Yes, I will fess up. I whip my spinach.
When I first heard of green smoothies, I thought it was a waste of perfectly good (often expensive) fruit.
When I came across another friend talking about the ridiculous green shakes, I asked her–quoting a lovingly used phrase of my down-home, southern-boy father–why in tarnation wouldn’t she just eat her spinach on a salad, like the rest of the known world?
As Elizabeth Barrett Browning penned, “the luck of the third adventure was proverbial.” (Yes, I will quote a Victorian poet to avoid using a cliche.) The third friend who tried to convince me to eat scourged spinach succeeded.
Although I acquiesced that it was surprisingly sweet, I figured I’d never actually join in on the green smoothie craze after I watched her load her mixer with large cupfuls of the most expensive fruit I ever buy–blueberries. After all, considering the cost per berry, I’d greatly prefer eating them unadulterated than smashing up their deep-violet mellowness with bitter spinach leaves.
But I couldn’t get away from these avocado-colored drinks. Everyone talked of how deliciously good they were. I knew they’d be a healthy alternative to Toblerone when my daughters and I had a When Calls the Heart week-long marathon. (Yes, it’s sappy, but sometimes girls want sappy.)
And they’d be a worthy substitute to chocolate-ladden trail mix when we played a Phase 10 Family Standoff.
So when I saw a huge sale at a local store, I bought myself a $5 smoothie maker. (Really. It was on sale for $25, with a $10 rebate. And I received a $10 coupon in the mail.)
I soon realized cheap blenders will suffice, and I didn’t need to sacrifice expensive blueberries to the cause. In fact, I make pretty decent flavored smoothies from whatever I have in the kitchen… often over-ripe bananas, bruised bits of strawberries, or hard pieces of pineapple that I scrape off from the rind. Pieces that would have went in the trash otherwise, but they add delectable sweetness to my crazy green concoctions.
My main staples that I include in every smoothie are spinach and non-fat, plain yogurt. I get both locally for less than $2.50 each, and they last me for a week or two. (Another bonus to the smoothies is they are a great way to use the not-so-fresh spinach in the fridge drawer.) I often include frozen mangos as well, at least whenever they’ve recently been on sale.
For banana, I peel them and toss them in a ziploc bag in the freezer whenever one is getting too ripe.
So for almost no cost, using things I might have even thrown away in the past, I enjoy delicious, wholesome desserts. (Mind you, that was pre-chickens. My 3 beloved hens are the recipients of most of my scraps these days. In turn, they happily give me 3 farm-fresh eggs every afternoon. See my #7 on this list if you’d like to know the only scraps I DON’T give my hens.)
My favorite recipe (adding a little water if it’s too thick):
“He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:25
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