The Best Tropical Green Smoothie
First, there was the failure of my Tyler Florence eggs-periment (had to), followed by constant, LOUD construction in my building that makes me feel mildly homicidal no matter how much I turn up Beyoncé, and I’ve had several True Detective-induced nightmares. (For the record, the theme song was the only thing that I actually liked about the show.)
Oh, and then there was Gwyneth’s “conscious uncoupling,” which led me to waste several hours Googling that nonsense when I could have been doing productive things like writing and/or jazzercising to the True Detective theme song. As usual, Gwyneth is the worst.
All of these unfortunate events left me feeling frustrated, tired and in serious need of a nutritional pick me up. I’m proud to report that I’ve been choking down a lot of green juices lately, and while these concoctions do make me feel much smarter and prettier, I’ve been in search of a less offensive-tasting way to consume liquid greens.
Many of my friends are die-hard green smoothie fans, but I’ve had a hard time climbing on the “green monster” bandwagon. The problem is that most of the ones I’ve tried have involved bananas, some sort of nut butter, almond milk, and kale. Clearly a lot of peeps are into that flavor combo, but I am not one of them. It tastes like a puréed peanut butter and kale sandwich, and honestly, I feel a little itchy and nauseous just thinking about it.
I’ve asked myself many times why there aren’t more fruity alternatives to the PB&K sandwich smoothie, so I figured it was time to whip up one of my own. Prior to getting busy with my blender, I decided to talk green smoothies with my friend Cara, who was key in helping me hash out my personal green smoothie needs.
Her first suggestion was that I try apple with kale. I nixed that because I don’t like apple in my smoothies. She then told me that she loved blueberries in a green smoothie. Nope, that wasn’t going to happen either. When I drink smoothies with blueberries, they get stuck in my teeth, which is unacceptable. (I know that’s superficial, but I is what I is.) After shooting down a few more of Cara’s well-intentioned ideas, I had an epiphany: I am an absurdly picky smoothie drinker.
This realization prompted me to think long and hard about what exactly I do like in a smoothie. In short: I want a good balance of tart and sweet with a slight creaminess, and it should be thick enough to be satisfying, but not so much that you have issues sucking it through a straw. When it comes to greens, they must be balanced with the other flavors (translation: the smoothie should not taste like a salad) and very well incorporated (I don’t want to chew any part of my smoothie). #smoothieprincess
With those criteria in mind, I bravely commenced green smoothie experiments. There were a handful of passable creations, but the clear winner was a refreshing spinach miracle that made me feel like I was on a very classy version of Spring Break. I proudly present: The Best Tropical Green Smoothie.
If you’re skeptical of green smoothies, prepare to see the light because this one is practically a revelation. Bright and tangy with the slightest hint of coconut, this bad boy doesn’t taste remotely “green,” and the consistency is heavenly. I’m aware that some of you will panic when you see avocado on the ingredient list, but please relax. I know the idea may seem weird and gross, but you have to trust me on this one. A little bit of avocado makes the smoothie deliciously thick and creamy, and no, it won’t taste like guacamole. I promise.
You’ll notice that this smoothie doesn’t call for any ice. Personally, I don’t like ice in my smoothies because it dilutes the flavors, and I find that cold milk and fruit alone make for a pleasantly chilled drink. However, if you want an ice-cold smoothie, I recommend using frozen pineapple or mango to really cool things down. Or, you could just throw in a few ice cubes. As always, you do you.
Let’s briefly discuss the glorious health benefits of this tropical treat, shall we? Each smoothie contains a densely packed cup of fiber-rich spinach that’s bursting with antioxidants and disease-fighting phytonutrients. Then you’ve got pineapple and mango, which both manage to reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol, boost your immune system, improve digestion, and protect your eyesight (fun fact). Like spinach, mango also adds some serious fiber, which will keep you full and help maintain your wonderland body. The avocado I mentioned earlier provides lots of healthy fats that will make your hair shiny and your skin glow, and finally, the chia seeds! I won’t wax poetic on the benefits of chia again, but they’re working their superfood magic in this smoothie too.
Obviously, it’s vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc. etc. etc.
The best part about this smoothie is that it can be made in advance and refrigerated for up to 3 days, so it’s the perfect breakfast or snack to grab on-the-go. Just shake it up and get after it. Alternatively, you can prep the fruit and greens ahead of time, pack them in jars, pop them in the fridge or freezer, and then dump them in the blender with coconut milk, avocado and chia seeds whenever the mood strikes. Hallelujah.
For the record, I will now be crushing The Best Tropical Green Smoothie on the reg. This is just a public service announcement in case you run into me and are blinded by my healthy glow. You’ve been warned…
The Best Tropical Green Smoothie: (Serves 2)
Preparing your Tropical Green Smoothie:
-Place the spinach, avocado, chia seeds and coconut/almond milk in a blender or food processor.
-Puree until smooth and then add the diced mango and pineapple. (Yes, you can blend all the ingredients at the same time, but I find that pureeing the greens first ensures that you don’t have any chewy greens in your smoothie. Gross.)
2 cups baby spinach, packed
½ ripe avocado
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 cups unsweetened coconut or almond milk
1½ cups diced mango (fresh or frozen)
1½ cups diced pineapple (fresh or frozen)
Place the spinach, avocado, chia seeds and coconut/almond milk in a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
Add the diced mango and pineapple and puree until smooth.
Pour your smoothie into glasses/mason jars and drink immediately or refrigerate in a sealed jar/container for up to 3 days.
Yes, you can blend all the ingredients at the same time, but I find that pureeing the greens on their own first ensures that you don’t have any chewy greens in your smoothie.
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