Monday, September 1, 2014

Protein-Packed Raspberry Mango Smoothie


Aaron and I go through a huge smoothie phase in the summer. I typically adhere to a pretty standard combination to craft our smoothies: yogurt, bananas, frozen fruit from Trader Joe’s, and whatever juice is in my refrigerator.

Lately, however, we've been mixing up our smoothie mix-ins. Aaron began the trend when we went blueberry picking. He made us a smoothie with blueberries, spinach, and honey that was amazingly tasty. So I started adding ingredients to bump up the vitamin value, like kale and edamame, and both were a success.

Before we go on, I need to share with you all my smoothie manifesto. I’m all about proper texture of my smoothies. I like them a little crunchy, and I hate adding apples to my smoothies because I think they utterly ruin the texture. I believe that good smoothies should have yogurt, bananas, or both.


Yesterday’s smoothie met the requirements. It had yogurt (unfortunately we’re out of bananas), no apples, and good texture. I snuck in an unexpected source of complete protein that was not only tasty, but gave the smoothie an amazing texture.

Please note that I prefer to dump random amounts of ingredients into my smoothies, but I listed approximate amounts below for those who like to stick to a recipe. If I were you, though, I’d take the following ingredients and dump in any amounts you want; it’s hard to mess up mangoes and raspberries, although it can be done if you add apples! Beware of those devious apples!


Protein-Packed Raspberry Mango Smoothie

Ingredients

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
¼ cup frozen mangoes
¼ cup frozen mixed berries
¾ cup to 1 cup of orange juice; add more if necessary to maintain a proper consistency
The secret ingredient: ½ cup cooked quinoa!

Directions

1. Add yogurt, mangoes, quinoa and juice, and blend together. I like to build a liquid base before adding in a lot of frozen fruit.

2. Add the rest of the frozen fruit, and any more juice you may need to keep it blending, and blend until mixed together.

This smoothie serves 2 people. 


That’s right…quinoa! I've talked before about how quinoa is a great source of protein. It’s also practically tasteless on its own, and blends in well with a myriad of different foods. Aaron and I slept in on the day I made this, and didn't have a proper lunch, so this smoothie was a great addition to our afternoon, and added necessary nutrients back into our lazy selves.

I love Greek yogurt because it is so much thicker than regular yogurt. However, the reason is not its purported health benefits. I prefer the texture of Greek yogurt to regular yogurt. By itself, the regular kind that I buy can be a little strong, even though I spoil myself sometimes with the amazing honey vanilla version from Trader Joe’s. The strength of regular Greek yogurt is diminished when added to a smoothie, and it adds that extra protein bump to this smoothie.


Use whatever frozen fruit you have on hand. I always have mangoes and some sort of berry blend on hand. Obviously you can use fresh fruit as well, but I like to add at least some form of frozen fruit, again, for the texture. I prefer to add frozen fruit over ice so the smoothie isn't watered down.

Wow, I really sound like a smoothie snob! I've hit upon some tried and true blends that yield satisfying, nutritious smoothies, but I would be happy to hear about your favorite combinations, as well! What's your smoothie manifesto?

Enjoy the smoothie, and tell me if you try it and what modifications you make! Have you experimented with any unusual ingredients in your smoothies lately?

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