Monday, September 22, 2014

Breakfast Power Smoothies

So I totally love everything about Cleveland...except the east side.  The traffic, the fact that you can't get from point A to point B without going 4 miles out of the way via winding roads, the fact that the highways somehow failed to connect to any of the important areas, did I mention TRAFFIC?  Clearly I've been a self-proclaimed west-sider for life (with the exception of an occasional hike or a Nordstrom adventure).  But then I landed this awesome design job in Solon.  Karma sucks.  It's a tough life making the 55 minute trek in the morning, so I basically attempt to wake up as late as possible while still looking presentable.  I started making these incredible breakfast smoothies so I can bring my meal on the go, and I realized I was officially addicted when I started making them on weekend mornings when I was in no rush to get anywhere.  It's nutrition in a cup, and so refreshing!!  Especially paired with a sunny Saturday morning and a brand new issue of Travel & Leisure magazine (with Firenze on the cover nonetheless)!  Try making it yourself, and be sure to experiment with the fruit you add too!

The ingredients are pretty much staples to any avid smoothie fan: strawberries, a banana (preferably frozen), baby spinach, vanilla protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, honey, and my favorite ingredient, chia seeds.  Not only does this superfood have more omega-3s than than flax, but it has protein, fiber and a ton of nutrients!  I love incorporating it into my diet!  It also seems to magically thicken smoothies too, so it tastes like you bought it from a smoothie shop!

I'm not going to sugar coat this post and pretend like making a smoothie is rocket science.  I put all the ingredients into a blender, and pulse until it's smooth.  A couple of tips I've learned:
1. Peel your ripe bananas, wrap them in plastic wrap, store the wrapped bananas in a ziploc bag, and keep them in the freezer.  It automatically thickens your smoothie, and prevents bananas from going to waste.
2. Use a teaspoon of honey instead of sugar, it's healthier and gives much more depth to the flavor of your smoothie mmmmm
3. Sneak spinach in for some veggies.  I've always loved spinach but was skeptical of blending it in at first.  I do work out a lot and eat healthy for the most part, but am NOT into substituting weird ingredients into recipes so they taste half as good to save 30 calories.  But I promise you really can't taste the spinach.

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