liquid diet, and I pretty much do during the summer. However, for normal people who actually have time to eat real food, drinks are also one of the most devastating ways to add totally unnecessary calories to your daily diet. Liquid calories are way less filling than solid calories, so it makes sense that you would be able drink over half of a day's worth of calories in one milkshake alone.
But I have a solution to this problem. And it doesn't involve drinking straight black coffee, bitter tea, or slightly lemony water. Hallelujah. It's pretty trendy right now to do juicing and all that, so it should come as no surprise that I'm talking about smoothies (also the title of this post might have given it away, too).
But let me be honest. I have a pinterest. I see all of those juice and smoothie recipes. And they all look and sound like they'd taste like my garbage disposal. Seriously. Kale, celery, and green apples? Sure, it's full of no calories, vitamin K, and some other good vitamins and minerals. But can't anything healthy actually taste good anymore? Let's be real. You aren't going to pass up on your Starbucks (or Coffee Bean, or Dutch Bros., or whatever...) for that. You're going to take one look at that bubbling witches brew and think, "great now I have to clean my blender". Plus, you could've made a salad out of that kale or even some delicious soup that would've been way more filling.
Disclaimer: I have a juicer, and I totally love drinking juice, but it's expensive to blend up five pounds of fresh produce for a quart of juice that'll last about 20 minutes and then make you pee rainbows.

So if I'm going to go for a healthy drink, I go for smoothies. This smoothie has no added sugar (if you leave out the chocolate chips, but let's be real...), and is also full of things that are a) raw, b) nutrient-dense, and c) delicious. So it's just like juice, only a little more filling, and smooth and creamy. And it has a super cute name.

Not-So-Chunky-Monkey Smoothie
Yield: 1 - 16 oz. smoothie and 5 kilowatts of immense joy

1 small banana (about 6")
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk (it MUST be almond milk!)
1/4 cup or a couple handfuls of blueberries
1/2 tbsp ground flax seed
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tbsp dark chocolate chips (optional!)

See nutrition information here. You can save 70 calories by leaving out the chocolate chips!

Place all ingredients into a blender and smash it up! It tastes like an almond joy, with all the joy and none of the heart-wrenching guilt ;) The coconut and chocolate chips will still be chunky in it unless you have a super blender, unlike me. But it is delicious, and I like some texture. I would even suggest throwing in a handful of almonds if you want. Enjoy!

More smoothies to come!