Because of St. Patrick’s Day, I’ve been seeing lots of green when it comes to recipes the last few weeks! A lot of them have pistachios as an ingredient, and I love pistachios! So I thought I’d try them in a smoothie. A green smoothie, of course, with a healthy blend of milk, yogurt, honey, frozen banana, baby spinach leaves, and pistachios. It’s a lightly sweet, creamy smoothie that doesn’t taste super-spinachy. If you’re put off by green smoothies, you might want to give this one a try–it has less of a veggie taste than others I’ve had. You do have to do a wee bit of planning ahead to make this by putting a banana (or half of a banana) in the freezer the night before you make it, but otherwise this is super quick and easy to make!
GREEN PISTACHIO SMOOTHIE by NancyCMakes 1 (10-ounce) serving
1/3 to 1/2 cup low-fat milk (or use soy milk; use 1/3 cup if you want a thicker smoothie)
1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or use soy yogurt)
1 Tablespoon honey
1/2 medium frozen banana, broken into chunks
1/2 cup well-packed baby spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachios (plus a little more for sprinkling on top)
In a high-speed blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, top with a light sprinkling of pistachios, and serve. Makes about 10 ounces.
Have you made any green smoothies? Do you have a favorite recipe for one? Hope you are having a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I saw an article at Sharecare.com about seven foods they refer to as “anti-aging powerhouses.” These foods may also help cut your risk of heart disease and cancer when incorporated into a healthy diet. So if you’re interested, here’s a condensed list of the seven foods–you can visit Sharecare.com for more details!
Berries–They lower your disease risks and also help prevent memory loss. Eat 1 cup of any kind of berries, fresh or frozen, at least 3 times a week.
Salmon–A good source of omega-3 fatty acids, it helps fight heart disease and is also good for your skin. The article recommends having two 3-ounce servings per week.
Nuts–Although they’re high in fat, it’s heart-healthy fat; and nuts are also good sources of protein, magnesium, and B and E vitamins. Eat a 1/4 cup serving of almonds, cashews, walnuts, or pecans up to 5 times per week.
Dark Leafy Greens–Spinach, romaine lettuce, collard greens, kale, and chard are good sources of fiber, vitamins C and K, folic acid and lutein. They also contain lots of vitamin A which helps keep your skin soft and supple. Two servings per day are recommended–and a serving is 1 cup cooked greens or 2 cups raw greens.
Whole Grains–Referred to by Sharecare as a “nutritional powerhouse,” whole grains–like brown rice and quinoa, to name a few–can help prevent heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and hypertension. Try for 3 to 6 servings a day. A serving might be one slice of whole-grain bread, 1/2 cup cooked grains, or 1 cup whole-grain cereal.
Yellow and Orange Vegetables–Think carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and other deep yellow and orange veggies. They can lower your cancer risk and help protect you from colds, infections, and sun damage to your skin. Two 1/2 cup servings a day are recommended.
Yogurt–Plain, low-fat, or nonfat…all are good sources of B vitamins, protein, and calcium. Look for yogurt with active cultures–probiotics–which also help fight against disease-causing germs. Have at least 4 cups a week if yogurt is your main source of dairy.
Hope this is a helpful reminder for you to work these into your diet! I like all the foods on this list, so I just need to remember to eat enough of them each week. Do you eat many of these healthy foods already?
It’s really been warm lately, so I’ve been making lots of smoothies–they just taste so good on a hot day! One fruit that I really love but haven’t used that much in smoothies is honeydew melon. They’ve always been a little challenging for me to cut because I don’t have the greatest cutlery (watermelon is the same problem, but I usually don’t buy a whole watermelon; I buy the ones that are already cut). But my melon-cutting problems were over when I received two samples from the Gunter Wilhelm™Executive Chef™ Cutlery Collection. I received an 8″ Chef Knife and a 3.5″ Paring Knife to try out, and I decided to put them to the melon test!
I bought quite a large honeydew melon, which would have been really hard to cut with my old knives. I used the 8″ Chef Knife to cut the melon in half and it worked like a dream! It cut so smoothly and was really easy to handle. The Paring Knife worked great for cutting the melon into smaller chunks. I read that these knives have an ergonomic handle which is especially nice when you have recipes that require a lot of chopping. And this cutlery is made with high-carbon stainless steel that won’t wear out–in fact, it has a lifetime warranty.
So I decided to use my chunks of honeydew melon in a smoothie with some frozen blueberries, and it tasted great! The frozen blueberries make the smoothie nice and cool, and there’s some banana and yogurt in this that make it creamy. Here’s the recipe…
BLUEBERRY-HONEYDEW SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative
Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup honeydew melon (cut melon into small chunks–you can substitute cantaloupe if you want)
1/2 medium or large size banana, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 to 1 Tablespoon honey
Optional: 1/2 Tablespoon ground flaxseed
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (if you want extra fiber, add the ground flaxseed into the blender, too). Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. Makes 2 (8-ounce) servings.
Cutting and chopping fruits and veggies is so much easier with this cutlery. Do you have a favorite set of knives you like to use, or have you ever tried the Gunter Wilhelm™ brand?
With all the sports games on TV, and with the Super Bowl coming up, you may be looking for some different dip recipes to snack on as you’re watching! It’s always nice to have some healthier options and this is a yummy dip that’s a little more on the healthy side. It’s made with yogurt, salsa, a little bit of light mayo, and some seasoning. Shredded cheese is optional, but I really like it with the cheese, even though it’s not quite as healthy that way! The dip shown here is made with Pepper Jack cheese, which gives it a little extra spice. So, keep this in mind for the games!
CREAMY SALSA YOGURT DIP by NancyCreative, adapted from Food.com
Optional: 1 cup shredded Cheddar or Pepper Jack cheese
Combine yogurt, salsa, mayonnaise, Ranch seasoning, and chili powder in a medium size bowl, stirring until smooth. Add in cheese, if using, and blend well. Cover and chill for at least one hour or as long as one day before serving. Serve with assorted veggies (carrots, cucumber slices, sugar snap peas, cauliflower, broccoli) or tortilla chips.
I usually have a few bags of frozen cranberries in my freezer this time of year. During the holidays, I buy a some extra bags of fresh cranberries and freeze them so I can use them later–for recipes that I come across like this one, which I found at Williams-Sonoma. The cranberry-orange flavors in this smoothie are so good together and I used honey to sweeten it (you can also use agave nectar). It has just the right amount of sweetness and if you like cranberries, I’m sure you will love this smoothie!
I like using thicker, creamy yogurts in my smoothies, like Greek yogurt, but in this smoothie I used Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Vanilla Yogurt. I had received a complimentary sample to try out, and I really liked it. This yogurt has a thick, creamy texture–perfect for smoothies! In addition to being organic and lactose free (which is important for those of you who are lactose intolerant), it’s also gluten free and has less sugar than other yogurts, so it’s very healthy!
Hope you get to try out this yummy winter smoothie–perfect for a quick, easy breakfast. Maybe not in zero-degree weather, but great for a warmer winter day! 🙂
CRANBERRY ORANGE BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyCreative, adapted from Williams-Sonoma