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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Tropical Green Acai Bowl

Tropical Green Acai BowlThe temperature in Boston is finally out of the single digits and teens! We’ve been steadily in the high 30’s the last few days (even dipped into the FIFTIES on Sunday), and so as far as I’m concerned, it’s time for some tropical-inspired food. Just go with it…

Tropical Green Acai Bowl

Tropical Green Acai Bowl

Yield: 1 bowl

Tropical Green Acai Bowl

Ingredients

  • 2 cups packed kale (stems removed)
  • 1 frozen pack acai (I use Sambazon’s unsweetened smoothie packs)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping cup pineapple chunks
  • ¼ cup granola (I used Nature’s Path Coconut Chia)
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Shredded coconut
  • ½ tsp spirulina powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Blend together the kale, acai, cocnut milk, ½ the banana, pineapple (save a few chunks for topping), hemp seeds and spirulina.
  2. Transfer from blender into a bowl. Top with the remaining ½ banana (sliced), pineapple chunks and granola. Sprinkle with shredded coconut.
http://pumpsandiron.com/2014/02/03/tropical-green-acai-bowl/

Tropical Green Acai BowlI ate this for breakfast the other day and loved it! I like making green acai bowls because when they’re 100% fruit-based, I sometimes find them too sweet. I’ve been adding a little bit of spirulina powder to all my green smoothies and acai bowls lately because it’s packed with iron and protein and, as an added bonus, turns everything a brilliant shade of green. That comes in particularly handy when you’re constantly taking pictures of your food… :)

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