Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Nutty Strawberry Protein SmoothieHello from California! I’m actually writing this yesterday on the plane so no updates on the Stitch Fix & LUNA blogger vacay—if I were to take a stab at foreseeing the future though, I’d say I’m having a blast today! And now that I’ve totally confused you…

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

I don’t regularly supplement my diet, but after a particularly long or intense workout (for example, when I take back-to-back megaformer and spinning classes), I do pay more attention to my post-exercise nutrition. In general, I don’t think of diet/nutrition as a science or numbers game, I just make an effort to put more of the good stuff and less of the junk into my body each day. It works for me. But that being said, if you’re working out regularly, you absolutely need to be getting enough protein so that your muscles can repair themselves and strengthen (grow).

Within 30(ish) minutes of finishing a tough workout, I try to have a snack or meal that’s high in protein—and I like to keep it easy. If I workout before breakfast, that might mean I’ll have a couple scrambled eggs or a smoothie packed with protein as my morning meal. If it’s later in the day, I’ll grab a piece of toast with almond butter and bananas, or maybe a quinoa salad topped with nuts.

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

If I’m going the smoothie route, I’ll typically just put protein-rich foods into the blender—spirulina, hemp seeds/protein, a handful of nuts, peanut butter, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I love spirulina and hemp protein, but unless you’re making a green smoothie, it turns everything brown. When my friends at Game Plan Nutrition sent me a sample of their vanilla whey protein powder, I couldn’t wait to make a strawberry smoothie that actually looked like a strawberry smoothie. Beautiful, right?? :)

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Not only is it beautifully pink, but it’s SO GOOD–I really loved the taste of Game Plan’s vanilla protein with the almond and berry flavors. Also super important to me, Game Plan doesn’t use any chemicals or hormones in their protein powder.

This smoothie is also super filling. I made this thinking it’d be a single-serving but I had to split it into two. And I think I’m going to start topping all my smoothies with crushed nuts from now on because the texture added by the almonds was unreal.

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Yield: 16 oz

Serving Size: 8 oz

Nutty Strawberry Protein Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 scoop vanilla protein powder (I used a Game Plan sample pack = 30g)
  • 1 heaping cup fresh strawberries, greens removed (7-8 depending on size)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • Handful crushed almonds (put some in the smoothie, top with the rest)

Instructions

  1. Put everything in a blender, top with some crushed almonds and enjoy!
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/06/11/nutty-strawberry-protein-smoothie/

You will fall in love with this smoothie! Let me know if you try it out. And you can check out Game Plan HERE.

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Tropical Green Avocado Smoothie

Tropical Green Avocado SmoothieGranted, I’m not a mother, but in recent years I have developed this love for kitchen appliances that I can only imagine is what one would feel for their firstborn child. I’m exaggerating (Mom, you better love me more than your crock pot!!), but honestly, the excitement I felt when Ninja sent me their Ultima Dual Stage Blender is only rivaled by that which I felt upon opening up Samantha’s bedroom collection on Christmas morning 1995 (it’s an American Girl Doll thing, for all you straight men without daughters or sisters reading this). :)

Ninja Ultima review

It was perfect timing because I had just about had it with my previous blender. I really hate to give any sort of bad review on here (it makes me so uncomfortable), but I would not recommend the Breville Hemisphere if you guys are in the market for a new blender. I had mine just over a year and had consistent problems with it leaking (the bottom would come unscrewed whenever I’d turn it on), and getting it to blend solids into my smoothies was always a long process of turning it off, poking/stirring it with a spoon, adding more liquid—you know that game. For how much I paid for it, this was really frustrating.

Tropical Green Avocado Smoothie

In walk Ninja…

NIGHT AND DAY. I love this blender! I have the Ultima 8L810 model, and it comes with a 72oz blender jar, two single-serve jars with sippie lids (love these for making a smoothie to take with me to the studio!), and a 10-speed variable dial. There’s a double blade (one down low like other blenders and another up higher in the jar) so that you don’t have to worry about strategically layering your ingredients to get things flowing. I wouldn’t say I love this blender more than my dog, but I wouldn’t not say I love this blender more than my dog.

Ok, I don’t have a dog, but you guys get the point.

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Get excited because I am going to be able to create so many new delicious, healthy, fun recipes for P&I now. I’m starting off with a smoothie today, but my new Ninja can do soups, hummuses (hummi?), sauces, nut butters, dips—the works. I can’t wait to get creative!

Tropical Green Avocado Smoothie

Tropical Green Avocado SmoothieAdding avocado to smoothies gives them a boost of healthy fats and a smooth, creamy texture. Lately I’ve been loving pineapple, and this made for a delicious smoothie combo the other morning!

Tropical Green Avocado Smoothie

Yield: 16oz

Tropical Green Avocado Smoothie

A green smoothie with healthy fats!

Ingredients

  • ½ avocado
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 heaping cup of pineapple chunks
  • 1 big handful kale leafs
  • 1-2 big handful(s) spinach leafs
  • ¼ tsp spirulina (optional)
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • Shredded coconut for topping

Instructions

  1. Throw everything in a blender (except the shredded coconut).
  2. If you don’t want a thick smoothie, slowly add more coconut milk until it reaches desired texture.
  3. Top with a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

Notes

This is a filling smoothie! You can drink it all or split it into two 8oz cups to share with a friend.

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/03/05/tropical-green-avocado-smoothie/

Phew. Ok, that post was way longer than it needed to be. Somebody drank too much coffee this morning… 

What kind of blender do you use?

Have you ever added avocado to your smoothies?

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Ninja sent me the blender free of charge, but I was not otherwise compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. The Ultima rocks—thank you, Ninja!

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast CupsThis post is possessed! It published itself yesterday, then deleted itself, then rescheduled itself to be posted in 2015. What the what?? Let’s try this again…

Normally, when bananas are about to go bad, I’ll peel them, slice ‘em up, and put them in a Ziploc bag in the freezer to use in smoothies. But lately my smoothie fuel bag has turned into bags, and I needed to find another way to prevent my browning bananas from going to waste. Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

These quinoa breakfast cups are delicious and filling—each one is dense, so it only takes one (or, ok, maybe two) to satisfy morning hunger. You can eat them like a muffin, or break one up in a little bit of warm almond milk and eat it like oatmeal (I did this one morning and loved it!).Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Yield: 12

Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

Ingredients

  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 1 cup mashed banana (about 3 bananas)
  • 1 banana for slicing
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (about ½ cup dry)
  • 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, peeled and chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a muffin tin (I use olive oil).
  2. Cook the quinoa. Bring ¾ up water to a boil, pour in ½ cup dry quinoa, reduce to a simmer until fluffy—about 12 minutes.
  3. Mix applesauce, mashed banana, almond milk, honey and vanilla in a bowl.
  4. Mix dry ingredients (quinoa, oats, cinnamon) in a separate bowl. Slowly stir the wet into the dry until fully combined.
  5. Peel core and chop up an apple. Mix the apple chunks into the bowl.
  6. Fill each of the muffin cups to the top with the quinoa mixture. Add a banana slice or two to the top of each.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes, then enjoy one warm!

Notes

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. Reheat leftovers in the microwave before eating. You can also add some crushed pecans or walnuts to these--experiment!

http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/02/11/apple-banana-quinoa-breakfast-cups/

Make a batch and eat them all week for breakfast or as a post-workout snack. They’re definitely best warm, but can also be eaten cold on the go. :) Apple Banana Quinoa Breakfast Cups

What’s your favorite way to use over-ripe bananas?

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