My husband John and I love smoothies! John works out at the gym in the morning prior to going to work. He will often grab a banana before he goes just to tide him over before breakfast. John is such a gym rat that they call him the mayor! Me, I do what I have to do to maintain my health, and then get the heck out of there. It is somewhat social interaction for us too, so sometimes he doesn’t have time for breakfast before going to work. SMOOTHIE to the rescue!
Many of the smoothie recipes that I have come across have a banana in the recipe. I love a plain banana or banana bread, but I don’t like the taste of banana in my smoothie. People often say that you can’t tell it’s in there. We can. We both love chocolate, so I set out to make a chocolate smoothie that was delicious but also good for you.
In this picture, you can see PB2 powder. The stuff is great! It is dehydrated peanuts only, and can be added to anything you want to taste like peanut butter. It is 85% less fat calories than jarred peanut butter. I can find it in the health section of my grocery store, and know it is also available on Amazon. I didn’t add it to my smoothie, but wanted to tell you about it. Also, can you see those two little orange cubes in the front of my picture? That is my carrot. Head over to the “Recipe/Kitchen Tricks/ice cube” article. I ground up some carrots and froze them in ice cube trays to use with my smoothies. Type A you say? Maybe just a little bit.
In a blender, add the chia and flax seeds. Pulse until you get a powder consistency. If you do not do this, you will be picking these seeds out of your teeth all morning. Also, whole chia seeds take on a gelatinous texture when combined with liquid, so that can be kind of funky too. Flax seeds have be ground in order to get the health benefit from them. You can buy them ground already, and that is fine. These seeds are tasteless but have many health benefits besides adding fiber, and are being touted as a “super food”.
Once you have blended the seeds to a powder, add 3 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder, a scoop of protein powder, 3 tablespoons of Agave syrup (you can also use honey as a substitute), 1 cup of greek yogurt (I used 0% Total Fage), you can use whatever you prefer. I have made these with vanilla flavored yogurt, but make sure you get a brand with low fat and sugar content. I added carrots, and they didn’t effect the chocolaty flavor. You can add as many veggies as you want. I don’t add all of the almond milk at once, and you can substitute the almond milk for the liquid of your choice. Cold coffee would make it a chocolate mocha smoothie. Yum!
Note that the volume made with a smoothie can be increased and thickened by adding ice cubes. If to thick, add almond milk (your liquid). I generally get 4 cups in a batch. I am fine with an 8 ounce serving, John prefers a 12 ounce serving. The nutritional value shown in the recipe is for 1 cup of almond milk. I don’t think I added that much. We like them thick.
If I make our smoothies in the morning, John will just take a glass with a lid to work. If I make them at another time, or have leftovers, I pour my smoothies into insulated coffee cups and put them in the freezer. We can take one out and put it in the refrigerator at night, and it is ready for breakfast in the morning, or we can eat them like a frozen malt when it has thawed a bit. They are great either way.
1 tablespoon flax seeds
1 scoop protein powder
1 cup fat free, sugar free greek yogurt
1 medium carrot
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons Agave syrup (can substitute honey)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Calories 150.5 Fat 3.8g Fiber 4.1g Protein 12.6g