Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Favorite Smoothie Recipes

So, after Monday’s post about fattening fried chicken wings, I figured I was about due for a post with some healthy food! Haha.

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned that one of my goals for the new year was to incorporate more fruits and veggies into my diet. For the most part, so far so good! Even though it may not look like it, Eric and I actually really do make an effort to eat at least a couple of healthy meals on weekends that we hang out. Eric is a very good cook and while I love his wings, he prepares delicious chicken that isn’t fried, too. Two weekends ago when he was in Traverse City, he made the most delicious chicken salads for us for lunch. He lightly breaded some diced chicken with a little flour and various seasonings and then cooked it on a pan on the stove. My salad was loaded with chicken and also had some goat cheese and dried cranberries on it. So good!

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(If you want to follow me on Instagram – my user name is healthyberg)

During the week, I’ve started packing small side salads again with my lunch (I used to eat these every day). It’s amazing what a few small changes can make – I just feel so much better when I’m eating more fruits and vegetables. The salad’s still the same as it’s always been: just spinach, feta, dried cranberries, and sunflower seeds!

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I got a little tired of ham sandwiches (my most recent packed lunch trend), so lately I’ve been packing a carton of Greek yogurt and some kind of fruit and nut bar to round out the rest of my lunch.

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Since the start of the new year, I’ve also been bringing smoothies back into the breakfast rotation. This was actually the main thing I wanted to post about today – I wanted to share two of my favorite recipes as of late. I use Greek yogurt in my smoothies because it makes them thicker and creamier and also adds a punch of protein. I also prefer to add protein powder to mine, but that’s optional. I know a lot of people don’t like the taste of protein powder but I think it can actually be pretty good depending on the brand and the flavor. The first smoothie is an oldie, but it’s still one that I make all the time when I feel like cramming in some extra nutrients.

Berry Protein Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 six-ounce container Greek yogurt (strawberry, raspberry, or blueberry works best)
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop strawberry protein powder
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • large handful of fresh spinach

Toss everything in the blender in the order listed above and in a few seconds you have a tasty, fruity smoothie!

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I know it’s an odd combination and sounds disgusting, but I promise you can’t taste the spinach when it’s all mixed up.

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While I love the refreshing taste of fruity smoothies, I must say that the smoothie I created earlier this week blew this one out of the water. Chocolate? Peanut butter? Yes, please!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Smoothie

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 six-ounce container chocolate Greek yogurt (I use Oikos)
  • 1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 Tbsp. creamy peanut butter

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This smoothie was so, so good. A few things to note:

  • When using frozen bananas, be sure to peel them before you put them in the freezer. I learned this the hard way. I also break them in half before tossing them in the freezer.
  • I haven’t tried it, but I’m sure you could substitute the chocolate Greek yogurt for plain (or vanilla) Greek yogurt and with some cocoa powder.
  • I know I specified vanilla protein powder, but I actually have been using the cookies ‘n cream flavored powder that I wrote about in this post. It’s very sweet, low calorie, and tastes like a vanilla-flavored powder with little cookie bits in it. I like the way it tastes in this smoothie.

I’ve tried making a similar smoothie to this one in the past, but it’s never turned out well. That was not the case with this one! It’s definitely the best smoothie that I’ve ever made without adding ice cream or chocolate syrup Winking smile

Smoothies have been really convenient on the days that I have to open and be at work early. Just blend, grab, and go!

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Let me know if you try either of these smoothie recipes, and if you have any favorites of your own please share!

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