I have a MAJOR sweet tooth, especially in the mornings and this combo definitely does the trick whilst providing heaps of nutritious hidden veg!
As a student i’m all about practicality, limiting my waste, cost-saving and convenience. I find it incredibly easy to eat masses of fruit and vegetables all day everyday, but in reality this can be extremely expensive, impractical and difficult for most. In addition, fresh fruit and veg tend to spoil quickly, especially your dark leafy greens, berries, zucchini etc. This can be seriously frustrating & inconvenient for those who are budgeting, living busy lives and only managing 1-2 grocery shops per week. But, guess what? The frozen alternatives are just as good, if not better being cheaper, nutritionally complete and just as tasty when prepared correctly.
Some of my FAVOURITE frozen staples include: proteins such as raw chicken breast/deboned skinless chicken thighs, precooked & shelled prawns, turkey mince and white fish (cape whiting, cod, kingklip). Vegetables such as green peas, frozen corn, frozen cauliflower rice, chopped ginger, garlic & red onion and greens such as frozen spinach/kale/zucchini (which I exclusively use for making green smoothies). Frozen fruits such as blueberries (as well as all other berries), banana (make sure to peel these PRIOR to freezing), pomegranate, pineapple and mango. Carbohydrate sources such as frozen sliced bread of choice, wraps and precooked microwave rice (I prefer frozen microwave rice to shelf microwave rice, as it doesn't contain any added oils or preservatives - this is just a personal preference as I like adding my own additional fats and oils after cooking i.e. fresh avocado, nuts & seeds, extra-virgin olive oil, tahini etc.). Another trick is filling ice cube trays with freshly squeezed lemon/lime juice (a great addition to water) or coconut cream/milk, which I like adding to curries, kitchari, lentil dahls and pina coladas!
So back to the actual post. It's no secret that I love starting my day with a smoothie (or oats). But it needs to be one that includes protein, healthy fats, complex carbs and (preferably) vegetables. This will help to increase satiety, reduce bloating and lower the glycemic load (i.e. food is more slowly absorbed and digested, resulting in a gradual increase in blood sugar rather than a spike).
Now let's tie the two together. It rears towards the end of the week and you feel like something healthy, delicious and nourishing, but quite frankly you're over cooking, there's no fresh fruit in sight and the last thing you feel like is a plate full of vegetables. Crisis.
Well I think I have the perfect solution. Grab a frozen banana, some frozen greens, your fav protein powder for a flavour explosion and boom you've got yourself a tasty salted caramel green smoothie that ticks all the boxes in a delicious, quick and easy way.
RECIPE | Serves: 1 | Prep time: < 5 minutes
1 frozen banana
1 cup frozen zucchini/courgette
1 cup frozen spinach
1 serving of salted caramel/vanilla plant-based protein powder (in this recipe I have used the salted caramel Misfits Vegan protein)
¼ cup unsweetened plant milk of choice (I recommend using oat milk for a super creamy texture)
1 medjool date *optional but highly recommended for some additional caramel sweetness
Toppings: add any goodies that you enjoy and have on hand! This combo tastes especially delicious with cashew nut butter, cacao nibs, fresh berries/pomegranate, flaked/desiccated coconut and crunchy granola.
Note: I recommend using very ripe and spotty bananas as well as flavoured protein powder to make it nice and sweet, to increase the protein content and to mask the flavour of zucchini/baby spinach.
Add all ingredients to a high-speed blender or food processor. Add the liquids first and powders last (this will ensure that all the ingredients become nicely incorporated and that no large clumps of protein powder stick to the walls of the blender).
Blend until smooth and creamy.
Serve in a bowl and top with nut butter, granola and fruit of choice.