Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Another Green Smoothie: The Great Green Morning Goo

A couple of days ago, I was sitting in my little red Subaru, stopped at a traffic light, when I notice a kid up in the big SUV beside me staring intently at me. What the heck??? After the light changed, and the vehicle sped off, I realized the kid wasn't looking at me, he was looking at my bright green breakfast, the green smoothie, AKA the Great Green Morning Goo I was sipping while stopped. Nothing like grossing out a kid first thing in the morning. Made my day.  I drink one of these virtually every day, because, well, as the day goes on, my eating gets worse. From my healthy start in the morning, I'm usually eating chocolate by bedtime. And it's something I can consume on the way to work. It gets in a good dose of all sorts of nutritious things, it's quick to make and it tastes won-der-ful

Seriously, though, most of the Green Smoothies I see are nothing but a giant carbohydrate load, generally having too much fruit in them just hide the flavor of the added leafy greens. It's a lousy way to start the day, because in order to be sustained for a few hours, i.e., until lunch, you need some protein, fiber and fat, not a bunch of carbs your body converts quickly to sugar. A standard fruit and greens smoothie is not an adequate meal replacement. Somehow, the delivery system for nutritious greens has turned into a sugary drink.

While a Green Smoothie, or a Green Monster is a great way to get a good dose of healthy greens, the rest of it is pretty much, like it or not, sugar in the form of fruit. All fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, but the ones most commonly used in these drinks are especially high carb ones --bananas, orange juice and pineapple.

The one I like to make in the morning is delicious, relatively low in calories and carbs, and high in protein and fiber. It's a real breakfast. Keeps me going for a good 3-4 hours, and I work on my feet not sitting at a desk. I do use fruit, but always berries, which, besides being considered super foods, are lower carb choices. Greek yogurt (2%) is included for both its high protein, and some good fat, and it makes a really rich, creamy tasting drink. Rather than load it with bananas for sweetness, a packet or two of vanilla stevia makes this pretty green drink both sweet and healthy. As the Goo stands for a few minutes, usually while I look for my keys, it actually changes to a very pretty color green, from dull green, as the acid in the berries makes the green "greener".

Just like for any sort of green smoothie, you need a blender for the great Green Morning Goo, and if you are neurotic like me, a scale, as I weigh all the ingredients right into my blender container. And yes, if you have a VitaMix, this is a perfect drink to make in it.  The more powerful your blender, the smoother this will be. I get my psyllium powder at Trader Joe's, and my vanilla stevia at Whole Foods Markets. And if you like my BPA free travel cup, you can get it here--it can handle either cold OR hot drinks...
Keys, check, purse, check, Green Goo, check...ooops, where
are my sunglasses??!!

Great Green Morning Goo

1 cup (140g) frozen strawberries
2T (12g) psyllium powder
6 oz. (3/4 cup) 2% plain Greek yogurt
2 cups packed baby spinach or baby kale
1-2 packets of vanilla stevia powder
8 -10 oz water or unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Place in the blender in the order given, and puree until smooth. Pour into a glass, and enjoy.

Serves 1

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