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.

tropical-green-avocado-smoothie-2

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?

signature

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!

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

Last week I went in for my annual checkup (which is more like a once-a-decade checkup because I’ve convinced myself I’m allergic to doctors and hospitals and western medicine), and after getting some blood drawn discovered I’m anemic (I have low iron levels in my blood). I’m not surprised because it runs in one side of my family, and I’m honestly not at all fazed by it either. The main side effect of anemia is fatigue, and I have always had abnormally high levels of energy, so anemia shmanemia.

While I don’t feel the need to take iron supplements (as recommended by doctors), I am going to make a conscious effort to eat more iron-rich foods. When you think of food that’s high in iron, you probably think red meat, white meat, meat, meat and more meat. I … barely eat any meat with the exception of fish. Oysters and clams are packed with iron, which is great for me because I ADORE shellfish, but ultimately, I need to look elsewhere for iron.

Lucky for me, there are lots of vegetarian/vegan options (not that I’m either). Among the superstars are spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens, collards, kale, chard, strawberries, watermelon, sesame seeds, lentils and blackstrap molasses. I also learned that iron is more easily and effectively digested if eaten with Vitamin C. Convenient because the majority of foods I just listed are high in C as well.

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

I debated whether or not to call this a “juice” or a “smoothie” because it doesn’t have the thick consistency you might expect from a smoothie, but it’s also got more body than juice. Just think of it as an iron-rich green concoction. And if the thought of putting blackstrap molasses in a smoothie sounds crazy, don’t worry—you can’t even taste it aside from a hint of sweetness.

Ingredients

  • 2 cup packed spinach
  • 1 cup packed kale
  • 2 heaping cups chopped watermelon
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ tbsp blackstrap molasses

Throw it in a blender and enjoy!

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

Just how much iron is packed into this green smoothie? 41% of your daily iron needs. The percentage is based on a 2,000-calorie diet, and because I need fewer calories each day, the percentage is actually probably a little higher than that for me. So I’m pretty much getting half of my daily iron needs from this one smoothie.

How does that compare to red meat, often touted as the most iron-rich food out there? One strip steak of grass-fed beef, lean-only and raw (you’d never eat a raw steak, but there are more nutrients pre-cooking, so I’m trying to make this as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as  I can) has 22% of your daily iron needs. Half of what was in this smoothie. Whoop! Plants win again.

Not that I think there’s anything wrong with enjoying a steak now and then, but it’s nice to know you don’t need meat to get the minerals you need—especially since I’ve never liked the taste of red meat.

Iron-Rich Green Smoothie

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 315
—Calories from Fat: 48
Total Fat: 9.5g
—Saturated Fat: .5g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 87mg
Carbohydrates: 65g
—Dietary Fiber: 9g
—Sugar: 37g
Protein: 9g
Iron: 41%

Woof. What a long-winded post. Gold star for everyone who actually read the whole thing. Have a great weekend!

signature

Banana-Hazelnut Coffee Protein Smoothie

banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie

I haven’t been very inventive in the kitchen lately because of a super busy schedule and back-to-back weekend trips to Maine, but one culinary delight to come out of a caffeine-fueled, jam-packed calendar is this banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie. I don’t drink coffee regularly because I hate the feeling of being dependent on caffeine to function in the morning (there was a dark time in my life when I was fully addicted to coffee for a solid month and had to endure splitting withdrawal headaches for two days to break the habit), but I do enjoy a nice iced coffee here and there.

banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothiebanana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie

My go-to for coffee is P.S. Gourmet which, in true Southie fashion, is an absolutely hilarious establishment without even realizing it’s hilarious. It’s just so….so “Southie.” They mark any bill over a $10 to make sure it’s not counterfeit—even if you’ve clearly just taken the $20 bill out of their ATM. Every morning I walk in, I overhear bits of conversation like, “Yeah, I’ve been goin’ tannin’ because Robbie likes it when I’m wicked dahk.” And they have a sign on the door warning you not to sell drugs inside. I fucking love that place.

banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie

Anyway, the other day, I had half of a large banana hazelnut iced coffee left, so I decided to pour it into an ice cube tray and turn it into smoothie fuel. (As a side note, freezing coffee in ice cube trays is also a great way to keep (unfrozen) cups of iced coffee cold without watering them down with regular ice cubes.) I added in a banana, rice milk, some vanilla protein powder and flax seeds and blended it together into a perfect post-workout breakfast smoothie. It wakes you up and gets you the protein fuel your body needs.

banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie

Ingredients

This will make one glass, on the smaller side.

  • 1 cup banana hazelnut coffee ice cubes
  • 1 banana
  • ¼ cup vanilla rice milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds

banana-hazelnut coffee protein smoothie

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 259
–Calories from Fat: 54
Total Fat: 5g
–Saturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg
Sodium: 39mg
Total Carbohydrate: 44g
–Dietary Fiber: 11g
–Sugars: 19g
Protein: 8g

I’ll end with P.S. Gourmet’s television commercial for those of you who don’t live in the Boston area and haven’t had the pleasure of watching it. I can’t decide if it’s the worst commercial ever or…the best.