Make-Ahead Sweet Green Smoothie
For years, I have enjoyed making smoothies. There are many I enjoy, but I often return to my favorite smoothie which has a chocolate base and is a healthier way to satisfy my never-ending sweet tooth. Although I like my greens, NEVER did I have any inclination to put them in the blender. Until recently.
I was all set to make an apple-cinnamon version of my first make-ahead smoothie, which relies on blended oats and chia seeds, instead of frozen fruit or ice, to create a wonderful thickness. Earlier that morning, however, I ran into a friend who mentioned that she drinks green smoothies every day. She actually looks forward to them! She mentioned how avocados create the most velvety texture, and that she loves how peanut butter works with the avocado.
Hmmm, I thought as I stood over the blender. Maybe this was my day to take a leap. So, out to my garden I went and plucked some kale leaves. I had a ripe avocado and I always have peanut butter. I knew I wanted the smoothie to taste sweet and definitely not, well, green. Instead of using the Granny Smith apple I had planned on, I grabbed a sweet Fuji apple.
After a little experimentation, I ended up with a combination that I enjoy so much, I have made it over and over. Initially, I used half an apple, peeled. Now I use the whole apple, cored, but with the skin on. I’ve upped the amount of kale a bit and, with the full apple, the yield now exceeds my serving container of choice–a 16-ounce Mason jar. The yield is closer to 20 ounces. If you like this smoothie, double the recipe to have three good-sized servings. You can freeze them, if desired, although they will keep several days in the fridge.
I also like to take an extra dollop of the vanilla Greek yogurt and spoon it in, just before eating. It’s like whipped cream but better. Really. I have a few other flavors I’ve been thinking about, but I seem to keep going back to this crazy green concoction which tastes so surprisingly good!
Note: I added no sweetener beyond the vanilla yogurt and the natural sweetness of the apple. With smoothies in general, how much sweetener you will want add will depend on how sweet your fruit is to begin with, which type of milk and yogurt you use, as well as personal preference. Protein powder can be a source of sweetness, too, if you opt to include that. Adjust to your taste preference. Keep in mind that the flavors will develop a bit as the smoothie sits in the refrigerator.
Follow THIS LINK for a great strawberry option.
Make-Ahead Sweet Green Smoothie:
1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 teaspoons chia seeds (I’ve since increased the amount to a scant tablespoon.)
1 cup almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/4 cup low-fat yogurt (I use vanilla 2% Greek yogurt)
1 medium or large apple, cored and chopped (I use either organic Fuji or Gala.)
6 medium kale leaves, chopped (about a cup, loosely packed, or more to taste; could substitute spinach)
1/2 a ripe avocado, scooped out of the shell
2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon lime juice
Add the oats and chia seeds to the blender, and blend on high until you have the texture of a fine flour. Add the milk, yogurt, and all remaining ingredients. Blend on high until the mixture is smooth, scraping down the sides and blending again, as necessary. It is helpful to stir down to the bottom to make sure the oat mixture is fully incorporated.
Transfer the smoothie to a jar or other lidded container. Refrigerate overnight and shake before drinking. Will keep 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
If you want to freeze, first allow the mixture to soak for at least four hours in the refrigerator.
This recipe has been shared with Amee’s Savory Dish and her collection of Fit and Fabulous recipes.