- 4 T. (1/4 cup) rolled oats
- 2 T. flax seeds or flax seed meal
- something like half a T. of sugar
- some nasty bitter expensive 100% cranberry juice, about 1/2 cup
- some milk, about 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup
- a big firm handful of raw spinach, and then another big firm 4-fingered pinch of it
You can use a different juice; it's good with orange juice, too. I like to use the bitter cranberry because I'm supposed to drink it anyway as A Preventative, but it's difficult to drink it straight. In the smoothie, it adds a pleasing tartness. But it's seriously $5/quart, so if you don't need The Benefits, orange juice might be a better call. If you use a sweeter juice, you might not need sugar.
Blend. You might have to open the (NON-RUNNING) blender and shove the spinach floof down a couple of times. It goes from this:
- plain yogurt, about 1/3-1/2 cup
- a frozen spoonful of pumpkin (see below)
- half a banana
- frozen peach segments, about 5 or 6 of them
- frozen blueberries, about 2/3-3/4 cup
Blend like heck. If it seems resistant/thick, put in another couple of tablespoons of milk or juice.
The blueberries are what hide the spinach. You can see the change in this next picture: the top half of the blender is still splashed/coated with the spinach step, but the bottom half shows the color the smoothie has turned with the blueberries in it.
And, done! It's not going to win a beauty contest even with that casual "Oh hi, I'm a zinnia" in the background, but it just looks like a smoothie, not like a SPINACH ALERT:
This makes an amount of smoothie known as "Gah, I don't really want any more, but I don't want to WASTE it." (That's a little over half of it in that cup there.) If Henry drinks a nice big cup of it, it's just right. So....serves two, I guess.
The pumpkin thing started way back when I was pregnant with the twins and was trying to eat-eat-eat all the nutrition in the world. Yellow/orange fruits and vegetables was a difficult category to satisfy. So I looked for the easiest way to fulfill it, which looked like it was canned pumpkin: very dense in vitamin A. An ice cube's worth or two in a smoothie was easy to incorporate.
And that's what I still do now. When I make muffins, I use the big can of pumpkin, but I only need 2 cups of it; the can claims to hold more like 3.5 cups. After I measure 2 cups into the muffin batter, I scoop the remaining pumpkin onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper:
That's a soup spoon in the picture, for scale. I made eight lumps of pumpkin with about 1.5 cups of pumpkin, so I guess that's about 3 tablespoons per lump? But it seemed more like 2 tablespoons, and I've noticed that nutrition labels don't seem real accurate with measurements. Each lump is about the size of a cookie, when flattened a bit with the spoon. (Edit: These were a bit much for the blender, as it turned out. They worked okay, but I'd make ten lumps next time, instead of eight. Or sixteen lumps, and use two per smoothie.)
Then the tray goes into the freezer:
After awhile, they're frozen solid and can go into a baggie:
Then when you're making a smoothie, plunk one in! They barely have any flavor, but have TONS of vitamin A! Which is good! For stuff! Allegedly!