I can’t get behind a green smoothie. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Call me old fashioned, but my smoothies are a vegetable no-fly zone. The one time I briefly believed I would lift my ban on veggie smoothies was when the VitaMix people demo’d a spinach-pistachio breakfast smoothie at Costco. ‘Tastes like ice cream!’ they said. ‘YESSSS! Give me more!’ I said. I was three samples in, already drunk off the idea that I just ate spinach in ice cream form, when they recited the recipe into their headsets and prepared for the VitaMix buying frenzy that would turn the Knoxville Costco in to a mini NYSE trading floor at opening bell. Spinach! YES! Pistachios! YES YES! Avocado! GIVE US MORE, OH VITA-GODS!
Two cups of vanilla-flavored non-dairy creamer!! UM, WHAT?
I tinkered with making that smoothie at home using actual milk, vanilla, and sugar in place of the sweetened partially hydrogenated soybean oil product, but I never really succeeded. The sugar was getting out of control, I was getting dangerously close to rationalizing the use of heavy cream to mimic the consistency of the fake creamer, and that just wasn’t a road I wanted to go down. And without all that sugar and cream, I could taste the spinach. I’m only signing up for a spinach breakfast smoothie that doesn’t taste like spinach. I shut that operation down like Treadstone.
All of this goes to prove that although I love my spinach salads and kale chips, leafy greens have no place in my VitaMix when it runs before noon. It did, however, spark my interest in finding new breakfast smoothies.
There are tens of thousands of smoothie combos out there, but few of them meet my requirements of: 1. not a lot of sugar; 2. some form of protein that doesn’t come from GNC; 3. tastes amazing. Basically, I need it to refuel me after a workout, fill me up till lunch, and not be the equivalent of a Krispy Kreme. And it needs to impart wisdom of how to potty train a toddler with every sip. Kidding! Wait…
Believe it or not, even with all the princess demands listed above, I have a sweet little collection of smoothies that fit the bill. I’ll share more of them when it’s not 6 degrees out, but this one needs to go public right away because it meets all the criteria with an extra added bonus: caffeine!!!
I’m not a coffee drinker, but damn if I’m not faster and more energized with a little espresso under the hood!! This is a riff off a recipe I found on Heather Christo‘s blog and my ol’ reliable PB-banana smoothie that never ceases to bring a smile to my face. Instead of PB, I use Justin’s Chocolate-Hazelnut Butter, which takes pushes Nutella right out the door and locks it out in the cold forever. Nutella is mostly sugar, Justin’s is mostly nuts with 1/3 the sugar of Nutella. And holy hazelnut, does it taste 1000% better. Add that with a banana, some milk, and some espresso, and you have a major morning princess treat.
- 1 banana, sliced into pennies and frozen
- 2 heaping Tbsp Justin's chocolate-hazelnut butter (you'll never eat Nutella again, I promise)
- 1 c milk (I use 2% but any milk will do)
- 1 shot espresso or ¼ c strong brewed coffee
- Optional: 1 tsp honey for added sweetness, a few chocolate-covered espresso beans either added into the blender for some extra caffeine crunch or as a garnish
- Dump all ingredients in a blender and hit 'on.' Blend for about a minute, esp if you have added the chocolate-covered espresso beans. Makes enough for one large portion (aka your whole breakfast) + one portion for a toddler, or two medium portions (aka part of your breakfast).