Lunch. Since I was a kid, I’ve had trouble figuring out what to eat for lunch. I never liked traditional lunch foods, and once I went gluten free, it only got harder - if you've ever tried to eat a sandwich on gluten free bread, perhaps you know what I’m talking about. I have no problem finding nutritious and creative things for the kids to eat, but I seldom want to eat much at that time of day – and yet if I don’t, blood sugar drops mean I’m a pretty grouchy camper by mid-afternoon.
Then I started to hear talk of smoothies – green smoothies in particular – and it piqued my curiosity. Could a smoothie made with spinach really be any good? I followed my cousin Laurie’s instructions, messed with the ingredients a little, and people, I am in LOVE with smoothies.
I make my green smoothies with tofu, of all things, for protein, and I keep sliced, frozen bananas and bagged frozen fruit in the freezer at all times, so I’ll be ready to whip up a smoothie whenever. The bananas give a rich, creamy texture, a lot like ice cream, and the spinach makes the drinks bright green and extra nutritious. Be brave, you can try this!
One evening, I was out of tofu and spinach, but wanted something cold and sweet, like the ice cream I haven’t been able to eat since I went off dairy last October. I remembered something I’d read somewhere, and started throwing things into the blender as my husband and father looked on skeptically. The result was a chocolate, peanut butter banana smoothie that tasted like the chocolate peanut butter ice cream I used to love; amazing, and with no added sugar. Husband passed, but Dad was impressed.
I’ll share both recipes here – feel free to let me know how they turn out, and share your own smoothie ideas, if you like!
Green Tropical Smoothie
3 oz tofu, cubed
2 c. baby spinach, stems removed
4 oz orange juice
Water, as needed
½ sliced, frozen banana
½ c (or a handful) frozen mango
Place tofu, spinach and OJ in blender, and blend until smooth and uniformly green (no spinach pieces visible). Add frozen bananas and mango, and blend until smooth, adding water, a tablespoon at a time, until fruits are blended and smoothie is the desired consistency. Mess with the quantities, if you like; add more fruit if it’s too thin, more liquid if it’s too thick. You can’t really do this wrong.
Frozen peaches or berries can be substituted for mango, and ¼ t vanilla or almond extract may be added if you like (check to make sure your flavorings are GF).
Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie
1 sliced, frozen banana
4 oz + vanilla soymilk
3 T cocoa powder
2 T natural peanut butter
Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. You may need to stir, scrape down the contents on the side of the blender jar, and add more soymilk 1 tablespoon at a time if the mixture’s too thick to blend. Blend until no chunks of fruit remain and the smoothie is the consistency you like; you can leave it thick, to eat with a spoon like soft-serve, or make it thinner, like a shake. Grab a spoon and find someplace comfy to sit down and get your chocolate fix.
Wishing you a blessed and yummy day.
Trusting in Him,