Saturday, March 31, 2012

red smoothie

I'll admit I'm getting kind of obsessed with smoothies right now... I can't say that I'm too ashamed of it though because they are not only delightful but tasty too!  Since I've started adding weight training to my workout routine I really want to make sure I'm taking in enough protein to help my muscles recover and smoothies are definitely one way to do that!

I've found some great ideas from Pinterest and also this website but mostly I have read a few recipes and then thought I had a grasp of the idea so I just started doing my own thing.  My roommate did share a great idea she found on a blog about smoothie bags (check it out - it's an awesome post).

Seriously, this has changed my life!!  When you work and want to get up early to work out and get in time with the Lord and actually eat something healthy in the morning, the hours start staking up.  I've tried my best to organize everything for the next day but there are some things you can't do until the day of, right? 

With that said, this is my recipe for what I affectionately call the "red smoothie".

What you need...
1 cup frozen strawberries (see note below)
1/2 banana frozen
1/4 cup (or a little less) of frozen raspberries
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 - 3 spoonfuls of Vanilla Greek yogurt 
1/2 - 2/3 cup milk

Yield: about 16oz

Note: I recently made a trip to our local Sprouts Farmers Market (I shop here a lot) and noticed that fresh strawberries were on sale - two 12oz packs for $3.  That's about 13¢ per ounce!  When comparing it to two 12oz bags of frozen strawberries for $6 (25¢ per oz) it's clear that fresh was the way to go!  This will not always be the case, but it's best to check.  If you know the approximate amount you'd spend to purchase frozen fruit you can check that with sales of fresh fruit and load up when the sale is good.  The blessing of frozen fruit is it keeps for much longer than fresh!  I bought two containers, washed the berries and cup them up so they are ready to be used.  I just place them in a plastic bag until I'm ready to use them.

First...
I like to place my frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, and raspberries) in the bottom of the blender and blend it up just a bit (using the "ice crush" setting).

Then...
Add in the rest of the ingredients (protein powder, Greek yogurt, and milk).  And blend.

Finally...
Pour it out, stick a straw in it, and enjoy!

Ideas...
*Toss in 1 TBSP of flaxseed (yes, I'm adding it to everything now).  It gives the smoothie a bit of a crunch, but I don't mind it.  If you don't like that you can use ground flaxseed in it's place.
*Add frozen red cherries
*For a completely different take on this smoothie, omit the protein powder and milk.  In its place add 1/4 cup Pomegranate or raspberry juice and 1/4 cup orange juice. The OJ will make it more tangy, but it's still a great tasting smoothie. 

I know, so easy! But so tasty and a great way to enjoy protein and fruit servings.  I find the frozen fruit and Greek yogurt make a nice and thick smoothie.  If you like it more runny you can add more milk (or juice if you are doing the alternate smoothie mentioned above). 

The best part by far is the prep you can do with this!  I cut my banana up, measure out my cup of strawberries, and then toss in the raspberries and stick my baggie in the freezer.  In the morning I grab, toss in the blender, and go!

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