Friday, March 15, 2013

Smoothies (They're Green, but don't tell!)


I'm making progress.  This morning, my BG was 113! Although it hasn't been consistently in the normal range, I'm encouraged because I'm seeing a downward trend.  For the past six weeks, my diet has been mainly vegetable-based soups, fresh vegetables or salad, fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese and, a few days a week, a lean protein such as fish or chicken for dinner.  It's not very exciting, but it seems to be working. Also, the most amazing part is that my sugar and carb cravings are gone! I don't plan to remain on this highly restrictive diet always but, for now and until I reach my goal, I am severely limiting all bread products, grains, potatoes, rice and pasta.

The most exciting and varied part of my day is the green smoothie I make for breakfast.  I love mixing the different fruit flavors and hiding two or more servings of vegetables and fruit in each glass!  I know that some people turn away from green smoothies because they can't get past the green color.  Even though the fruit flavors overpower the greens (if the combination is right), the smoothie may not have an appetizing appearance which can make it hard for some to swallow.  I wanted to share these two delicious recipes because they're not green!  If you're one who might benefit from green smoothies, but have been reluctant to give them a try, these might just change your mind.

Tips for introducing yourself to green smoothies:  At first, add a small amount of greens to an otherwise fruit-based smoothie.  Add a little more every week until you reach the suggested amount in a recipe or to taste.  Use frozen fruit for a refreshing, cool smoothie (or add ices cubes).  When I make one of these smoothies in the morning, I drink about 2/3 of the entire recipe for breakfast, then refrigerate and finish the remaining portion as a snack in the late afternoon.


Chocolate Cherry “Green” Smoothie
Makes 2 servings 

(If you add a few ice cubes, this smoothie becomes an unforgettable frozen dessert.)

1 cup frozen cherries, no sugar added
½ small banana (frozen)
1 ½ cups unsweetened or original almond or soy milk
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1-2 Tablespoons Splenda or Stevia, granular (or to taste)
2 cups mild greens, such as spinach or kale
1 Tablespoon fiber powder (optional)
½ scoop protein powder (optional)

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth or desired consistency is reached.

Nutritional Information per serving (with fiber and protein powders):  175 calories, 34.6 g carbohydrate (10.6 g fiber, 18.7 g sugars), 2.8 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 155 mg sodium, 280.1 mg calcium, 6.2 g protein.


Chocolate Cashew Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
Makes 2 servings 

(The cashews add a rich creaminess to this awesome smoothie!) 

2 Tablespoons raw cashews (about 12-14 whole cashews)
1 ½ cups unsweetened or original almond or soy milk
½ small banana (frozen)
2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
1-2 Tablespoons Splenda or Stevia, granular (or to taste)
2 cups mild greens, such as spinach or kale
1 Tablespoon fiber powder (optional)
½ scoop protein powder (optional)
6 ice cubes

If necessary, soak the cashews in the almond milk for 30 minutes or overnight. (This is advisable for those using a normal household blender.  If you have a heavy-duty blender, such as a Vita-mix, it is not necessary.) Place the cashews and almond milk in the blender and blend until smooth.  Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.  One by one, drop the ice cubes into the blender while on low speed through the lid opening and blend until desired consistency is reached.

Nutritional Information per serving (with fiber and protein powders):  300 calories, 34.7 g carbohydrate (11 g fiber, 11 g sugars), 14.7 g total fat, 3.1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 345.9 mg calcium, 12.3 g protein.

Recipes by Kathy Sheehan, copyright 2013

1 comment:

  1. These smoothies look great! I love the idea of putting greens into them. I would never have thought of something like that! I will have to try these guys for breakfast soon!

    ReplyDelete