January 17th, 2014
During the holidays, I moved my blender from the counter, where it usually spends its days, to a cabinet beyond my reach so that I could make room for things like, oh, the waffle iron and extra pie plates. By now you know that I prefer small steps towards a return to healthier eating to sweeping new year resolutions around food. This week’s small step? Putting the pie plates away and returning my blender to its rightful place on my counter.
Even though the fact that it doesn’t have a tucked away spot drives me bananas. But, hey, you know what they say about when life hands you bananas, right?
With my blender back in action, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. This Cherry Vanilla Super Smoothie is the boys’ favorite so far.
What makes this smoothie so super? The fact that it’s packed with spinach! Now spinach doesn’t really lend flavor to smoothies the way that, say, kale does, but it really doesn’t in this smoothie. Thanks to tons of cherries, the spinach also doesn’t give this drink an emerald hue.
I’m not into sneaking vegetables, but I’ve also always said that you should just make food and not think about sneaking or not sneaking. Sometimes ingredients show and sometimes they don’t. In this case, the spinach does not show, so it may be a good starting point for an eater who isn’t into green veggies. Feed it to them a few times and, once they are in love, tell them that it’s packed with green goodness. That might open them up to trying a green smoothie one day and you can continue building an acceptance to green veggies from there, slowly but surely.
All talk about getting kids to accept veggies aside, this smoothie is just plain delicious. Bright, sweet, and packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it’s the perfect way to fuel your weekend or start a busy day.
Cherry Vanilla Super Smoothie
(Can be shared with children 6+ mos)*
Makes 1 large or 2 smaller servings
½ cup frozen cherries
½ cup frozen mangoes
½ cup packed fresh spinach
½ cup orange juice
1/3 cup water, or as needed
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1. Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
*Note: This is a wonderful treat to share with beginner eaters. Be aware that it may be cold for very little ones and that they may prefer bites after it has “melted” a bit. Also, do not think of this as a drink for children under 12-months-old. Other than breast milk and/or formula and sips of water, young eaters do not need drinks like juice as a part of their diet. In this case, given that whole foods have been blended together, think of this smoothie as more of a pureed treat.