Monday, May 14, 2012

The crabby morning fix

I could hear my five-year-old howling at my husband; I just didn't know why. It could have been anything: an insult from his brother, a request to get dressed, Legos that wouldn't snap together properly.

Today, as it turns out, it was my husband's order that he report for breakfast.

"AHHHHHHHHHHH! Noooooooooo! I'm not hungry!!!!!" Tears, wailing, gnashing of teeth.

I found him hiding under the dining room table.

Me, whispering: "Can I hide under the table with you?"

Pumpkin, whispering back: "Okay."

Me: "Why are we hiding?"

Pumpkin: 'Cause I was playing on the computer, and Dada said I hafta come eat, and I'm NOT hungry!"

Me: "Not even for waffles?"

Pumpkin: "No."

Me: "What about peanut butter toast, or cereal?"

Pumpkin: "No."

Me: "How about a smoothie?"

Pumpkin: (pause) "I want chocolate smoothie!"

Okay, then.

So we (very gladly, in my case) departed the confines of the table hideout. Given his oh-so-cheery-and-cooperative mood, I knew that this smoothie would be the sole nourishment the pumpkin would have until lunchtime, so I wanted to "health it up" as much as I could while keeping it chocolatey and 5-year-old yummy.

I mixed it while all the boys walked to the bus stop, so nobody knew about the secret ingredients (except me).

WILD SUCCESS! Crabby boy tried it and yelled, "YUM!!!" and slurped up his entire cup. Hubby and I drank the rest of it happily.

So, here, friends, is my gift to you: morning chocolate. Yum.

Crouching Chocolate, Hidden Spinach Smoothie (aka Chocolatey morning smoothie)

2 cups (tightly packed) baby spinach
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
4 Tbl. Chia seeds
1 cup chocolate almond milk
1 Tbl. Unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups very cold water
1 cup ice cubes

Put all ingredients in a high speed blender (Vitamix or comparable; see note). Increase variable speed to 10, then flip to high speed. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis (courtesy of My Fitness Pal): Serves 4. Per serving: 181 calories, 5 g fat (0 saturated), 0 mg cholesterol, 66 mg sodium, 416 mg potassium, 35 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 18 g sugar, 4 g protein, 47% Vit. A, 36% Vit. C, 20% calcium, 14% iron

Notes: This is a thin smoothie, about the consistency of milk. If you like yours thicker, either replace a cup of water with ice cubes or leave one cup of water out entirely.

The spinach will give the smoothie a slight greenish cast; it's less noticeable in colored glasses than in white or clear cups (y'know, just in case you have green-averse kids).

Also, a high speed blender is really recommended anytime you're blending greens. I've used a standard blender (actually, I blew up a standard blender after making one too many green smoothies -- true story), and they can't quite get the greens smooth -- there are always little chopped bits in there.

I hope you enjoy the new recipe!

Do you have a favorite healthy smoothie recipe? Please share!

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