Green Monster Smoothie

1 Jan

Green Monster Smoothie | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
I am not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. They just seem fake to me – doomed for failure. If it wasn’t important enough to change when you first noticed the problem, why is it important enough to change starting January 1? Exercise for example. Winter has to be one of the worst times to resolve to exercise more (unless you live in California, Florida, Arizona, etc.). I’d give up by March too if my only concept of “working out” was the elliptical. Same for “eat better.” Hello? How many Christmas cookies are still laying around on the counter, leftovers from parties and football food galore since we’re in the middle of bowl season and on the verge of playoffs.

Ok, so I’ve bashed resolutions enough. I don’t want to stop anyone from trying to make meaningful changes in their life. But, if someone with no experience in making resolutions could offer some advice, it would be this: keep it realistic. Try something small and manageable.

I just finished reading an excellent book called The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. In the book, the author examines what defines, contributes and detracts from happiness. She starts a year-long happiness project, focusing on a different aspect of her life she would like to improve each month. A key message I took away from the book is that small changes, continued over a long period of time, make a big impact.

Imagine if you made it a point to pick up things around the house for 15 minutes everyday after you finished dinner; it’s not going to make everything shiny and new, but it will make it that much less stressful to come home each day to a not so messy house and when you do need to clean for company or what have you, it won’t take a two-day long overhaul.

Imagine if you started packing your gym bag, backpack or briefcase every night before you went to bed. You might not get to work any sooner, but you might stop forgetting things that later stress you out, or barking at the rest of the family “have you seen my X?” “where did you put my X?!” making the morning go much smoother.

Imagine if I stopped turning the TV on as soon as I got home from work. Oops… that sounds dangerously close to a resolution.

Imagine if you started eating 12 cups of spinach a week… without having to eat a salad… and liking it… and wanting more spinach. I’m talking about the much hyped Green Monster Smoothie; looks like a Shamrock Shake, tastes like a PB and banana sandwich. How is this possible? Spinach is mostly water and, as it turns out, tends to adopt the flavor of what it’s combined with when ground to a pulp. In this case, it’s frozen banana and peanut butter.

Below is the original recipe as I first started to make it, but I’ve since stopped using the Greek yogurt because I’m not fan and don’t taste a difference. Also, I generally use almond butter since that’s what I tend to have on hand.

Green Monster Smoothie | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Make sure you cut the banana BEFORE you freeze it.

Green Monster Smoothie | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Sometimes I get generous with my almond butter.

Green Monster Smoothie | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
The amount of spinach is up to you. I stuff as much in to fill it to the top. I swear, if you blend it enough, until it’s smooth, you don’t have chunks of spinach sticking to your tongue or teeth; you won’t know it’s there.

Green Monster Smoothie | Adventures of a Hungry Redhead
Imagine if you subbed this smoothie in for your regular breakfast or lunch? Maybe not everyday, but two or three times a week. It might just help you keep some of those resolutions.

Green Monster Smoothie
by Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:

1 frozen sliced banana
1 Tablespoon peanut butter
1/2 cup 0% Vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze (or other kind of milk)
4 cups baby spinach (or more, or less)

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

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6 Responses to “Green Monster Smoothie”

  1. BK January 1, 2013 at 1:42 pm #

    U can add a little ground flax seed into the smoothie…good way to sneak in omega-3’s.

    • Red January 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

      Good call. And reminds me I need to buy more flax seed at the store.

  2. Katie @ Blonde Ambition January 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Frozen banana is a must in all of my smoothies! And some of those “non”-resolutions actually sound like mighty good ideas…

    • Red January 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm #

      Check out The Happiness Project book or the blog happiness-project.com. I think it gives practical ideas and steps for identifying what in your life you can change to make your life happier. Not a hills are alive with the sound of music, nobody’s going to rain on my parade kind of happy, but a go to bed at night content, wake up rested, smile at strangers kind of happy.

  3. Abby @ The Frosted Vegan January 3, 2013 at 11:08 am #

    I just made one of these this morning! The green creeped me out at first, but it is sooo good!

    • Red January 3, 2013 at 11:09 am #

      I just pretend it’s a shamrock shake 😉

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