As part of an overall quest to get healthier, I went to a holistic doctor for the first time last week, and part of my prescription is to eat greens daily. How awesome is that?
I’m also supposed to eat vegetables from the cabbage family every day. It was pretty cool to look down at my prescription and see “brussels sprouts.” But I’m a veggie lover, and I’ve been a fan of brussels sprouts since I was a kid, so maybe I’m just weird.
Anyway, I’m trying to incorporate more greens into my smoothies, and this yummy green smoothie with green grapes, baby kale and ginger was the result this morning. It’s very good, and tastes like something you’d pay at least $5 for at a juice bar. It’s easy, and much cheaper, to make at home. So, give it a try.
Green Goodness Chia Superfood Smoothie Recipe
1.5 cups green grapes
1 large banana
2 large handfuls of baby kale
1 T extra virgin coconut oil
1 cup of chia gel plus 1/4 cup water
1 T dry chia seeds
1, one-inch, pinkie-finger width piece of fresh ginger
1 cup of ice
1 T. honey, agave or sweetener of your choice
Throw all the ingredients into a Vitamix or other high-powered blender and blend on medium-high for about a minute.
I love those little seedless “personal watermelons” — they’re always crisp and sweet, and you don’t end up with enough watermelon to feed a family of eight. They’re the perfect size for my husband and me. So, I just happened to have one sitting on the counter when I went to make a smoothie this morning. I love watermelon smoothies, but they often come out too thin, even when I don’t add any additional liquid aside from what’s in the watermelon. Hence the name.
Enter: chia seeds. One of the great things about chia seeds is that they make an excellent thickener, kind of like flax seeds. So, I thought I’d experiment with adding double the usual amount of chia seeds I normally add to a smoothie. I tried it first with the amount I usually use, and the smoothie turned out very watery, almost like a licuado. I then added an extra two tablespoons of chia seeds and blended the smoothie again. Perfect.
I sipped this smoothie while sitting out on my sun porch, listening to the chirping birds and enjoying a late summer morning in Georgia. I love how the mornings are getting just a little cooler, making it pleasant to sit out outside. But they’re still warm, sunny and summery.
My husband loved the smoothie, and said it was one of his favorites I’d ever made. I thought the black cherries went well with the watermelon, and they gave the smoothie a nice deep pink color too. Here’s the recipe, which serves 2:
Half of a personal watermelon (just scoop the watermelon into the blender)
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen black sweet cherries
4 T chia seeds (plus extra for garnish)
1 T pure maple syrup
1 cup ice
Add the watermelon to a high-powered blender and blend on medium-high (I use speed 8 on my Vitamix) until it’s liquid. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend on medium high for about a minute.
My husband and I are total coffee addicts, so we hate when this happens. I went to make coffee and couldn’t find the beans to grind. He was washing the dishes. “Hey, we’re not out of coffee beans, are we?” I asked. He looked at me. “Oh, yeah, sorry, we ran out yesterday. I forgot.”
Crisis! I decided to run to the coffee shop a few blocks from our house, where they roast their own beans. It’s a little pricy, but worth it. But. They were closed for renovations and had no coffee beans. They were, however, giving away free coffee in front of the shop so they would keep their morning regulars happy during the two-week renovation.
When I got back from hunting down the coffee, I asked my husband if he wanted a smoothie. He said yes (he always does) but he had just cut two juicy Georgia peaches into a bowl. They were so perfectly ripe they were almost syrupy. And, continuing with my quest to eat as much fresh summer fruit as I can while summer lasts, I decided to use them in this morning’s smoothie.
I wanted something a little different to pair them with and, when I looked in the freezer, I saw some black grapes I had frozen to eat as a healthy dessert. I knew the grapes would add a nice extra boost of sweetness to the smoothie, so I decided to use those.
In this smoothie, I also used homemade chia gel I had in the fridge instead of adding raw chia seeds right into my blender like I usually do. The peaches were so juicy that, with the chia gel, I didn’t even need to add a liquid.
One nice bonus: the chia seeds in the gel weren’t nearly as sticky as the dry chia seeds, so I spent less time cleaning the blender afterward. (I do love the self-cleaning feature on my Vitamix, but chia seeds can be stubborn, so I sometimes have to run the blender at top speed for a while to get them to come off.) So, I think I’ll be experimenting with using chia gel in my smoothies more often.
The smoothie tastes delicious — and it’s vegan!
Here’s the recipe:
Peach Black Grape Chia Seed Smoothie
2 large ripe peaches
1 frozen banana
10 large frozen black grapes (you can sub another type of grape if you like)
1 cup chia gel
2 tsp. pure maple syrup
Add all the ingredients to a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend on medium-high speed (I go up to number 8 on the Vitamix) for about one minute. Pour into a glass and garnish with chia seeds and/or finely diced peach. Enjoy!
On Saturday, I stopped by the farmers market a few blocks from my house to get some tomatoes. It was a warm, sunny morning with blue skies, and I was a little surprised to see that our favorite tomato guy had no more tomatoes — just eggplants and butternut squash. A sure sign that fall is just around the corner. But it sure didn’t feel that way when I went for an 18-mile bike ride on Sunday in the 90-degree heat. After that, all I wanted was an icy glass of water and some cold melon.
This is the time of year I love to squeeze all the final goodness out of summer, which means eating lots of tomatoes and, of course, melons. So, I bought a Sugar Kiss melon over the weekend, along with some fresh blueberries. I’ve always loved to eat cantaloupe and blueberries together, and the Sugar Kiss reminds me a lot of a cantaloupe, though it’s quite a bit sweeter.
So, this morning I decided to create the ultimate end-of-summer smoothie, a sugar kiss blueberry chia concoction that was really quite delicious. Here’s the recipe:
Sugar Kiss Blueberry Chia Seed Smoothie
Half of a ripe Sugar Kiss melon (or cantaloupe)
1/2 cup of fresh, sweet blueberries
Half of a frozen banana
1 tsp. real maple syrup
1 cup ice
1 T. black or white chia seeds
Make the smoothie:
Combine all of the ingredients except the ice in a high-powered blender (I use a Vitamix) and blend at medium-high for a minute. Add the ice and blend at the same speed for about 30 seconds more.
*Tip: You can use frozen blueberries for an icier smoothie.
Pour into a tall, icy glass and enjoy! And if you’d like to get more chia seed recipes, tips and tricks, don’t forget to subscribe to ChiaQueen.com!
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