Green Monkey Smoothie
It isn't exactly smoothie season, but sometimes you just need a hefty dose of green in the morning. This smoothie is loaded with veggies, but you honestly can't taste them at all. Spinach is the obvious green smoothie choice, but I've added frozen zucchini as well. I promise you won't even know it's there! It's addition ups the nutrient value, helps balance the sugar, and makes the smoothie extra thick and creamy.
When I first started making smoothies, I would add anything and everything to the blender with a more the merrier attitude, but I've learned that as with most things in life, restraint is key. At the core this is a basic peanut butter and banana smoothie - just green!
If you DO want to get fancy, however, I tend to add maca powder and spirulina to most smoothies I make for an extra nutrient boost.
Maca root is native to the Andes region of Peru. It has numerous health benefits, but predominantly acts as an adaptogen - helping the body to manage stress and balance hormone levels. It is high in B vitamins among other key nutrients, bolsters the immune system, increases energy and mental clarity, and is known to boost fertility in both men and women. Maca is widely available in powder form and easily blends into smoothies, juices, and desserts. The flavor is similar to malted milk or butterscotch.
Spirulina is a blue-green algae with far too many health benefits to quickly summarize. Most importantly, it detoxes heavy metals from the body. It also works to eliminate Candida (a yeast over growth), may help prevent certain forms of cancer, lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol, and boosts energy. Plus, it's 60% protein by weight and loaded with chlorophyll, phytonutrients, iron, and numerous antioxidants. Spirulina is available in powdered form or compressed pellets. I typically have both on hand for varying purposes, but always buy an organic brand. The flavor is what you would expect, so I recommend supplementing with a small amount first.
Green Monkey Smoothie
6 ounces non-dairy milk of choice
1/2 banana, frozen
1/2 cup zucchini, frozen
1-2 tsp. chia seeds
1 heaping Tbs. organic, unsalted peanut butter
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 tsp. maca powder
1/2 tsp. spirulina
Add ingredients to a high powered blender and process until smooth. For a thinner consistency, add more liquid.
Pro-tip: When freezing bananas and zucchini, cut them into 1 inch chunks and freeze them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Once frozen solid, transfer to a plastic freezer bag for easy stashing. Now you know what to do with those over ripe bananas and all that summer zucchini!