Pumpkin Pie Spinach Smoothie 

VitamixSpinach

All green smoothies taste like grass: true or false?

False. Not this smoothie! It’s bright green like fresh, spring grass but it tastes like dessert.

I’ve been a smoothie girl forever. There’s just something about drinking a big, cold glass of goodness through a straw. When the monkeys were little, our neighbor would come over a few times a week for “smoothie time.” I used to make smoothies with yogurt and milk, which I can’t have anymore. So I stopped making smoothies for a while. And then Don saved the day with a Vitamix for Christmas. It’s been smoothie-ville over here since, and this is my absolute favorite recipe. I’m so excited for you to try it. If you don’t have a high speed blender, pack up the ingredients and head over to a friend’s house to try it out.

GreenSmoothie

The original recipe calls for a frozen banana and fresh spinach; it was good but the kids wouldn’t drink it. It took me a few months of tweaking to finally find the perfect balance of ingredients. The spinach must be frozen! But if your spinach is frozen sold like an ice cube, throw it in the blender to sit and soften up for a few hours before you make your smoothie.

I order most of my spices from Spicely Organic, and this pumpkin pie seasoning is no exception! We also use it on oatmeal and baked sweet potatoes. Spicely Organic products are free of the top allergens and easy to order online with fast, free shipping.

Baked sweet potatoes are a staple in our fridge. Loaded with vitamins (A, B6, C, E), beta carotene, and fiber, sweet potatoes are a fast, healthy snack with a drizzle of avocado oil and some pumpkin seeds on top. Add a sweet potato to a bowl of quinoa with some spinach and a drizzle of maple syrup for a quick lunch.

If your kids come to my house after school for a play date, chances are they will come home with a green mustache. This recipe is kid tested and approved. Not to mention packed with nutrition and whole, real food. Give it a whirl!

Pumpkin Pie Spinach Smoothie
Serves 4
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Ingredients
  1. 1 large banana (not frozen)
  2. 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  3. 1 generous cup cooked skinless sweet potato
  4. 10 ounce package of frozen spinach
  5. 3 tablespoon almond butter or sunbutter
  6. 2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  7. 2 teaspoon pumpkin pie seasoning
  8. 1 tablespoon flaxseed or protein powder
  9. 2 dates, pit removed
  10. 1 cup ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a high speed blender.
  2. Whirl away for a few minutes until there are no bits of green or brown.
  3. Yields 48 ounces.
Adapted from Andrea Bemis, Dishing Up the Dirt
Under the Monkey Bars http://underthemonkeybars.com/
Notes:
– Use organic ingredients whenever possible.
– I use this raw protein powder. Why? Because OhSheGlows recommends it and she knows her stuff! I alternate between this flaxseed and the protein powder, sometimes a combination of both depending on what I think we need.
– Barney brand almond butter is not processed with peanuts and is gluten free. I use the bare kind because it only contains two ingredients with no added sugar.
– If you don’t have pumpkin pie spice, try a combination of mostly cinnamon with nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice to make 2 teaspoons.
– Try this smoothie with any kind of milk (cow’s milk, coconut, almond, rice, etc.).  Make sure to check the ingredients and don’t buy almond milk with carrageenan; here’s why. 
– Make the smoothie whenever you have time and store it in these covered glasses.
– Don’t be afraid of frozen vegetables; they have just as many nutrients as fresh ones (per a nutritionist!).

 

Cómelo todo!

Pantry Snacks

PantrySnacks2

When you transition to a whole foods diet, snacks are the hardest habit to change, especially for kids.  My monkeys snack way less than they used to, but we still need our snacks!  Fruits and veggies are first on our list for snacks, but sometimes it’s not practical or convenient. 

It takes a lot of time, planning, and creativity to stay on top of healthy eating for the whole family. Baked goods are easy to grab and go.  Realistically though, there isn’t always time to bake something homemade — like our favorite Simple Coconut Chocolate Bars recipe.   

Snacks in packages are typically filled with preservatives and chemicals that won’t help your body stay healthy and strong.  But they are convenient!  And when you’re hungry, it’s generally what you grab.

I made a list of snacks that we keep in our pantry.  Yes, these snacks are processed; however, they are a better choice because they are organic and contain fewer ingredients.  These snacks are non-GMO, dairy free, gluten free, vegan, soy free, and peanut free.  We don’t eat this stuff every day, but we do keep it on hand for when I don’t have time to make something homemade.  

Pantry snacks, as we call them, are also great for snowstorms, when snack lovin’ friends visit, and when I don’t have time to be supermom.  Some days you just have to fly without a cape, and let it go….

Under the Monkey Bars Snack List
Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Organic Popcorn: 3 ingredients

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips: 3 ingredients

The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas, sea salt: 4 ingredients

GoGo Squeez Organic Applesauce: 2 ingredients

Green Mountain Gringo Organic Tortilla Chips: 3 ingredients

Sun-dried Organic Figs: 1 ingredient

Sunmaid Organic Raisins: 1 ingredient

Wonderfully Raw Coco-Roons, Lemon Pie or Brownie: 7 ingredients

Dark Chocolate Mint Sun Cups: 6 ingredients

Pascha Organic Dark Chocolate Bar, Maca: 5 ingredients

Blue Mountain Organics Raw Nuts and Seeds: 1 ingredient each  
{NOTE: Use code TAKE5 at Blue Mountain Organics for $5 off a minimum purchase of $50!  This nut company does not process any peanuts.}

 

I’ve included links so you can check out these products online.  Some will be available at your local grocery store.  Our Whole Foods offers everything except the Buddha popcorn, Pascha chocolate bars, and Blue Mountain nuts.  Definitely stock up if you find these items on sale! 

One more idea: Try mixing some of these goodies together for your own personal trail-mix.  Bean and Sweet Pea love when I put out our mason jars filled with snack items on the table so they can fill their reusable snack bags.  Pantry snacks are a real treat at our house!

Don and I are getting ready for a ski get-away next week.   I’ll be blogging from Stowe, VT (yes, we are escaping the snowbanks of Newburyport for the snowy slopes of Stowe).  I already have some of these snacks stashed away and ready to pack in our new duffel bags.  Until then…happy, healthy snacking!  Have a great weekend!