Smoothies are fantastic for summer! The weather here in upstate NY hasn’t quite made up its mind as to what kind of summer it wants to be, but during the blazing hot stretches, I find myself craving something cool.
Smoothies are the perfect way to satisfy that craving! Thick, creamy and versatile, smoothies are the healthy plant-based answer to milkshakes. They’re great for hot mornings when you don’t want a heavy breakfast, or you can take one along to the gym to fuel up after a tough workout.
Today’s decadent smoothie recipe comes from Lee Kaplan, currently from upstate NY but self-described as being “from all over;” she’s lived in 28 different places in her life! She was inspired to go vegan just about three years ago. When she’s not experimenting in the kitchen, she likes to read, listen to music and tidy up around the house. Be sure to try her Kale-Inspired Slow Cooker Greens & Beans, too!
My morning smoothies are very convenient. Not only are they quick, but they’re also portable. By that, I mean I can prepare lunch while I’m sipping on my smoothie. Because it’s thicker than juice, it makes swallowing pills easier (never easy for me).
About swallowing pills, I learned a little trick while interning as a respiratory therapist two decades ago. We watched a film called Follow the Swallow (no, I’m not making that up). Most people toss their heads back when taking pills. This actually makes the “tunnel” tighter. Instead, lower your head like you’re drinking through a straw or at a water fountain. This opens your throat to give the pills more room to flow.
Okay, back to the smoothie.
When I’m running short on time, I put my “flavor” ingredients in the blender first (wet and dry), then add almond milk to the two-cup line, and blend away. Start slow, increasing the power until everything is well-blended. I’ve found this amount usually fills a tall glass perfectly. (QV note: A large to-go bottle is great for taking smoothies on the road!)
Clean up is a snap! Put a squirt of dish soap into the blender and add water to about halfway. Put on the lid, and make a “soapy milkshake” using the high speed setting. Pour out and rinse until clean. That’s it!
- ½ of a large banana
- ½ of an average avocado or ½ cup cooked white beans
- 1 cup minced fresh spinach
- 1 Tbsp sugar-free, salt-free powdered peanut butter
- 1 scoop chocolate vegan protein powder (QV note: try PureFood!)
- Brewed coffee or hazelnut syrup, to taste
- pinch of ground nutmeg
- Almond milk as needed
- Place all ingredients except for the almond milk in a blender.
- Add almond milk until the liquid hits the 2-cup mark.
- Blend until smooth and enjoy right away, or stick it in a to-go cup and bring it along as you tackle the day!
Replace the avocado with ½ cup drained and rinsed white beans (or home-cooked) for less fat and more protein.
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