Green smoothie of the day – today’s green smoothie has a smooth frothy texture, fiber, a bit of protein and lots of refreshing sweet-tart flavor. Sweetness comes entirely from the citrus and we get an antioxidant boost from the matcha and the mint. With a Vitamix you can blend oats and even seeds into a perfectly smooth drink. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 Sumo (or other) orange
  • 1 1/2 small Japanese (or English) cucumber
  • Two small frozen kale chunks*
  • two springs fresh mint leaves, stripped off stem
  • 3 TBSP oats soaked in water ten minutes
  • 1 tsp matcha
  • small handful fresh baby spinach
  • juice of one small lime
  • juice of half Meyer lemon
  • 1 TBSP pepitas (raw unsalted pumpkin seeds)

Directions:

Soak oats in cold water while you chop other ingredients.

Chunks of apple, citrus in bottom, then add cucumber. Sprinkle in matcha, seeds, mint. Add a handful of ice and about 1/4C of cold water.

Vert_du_Jour

 

Vert du Jour

With the greens and mint and oats I kept thinking of that very old children’s ditty my father once told me about: “Mairzy doats” anyone remember it? (“Mares eat oats and Does eat oats and Little Lambs eat Ivy, a Kidd’ll eat Ivy too, wouldn’t you?
or Mairzy Doats and Dosey Doats and liddle amzy divey a kiddly divey too wooden shoe.”)

Pro-Tip

*Blanch and freeze mint, or greens like spinach or kale. Freeze in Mini muffin tin or small ice cube trays then pop into zip top bags. These portioned out ready to go ingredients in your freezer make a quick smoothie a breeze. Once blanched and frozen, greens are easy to add to pastas, soups, stews, as well as your next Vert du Jour.

Spinach_mint_tin

Mint leaves ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Baby Spinach

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Yesterday started out with a frenzy of work, the early morning punctuated by the image of some gorgeous brownies topped with salted peanut butter frosting. Occupational hazard of food writing is that you get a steady stream of enticing food images and recipes every minute of every day. I was so tempted. Brownies, after all, are so quick to make. But the day was stacked. I began to think of simply scooping peanut butter with hunks of chocolate. Not that I’ve ever done that before. Of course I have.

Then I remembered Red, AKA my sexy new pro Vitamix. I decided to make a smoothie version of the decadent treat. After all, I could always make the brownies tomorrow.

Smoothie Pro Tips

One of the best uses for muffin tins is to portion things. Here, I’ve portioned a bunch of banana slices. Once they’re frozen, I pop the blocks into a zip top bag and every time I want a smoothie with a creamy base, all I have to do is grab one or two of the banana blocks to start.

Banana_muffin_tin

 

Now on to our smoothie du jour…I wanted to amp up the nutrition of the decidedly dessertish treat.

Pro tip #2

Adding oats to your diet is a good thing. I eat them almost every day and I find that reducing the decision-making in the morning is a very good thing. Knowing I’ll have oats one way or another means less options to choose something unhealthy, reducing the likelihood I’ll skip breakfast altogether, and a morning base of oats keeps you full and keeps the blood sugar steady for quite a while.

If I am in a smoothie rather than porridgey mood: I often start by soaking the oats in the Vitamix for about ten minutes. (That’s about two tweets, one Facebook scan or enough time to burn a piece of toast. Trust me, it’s no time at all.)

Here, my oats are resting in So Delicious coconut milk. You could use regular milk, soy milk, almond milk, hemp…whatever.

PB Chocolate smoothie 3

The Un-chunky Monkey Smoothie

PB Chocolate smoothie 1

 

So you can see clockwise from the milk, I started with about 1/2 C; then peanut butter, cocoa, oats, flax seed, bananas and two dates. Plenty of sweetness there. Can you guess what else I added for additional nutrition?

PB Chocolate smoothie 2

 

Baby spinach leaves. They’re so delicate in flavor you don’t taste them in the smoothie but you’re adding fiber, vitamin A & C, plus iron.

The result?

PB Chocolate smoothie 4

 

The Un-chunky Monkey – a very filling smoothie. Given the sugar in the shake and the oats, I found this easy to use in place of a meal. That’s to say I wasn’t hungry for a long time. It satisifed the chocolate-peanut butter urge, it kept my blood sugar steady and it gave me some protein, minerals, antioxidants, but best of all: Delicious!

 

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 C of milk of your choice
  • 3 TBSP smooth organic peanut butter
  • 2 TBSP cocoa
  • 1/4 C oats
  • ~ 1 TBSP ground golden flax
  • 2-4 dates to taste (2 was plenty for me but I don’t love sweet)
  • ~ 1/3 C of frozen banana
  • ~ 1/2 oz of baby spinach leaves (a small handful)

Directions:

  1. Place oats and milk in blender, let soak for 10 minutes for extra smoothness.
  2. Add rest of ingredients, top with a handful of ice.
  3. Blend, adding ice or milk to desired consistency.

 

Remember to follow #30daysofVitamix and my Pinterest board of the same name for more smoothie tips and recipes.

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Thoughts on the Boston Globe Travel Expo

February 9, 2015

As a Globe Correspondent, I was invited to attend the 10th Annual Boston Globe Travel Expo at the Seaport World Trade Center last weekend. Cruises dominated the areas nearest the entrance and Aruba had a huge presence. All I could think was “Norovirus” and “Natalee Holloway”. I moved quickly past both. I wanted to see […]

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See you at the Boston Globe Travel Expo!

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Winter

February 6, 2015
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Onigiri, Omusubi and a sometimes good Hapa

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Come slurp with me: Saturday January 31 — SOLD OUT (where should be bring the show next?) Boston Wine School is hosting “Oysters Deluxe” a master class including fun oyster facts, a shucking demo, and Capt. Marden’s lobster dinner to follow. We’ll learn about merroir and pair oysters with various wines. Ticket price also includes […]

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Don’t Let Food Allergies Ground You – me in the Boston Globe

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Thrilled to share my food allergy/travel piece in this morning’s Boston Globe. This has been in the works a while and my editor did a great job preserving the heart of the piece while trimming it enough to accommodate the section’s need for space. Don’t let food allergies ground your travel Online version includes this recipe […]

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So Glad You Asked! What is Canola Oil?

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I’m starting a new feature here, a series called “So Glad You Asked!” – I want to hear from you. I’ll tackle topics like ingredients you’re curious about, techniques, recipe revisions or whatever piques your culinary curiosity…for example: What coriander is? How to use it? Wondering about a new cuisine and looking for a starter […]

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30 Days of Vitamix: Lemon Meringue Pie Smoothie

January 9, 2015

One of the best things about winter is citrus. Enjoying citrus on a cold, snowy morning is one of our digressions from “eating local.” I have had lemon chess pie, lemon bars, and lemon meringue pie on my mind. Thanks to my in-laws, I have a big supply of beautiful, organic Meyer lemons. This is […]

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