February 17, 2012

What to do with Spinach

In the last week I've had a mean peanut butter-banana smoothie craving.  Readers of this blog know that we make it a practice to buy all of our produce from the farmers market (or grow it in our garden), which certainly means no bananas.  This craving was so strong though, I went to Trader Joe's and bought a bunch of bananas.

Actually, back up.

First I made myself a smoothie.  Just the standard: some juice, yogurt and fruit, plus a shot of hemp oil for an Omega-3 boost.  It was alright.  Gracie didn't like it, probably due to the flavor of the hemp oil, but I liked it.  A few hours later at lunchtime, that craving was still hanging on, so I went to Jamba Juice and got a Peanut Butter Moo'ed.  It was pretty good, but it gave me that "rot gut" feeling that milkshakes always do (except, interestingly, milk shakes made with raw milk).  I assumed that the the 24 ounces of deliciousness--and if not that, the accompanying tummy ache--would quell the peanut butter-banana smoothie craving, but the next day the craving was at least as strong as before, so then I bought the bananas.

It was Saturday, and I also bought a bag of spinach at the farmers market.  I haven't purchased spinach for while, primarily because I'm the only one in my family who likes it, and a whole bag is quite a lot of spinach to go use up before it gets slimy. 

Historically, my favorite way to eat spinach is with bow tie pasta or spaghetti, garlicky chickpeas, plenty of black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese, but I haven't found pasta very appealing lately.  And whenever I served that dish the rest of the family expressed frustration that spaghetti was being served with anything other than marinara sauce and meatballs.

So, Sunday, inspired by my dear friend Jenny who hosts the most entertaining blog in my feed reader and openly despises green vegetables, but enjoys green smoothies, I concocted a chocolate-peanut butter-banana smoothie with yogurt, raw milk and a big handful of spinach.  Tuesday I made another one subbing small spoonfuls of honey and coconut oil for the chocolate syrup and adding half of a Pink Lady apple.  Wednesday and Thursday I did similar things.  Today I did not make a smoothie.  I'm saving my frozen bananas for next week and the last two handfuls of spinach for tonight's dinner, Homemade Mongolian BBQ.

The Saturday Chico Farmers Market is tomorrow.  Among other things, I'll be buying spinach, almond butter and honey for next week's smoothies.

Peanut Butter-Banana Green Smoothie
Makes approximately 16 fluid ounces.  Serves 1.
Whole foods, "good" fats, sweet fruit and a shot of greens.  Sounds like a great breakfast to me.  

1/2 cup whole raw milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 of a Pink Lady apple, sliced
1 teaspoon each honey and unrefined organic coconut oil
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 banana, sliced and frozen
2 handfuls spinach, large stems removed

Add ingredients to blender in order listed.  If, like me, you have a regular ol' blender, you may find her more cooperative if you blend the smoothie before adding the banana and again before adding the spinach.

Need more smoothie inspiration?  Check out this fun Smoothie Flowchart from Eating Rules.

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