Yesterday started out with a frenzy of work, the early morning punctuated by the image of some gorgeous brownies topped with salted peanut butter frosting. Occupational hazard of food writing is that you get a steady stream of enticing food images and recipes every minute of every day. I was so tempted. Brownies, after all, are so quick to make. But the day was stacked. I began to think of simply scooping peanut butter with hunks of chocolate. Not that I've ever done that before. Of course I have. Then I remembered Red, AKA my sexy new pro Vitamix. I decided to make a smoothie version of the decadent treat. After all, I could always make the brownies tomorrow.
Smoothie Pro Tips
One of the best uses for muffin tins is to portion things. Here, I've portioned a bunch of banana slices. Once they're frozen, I pop the blocks into a zip top bag and every time I want a smoothie with a creamy base, all I have to do is grab one or two of the banana blocks to start.
Now on to our smoothie du jour...I wanted to amp up the nutrition of the decidedly dessertish treat.
Pro tip #2
Adding oats to your diet is a good thing. I eat them almost every day and I find that reducing the decision-making in the morning is a very good thing. Knowing I'll have oats one way or another means less options to choose something unhealthy, reducing the likelihood I'll skip breakfast altogether, and a morning base of oats keeps you full and keeps the blood sugar steady for quite a while.
If I am in a smoothie rather than porridgey mood: I often start by soaking the oats in the Vitamix for about ten minutes. (That's about two tweets, one Facebook scan or enough time to burn a piece of toast. Trust me, it's no time at all.)
Here, my oats are resting in So Delicious coconut milk. You could use regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, hemp...whatever.
The Un-chunky Monkey Smoothie
So you can see clockwise from the milk, I started with about 1/2 C; then peanut butter, cocoa, oats, flax seed, bananas and two dates. Plenty of sweetness there. Can you guess what else I added for additional nutrition?
Baby spinach leaves. They're so delicate in flavor you don't taste them in the smoothie but you're adding fiber, vitamin A & C, plus iron.
The Un-chunky Monkey - a very filling smoothie. Given the sugar in the shake and the oats, I found this easy to use in place of a meal. That's to say I wasn't hungry for a long time. It satisifed the chocolate-peanut butter urge, it kept my blood sugar steady and it gave me some protein, minerals, antioxidants, but best of all: Delicious!
- 3/4 C of milk of your choice
- 3 TBSP smooth organic peanut butter
- 2 TBSP cocoa
- 1/4 C oats
- ~ 1 TBSP ground golden flax
- 2-4 dates to taste (2 was plenty for me but I don't love sweet)
- ~ 1/3 C of frozen banana
- ~ 1/2 oz of baby spinach leaves (a small handful)
- Place oats and milk in blender, let soak for 10 minutes for extra smoothness.
- Add rest of ingredients, top with a handful of ice.
- Blend, adding ice or milk to desired consistency.
Remember to follow #30daysofVitamix and my Pinterest board of the same name for more smoothie tips and recipes.