Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Green Monster, Take 2

Bug (he's four-and-a-half) has recently put himself on a smoothie-only diet (with an occasional hard-boiled egg or bowl of Lucky Charms). I'm usually in the "they'll eat when they're hungry" camp, but his liquid diet is making me uncomfortable.

I found a recipe for something called the "Green Monster Smoothie": bananas, yogurt, pineapple, avocado, honey, and--dum dum dum dum--fresh spinach, the flavor of which is supposed to be undetectable. It sounded perfect! I could get some veggies in the kid! But blend, blend, blend as I might (I even bought a brand-new Ninja blender), the spinach was detectable. Not the taste--but the texture. Bug's immediate reaction: "what's in this? It's chewy!" Failure!

Back to the drawing board. Now I'm wondering if frozen spinach would work if I thawed and blended the hell out of it. It seems more blendable, right? I'm also going to omit the pineapple just in case the stringiness was part of the problem.

Bug's Green Monster Smoothie
1/4 c frozen spinach, thawed
1 banana
2 heaping T frozen orange juice concentrate
1/2 c vanilla protein powder (this can be omitted, but add a different sweetener)
1.5 c milk (we use vanilla almond milk or vanilla soy milk)
ice cubes to taste

Blend the spinach and banana with a little milk before adding the other ingredients. Serves 1-2.

I'm planning to try it out this afternoon. Stay tuned for the verdict.

Update: He drank it without incident! The cooked spinach made for a less chewy smoothie, although there seemed to be no way to process it into an undetectable paste, which is what I was hoping for. Anyway, success!


  1. Do you have a juicer? You could juice the fresh spinach leaves & the pineapple & add just the juice to the rest of the smoothie. That would get rid of anything chewy or stringy.

    1. I'm thinking about getting a juicer. We had the "Juiceman" when I lived in Las Vegas, and I LOVED it! (I left it there with the jerky ex-boyfriend).

  2. Try pureeing the spinach before adding it to the smoothie. Cook it first and drain, then puree with about a tablespoon of water, broth, or other liquid. I think a food processor may work better than a blender for pureeing the spinach.

    1. I was wondering if cooking the spinach would diminish the nutritional value. Just an aside: I bought the Ninja system because it said it blended AND chopped like a dream. I wish I would have just bought a new Cuisinart. The Ninja isn't impressing me.