Thursday, March 31, 2011

100 grams of spinach. Or, how to use up 10 pounds of cocoa powder in three months.

 I've had a couple of friends ask me about my green smoothie.  There are a lot of great recipes out there, but I wanted one that had exactly what I was looking for: something super yum with a full scoop of protein powder, low calorie, and using enough greens to make it worth my time  (I use about 100 grams, which looks like the blender above --about 3 big handfuls).

 Enter my best frienemy: cocoa powder.  Love it, but the caffeine isn't super good for my Graves.  When it kicks in, I use carob powder which I must confess isn't half as satisfying.  I use 14 grams or so (about 2 T.)
 My other secret weapon: Flavor oils (extracts).  I've collected a ....few.  You can find them in candy making stores.  My favorite for this shake is a small drop of peppermint oil.  I've got a great mint bed growing behind my house, but at 7 in the morning, I never want to trek out there to pick some.  If you use fresh --which is also really good, just do 3-4 leaves.  Mint is strong.  My other favorites are coconut flavor --a whole dropperful, or a drop of almond. 

Add a scoop of protein.  Here are the ones I use --except for the soy.  I buy the soy isolate in bulk at the health food store, and don't pay for the sugar and flavoring.  I just use this jar thingy to put it in.  Hemp protein is the best for you, and tastes the worst.  I still use whey a lot.  I know to avoid casein protein for the cancer studies linked to it, but whey I'll do.   I then add 1 3/4 cup water, a dash of salt (I salt everything for balance.  I lose a lot of salt in exercise)about 4 ice cubes, and some Nunaturals stevia (although I've forgotten it on ocasion and I swear it still tastes good).  Blend it up and slurp it up.  So yummy.  I literally look forward to it as a treat. 

Here's the recipe in a nutshell:
1 3/4 cup water
3 ice cubes
14 g. (2 T.) cocoa powder
100 grams spinach (about 3 packed handfuls)
scoop protein powder --25 grams protein
stevia to taste
drop of flavor -try peppermint, coconut, almond.

Stats: 28.3 grams protein, 9.8 grams carb, 4.1 g. fat, 161 calories (using the eas whey protein).


Kira said...

Maybe THIS is what I am looking for for breakfast. I STILL can't balance my sugars for that meal. I bought some spinach today so I will try it tomorrow. Thanks.

belann said...

Now that it's getting warm (1 day so far) maybe I could try this. Does it keep you full?

summer said...

yum, do you every grow spinach?

Amara said...

It DOES keep me full mom! When it's this low calorie, you can add a whole grain with it too (love me some oatbran)and still be at around 350-400 cal. Summer we've planted our spinach and it's doin' it's thing. I did last year, but with the weird cool spring we got it didn't take off until pretty late in the season, then it bolted quickly from heat.

belann said...

Tried it. Loved it. Never tried with water before.

april said...

What a great idea! I should look for those flavor oils- we have some extracts but not in all those cool flavors!