Green Smoothie Goodness

What makes a new house or apartment feel like home? Obviously getting all your stuff unpacked and settled is a big one, but that can take weeks (especially if, like with us, unpacking requires purchasing new furniture pieces).  Until then, I find the this-is-my-home feeling in the kitchen.  Making a nice big pot of soup or chili is a great start, but it really hits me when I'm making the usual things, like breakfast.  The routine of bopping around the kitchen, opening this drawer and that to prepare something I've made a million times before.  Then I'm home.  This morning, it was getting back to my breakfast smoothie.

Green Smoothie 1
For the last few months before I left DC, I was having this green smoothie for breakfast every morning and loving it.  My mom thought I was crazy for drinking a smoothie with spinach and kale in it until I made her test it, and she was forced to agree that it's freaking delicious.  Not only that, it keeps me satisfied until lunch, and according to my calculations, it's only about 375 calories!  Disclosure:  I'm not generally a calorie counter and please don't expect to see calorie information on other recipes - in fact, it's a trigger for my previously eating-disordered self.  But as a newbie to the smoothie world, I was curious about whether this "healthy" breakfast was actually healthy in terms of sugar and calorie content, so I did a quick check.  Turns out it is!  And I'm eating five servings of fruits and vegetables before 9 am.  Holla.

If you're cringing a bit about the thought of drinking kale and spinach for breakfast (or at all), I encourage you to give this recipe a try.  I promise you won't taste it.  

Though I'm sure it would be terrific to have a fancy blender for this smoothie, I make mine with my trusty immersion blender because (1) I don't have a fancy blender, (2) the not-fancy blender I own might have been in an accident involving pureeing hot soup resulting in the top blowing off and shattering, and (3) the immersion blender is crazy easy to clean.  

See my fancy set-up:
Green Smoothie 3
Immersion blender + plastic pitcher = blending goodness.

If you're using an immersion blender, you might want to check it before you stop blending to make sure there aren't kale stragglers - they sometimes get stuck in the little holes of mine.  I just pull them off and give it one more whir.
Green Smoothie 2
I know that I found the basic recipe (with a few minor changes from me) on Pinterest, but I just have it in my head now and can't for the life of me find it again.  If anybody knows where this comes from, please please let me know so I can give credit.  Thanks!
Green Smoothie 4
Green Smoothie

1 cup orange juice
1 cup kale
1 cup spinach
1 banana (folks usually use frozen, but I like it better not frozen)
1 pear
1/4 tsp ginger 

Blend and enjoy!

Two caveats to this recipe:  

First, you'll notice there's no protein in here like in some other smoothie recipes, like almond milk or yogurt or peanut butter.  I'm not a huge protein person in the morning.  It sits too heavy in my stomach.  But I know there are those who need that.  Navah has hers with a scrambled egg.  And I sub in avocado for the banana to up the protein element.  You could also add in a powdered protein or sub almond milk or yogurt for half of the orange juice.  That's the fun of smoothies - play around!  I sub in different fruits all the time.

Second, if you're new to 100% fruit/veggie smoothies, I recommend that you take it slowly.  Start with just half this recipe for a week and work your way up.  It can be...hmm...shall we say, a lot for a stomach that's not used to it.  

'Til next time!