Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday Favorites: The Minted Smoothie

Oh before I get started I have to tell you about this great festival this weekend in Plaza Midwood.  Dirty up your best messenger bag and check out the 2013 Charlotte VegFest! The festival is a great way to introduce yourself to the vegetarian/vegan/sustainable community here in Charlotte. I am particularly interested in seeing Gene Baur speak. He is a hugely successful activist against the deplorable conditions behind factor farming. Instead of taking a blind eye against the meat you eat, why don't you take a moment to stare at it in the face, quite literally.  

Ok now back to smoothies . . . 

A couple of months ago I purchased a NutriBullet. It is a small powerful blender often compared to the Vitamix. It is no-vitamix but the Vitamix is currently out of my price range. I watched several side-by-side comparisons on You Tube and it held up pretty well so I bought one. I have really enjoyed playing with it but I have especially enjoyed consuming a large chunk of my daily fruit and veggies through delicious nutrient packed smoothies. While I have a lot of favorites this week I am really digging the minted smoothie and I have two versions to share!

The first recipe I came across on YummyMummy Kitchen. A recovery smoothie or a dessert? You decide. My Nutribullet is a little too small to handle 3 cups of spinach but I just use as much as I can. The proportions here are not really that important but this recipe makes 2 large glasses.

3 cups baby spinach 
2/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or as much as needed to obtain the consistency desired)
1 banana (preferably peeled, sliced, and frozen) 
1/4-1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract 
1 sprig fresh mint leaves 
1 scoop vanilla protein powder 
3 cups ice cubes 
2 tablespoons chocolate covered cocoa nibs or chocolate chips 
a couple of thick straws!

Blend all ingredients except for cocoa nibs/chocolate chips until smooth. Add more milk if mixture is too thick to turn. Add chocolate and pulse until ground into chunky pieces. Transfer to glasses and garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired. 

Honestly I cannot remember where I came across the second recipe but I found a close match published on another blog, Health Food Lover. It is rather simple with just spinach, pear, and mint but the combination is delightful! I added in the apple just to get another fruit that wasn't a banana. It seems like every smoothie recipe involves a banana and sometimes I just want something a little lighter and more refreshing!

2-3 handfuls of baby spinach 
1 pear, core removed 
1 sprig fresh mint leaves 
1 apple, core removed 
unsweetened almond/soy milk or just water (just as much needed to obtain the consistency desired)