Homesteading In the Kitchen

I’ll Confess, I Like Whipped Spinach

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?

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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.)

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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.

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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):

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He gives food to every creature. His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:25

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make smoothies for almost free

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4 Comment

  1. I’m a big fan too! They are a great way to use up little bits of fruit, aren’t they? My favorite “recipe” uses the wild blackberries that grow on our land. I always use a frozen banana in mine, that’s what makes them thick and creamy.

    1. “Yes!” to the frozen banana. We always have one or two every batch that I buy that gets too ripe for anyone to want to eat it. So I remove the skin and stash it away in a ziplock bag in our freezer with other bananas. There are always plenty for making smoothies or banana bread.

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