Tag Archives: spinach

Post-run mango smoothie

Since I’ve been getting more serious about running lately (that first half marathon? DONE!), I’ve started to pay more attention to pre- and post-run fueling. One thing I keep reading is that following a hard run, it’s important to eat quickly (within 30 minutes) and ideally to eat a roughly 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein. So after my long Saturday run, I’ve been whipping up a smoothie with lots of fruit (carbs)!, spinach (potassium keeps muscle cramps at bay!) and some protein powder (protein!). One of my favorites is this green mango smoothie:

With just one fruit, this smoothie comes together quickly–most weekends I even have time to prep it before I leave for my run, so I come home to a nice cold smoothie on the top shelf of the fridge. Absolute bliss after a few hot and sweaty miles. I actually used not to be a big mango fan, but I’ve come around to them big time this year as our local market kept popping up with these great deals on mangoes by the box. I’ll try anything once if it’s a bargain, you know?

I’ve also experimented with making this smoothie a full-on meal replacement by adding a little more fat, my two favorites are coconut milk (makes for a really creamy texture), or a raw nut butter (almond and cashew are particularly nice). This smoothie also keeps in the fridge for a day or two, so I sometimes like to make one on a weeknight and split it in two for part of an easy weekday breakfast. Or, after an especially grueling run, it’s the perfect side to something more substantial:


My hacked version of Kumera + Kale latkes with poached egg, using frozen spinach (instead of kale) and mashed sweet potatoes (instead of grated).

Yum.

Green mango smoothie
Serves one tired runner

1 large mango, peeled and cut into rough chunks
1 tbsp each pea and rice protein powder (or 2 tbsp protein powder of choice)
2-3 large handfuls baby spinach
2 tbsp flax meal
1-2 c. water
Optional add-ins for a meal-sized smoothie: 1/3 c. full fat coconut milk, 1-2 tbsp raw almond or cashew butter.

Combine mango, protein powder, spinach, coconut milk or nut butter (if using), and 1 c. water in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Add additional water as needed to achieve desired consistency. Drink immediately or allow to chill in the fridge. If you leave the smoothie to chill, the flax will soak up some of the water and you may get more of a mango pudding. Enjoy the thicker version, or thin out a little by stirring a bit more water into the mix.

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Weekday winter smoothie (vegan)

During November and December I find I have to make a little more effort to maintain a healthy equilibrium. Even though winters in the Bay Area are mild, there’s no denying that they are still the darkest and coldest time of the (local) year. Last winter, between moving further north and starting a new job/office with less natural light exposure, winter hit me pretty hard. I started a few new habits to help me through, and I’m working to pick them up again this year. One of these habits? Making a green smoothie part of my daily routine:

weekday winter smoothie
Yeah, that’s right. My boyfriend makes me origami roses. Get jealous.

I know, smoothies seem like summer food. But I find a green smoothie habit actually benefits me more during the winter. In the summer, I’m just generally more likely to be eating more fresh fruit and vegetables, and more of them in raw form, so a smoothie is a drop in a bucket. In the winter, I tend more towards cooked and starchier vegetables (not to mention that my officemates are more likely to be bringing in a box of fudge than the overflow from their vegetable garden or backyard orchard to share).

Since it’s the winter, common fruit smoothie add-ins like berries or peaches are not all that readily available (and in either fresh or frozen form, expensive!), so I’ve been going more seasonal and using a mix of a granny smith apple and a navel orange, both of which are currently cheap and plentiful in our area. Then the fancier ingredients: spinach (and soon kale from the patio!), protein powder, and flax meal. Plus a touch of vanilla, because why not? On a 1 to 10 scale of sweetness, with 0 being not at all sweet and 10 being a lump of pure sugar, I’d rate this smoothie perhaps a 4. It feels like drinking health (in a good way!).

weekday winter smoothie

For years, I’ve been using “milk” of some kind in my smoothies. Recently I’ve decided to stop. Why? Because for me, one of the big benefits of a spinach and orange combination is the boost to my iron intake. However, calcium can inhibit iron absorption (though more recent research says maybe not), and most milk alternatives are fortified with…calcium. Why spend money on fancier and supposedly “healthier” foods if the health benefits potentially cancel each other out, right?

Winter weekday smoothie
makes ~30 oz

Ingredients
1 c. water
3-4 c. spinach
1 apple (I like granny smith best)
1 navel orange
3 T hemp protein powder
2 T golden flax meal
1-2 drops vanilla extract

Method
1. In a blender, or food processor fitted with the metal S-blade, process the spinach with 1/2 c. water until it has at least halved in volume.

2. Add the remaining water, apple, orange, protein powder, flax meal, and vanilla. Blend for at least 30 seconds. Blending longer will produce a smoother end result, but if you’re like me you probably get impatient also!

3. Pour into a quart jar or glasses. Can be drunk immediately or refrigerated overnight. I usually make mine the night before while I’m getting dinner together, then bring it to work the next morning for drinking.

Cookbooking: The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

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While I love making up my own recipes, sometimes it’s great to sit down with a cookbook and do things someone else’s way. So today, I’m presenting what will hopefully be the first post in an occasional series of cookbook reviews, where I’ll tell you what I think about a book, and show off something I cooked from said book. I’ll be kicking off with a well-worn favorite of mine, The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen, by Donna Klein.
Continue reading Cookbooking: The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen

Summer super sludge: blackberry+nectarine green smoothie recipe

I first got turned onto green smoothies when the Eat to Live program briefly swept an internet message board I frequented. Although I never did make it through the strict 6-week introductory phase (oops…), I did become a convert to the green smoothie, and for a while I was drinking one for breakfast pretty much every morning.
 
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These days, I’ll often go for a more solid breakfast, but I still love to mix up a smoothie on my days off, or if I’m especially on top of things, I might even remember to put one together at night to pack into work the next morning. With berries and stone fruit both in season right now, this smoothie recipe is perfect for summer.
Continue reading Summer super sludge: blackberry+nectarine green smoothie recipe