March 2, 2012

Super Power Green Smoothie recipe

March 2, 2012
What does every mom need? I mean besides a day off, a spa day, and to eat anything she wants without gaining weigh.
Super Powers!
Being a mom is hard work. We run a around like a crazy, stressed out, chicken with our head cut off all day long and then I go to bed and to it again. Caffeine seems to help pick you up for an hour of two but then *crash*. The energy is gone as quickly as it came. Not to mention all of the not-so-awesome side effects of caffeine, like keeping you from sleeping well, which makes you even more tired. Soon you are dragging your tired butt out of bed and reaching for the caffeine first thing in the morning just to make it through another day. It is a terrible, vicious cycle that MUST be broken.
I’ll be the first to admit that I am a caffeine addict and I crave it every day. But the important thing is that I don’t give in to those cravings. I have found something better! When I start to feel that tug that takes my car directly to the nearest Circle K or McDonalds, I know that I am in need of some super powers to get me through my day.

When I was pregnant with my baby I craved fruit all the time. I knew it was healthy so I indulged often. By far my favorite way to eat (or drink) fruit is in smoothie form. I am now a smoothie addict too. seriously. This is AMAZING stuff! I would dump in my favorites like bananas, pineapples, blueberries, mangos, cherries, etc. Blend them up with some milk and ice and enjoy. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it. All food tastes even better when I’m pregnant, and fruit was like my crack.
Now that I am trying to shed the last 10 pounds of baby weight I discovered the miracle of the green smoothie! I started adding spinach for the extra iron, omega-3, and fiber. Once I got used to adding a few leaves I added more, and more and more until I worked my way up to about 2 cups of spinach in my smoothies. Astounded by how awesome I was feeling, I decided to go even further and add another power food: Kale. If you haven’t tried this yet, throw some kale in your cart next time you hit the grocery store. It has a cabbage-like taste which some people don’t like but if you can get used to it, or if you love it, the health benefits are phenomenal!!
Kale is packed with antioxidants, (a.k.a. cancer fighters), fiber, calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and a whopping 1020% daily value of vitamin K. And it has high amounts of lutein which helps fight aging and keeps those nasty wrinkles away.
The next ingredient is Kefir. Kefir is kind of like a yogurt smoothie drink but it even better.

“Both kefir and yogurt are cultured milk products but they contain different types of beneficial bacteria. Yogurt contains transient beneficial bacteria that keep the digestive system clean and provide food for the friendly bacteria that reside there. But kefir can actually colonize the intestinal tract, a feat that yogurt cannot match” (Source )

In other words, kefir is the bomb.  It will help regulate your digestive system and keep you in balance.
To sweeten this healthy concoction I use a ripe pear or sometimes a banana. More fiber, vitamins, and cancer kickin’ nutrients!
I have experimented pretty much every day with this recipe and come up with my favorite combinations. I have even added things like almonds, chia seeds, mint leaves, ginger or cayenne pepper (I don’t recommend that last one.) My favorite addition is fresh mint leaves.
Try this Super Power Smoothie in the morning or anytime you need a natural, immune boosting, energy kick that lasts.
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2 cups spinach
2-4 large kale leaves, stems removed
1/2 banana (optional, add for sweeter smoothie)
1 ripe pear
handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup kefir or yogurt
1/2 - 3/4 cup coconut milk (or almond milk, or whatever milk you love. You can even substitute water if you are counting calories.)

(other optional ingredients: 1/4 cup rolled oats, a few fresh mint leaves,1 tsp. fresh ginger, or whatever fruit you love.)

Stuff all of the ingredients in a blender of food processor and blend until smooth. I use a Ninja Food Prep Blender. I absolutely love my Ninja! And this sounds bad but I kind of hope it dies so I can buy a fancy new super Ninja System 1100. It’s on my list of things you can buy me for my birthday. *wink wink*
If you prefer a sweeter smoothie you can add honey, maple syrup, or coconut sugar. The more simple, raw, and natural the better!
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I drink it straight from the ninja bowl. Sooo good. I’m telling you, you are going to be hooked on this nutrient rich, body fueling smoothie. It makes me feel like a super hero!
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