Thursday, July 9, 2015

Bananacado Smoothie

Today I want to share with you a recipe for a smoothie. Now, when I think smoothie, I normally think fruit, yogurt, ice, maybe some juice or milk, all blended up. And that is an unquestionably  delicious way to make a smoothie. The problem is when you do it that way you don't have a nutritious meal as much as you have a desert. It is high in dairy (which I am cutting back on) and it his high in carbs and possibly high in refined sugars if you use juice and anything but plain yogurt.

So how can we make something delectable, portable and nutritious? It's all about the ingredients we choose. A friend of mine told me about how it is common in the Philippines to use the avocado as a desert item. They put it in ice creams, they sprinkle brown sugar on it and just spoon it up, and they use it in shakes. I also recall Alton Brown once using avocado as the base ingredient in a frosting recipe. So why not put it in a smoothie?

Not only is the avocado versatile, it is nutritious. Prized mainly for its high fat content as you can see from this excerpt from Wikipedia.
Avocados have diverse fats.[51] For a typical avocado:
  • About 75% of an avocado's energy comes from fat, most of which (67% of total fat) is monounsaturated fat as oleic acid.[51]
  • Other predominant fats include palmitic acid and linoleic acid.
  • The saturated fat content amounts to 14% of the total fat.[51]
  • Typical total fat composition is roughly (rounded to digits): 1% ω-3, 14% ω-6, 71% ω-9 (65% oleic and 6% palmitoleic), and 14% saturated fat (palmitic acid).[51]
 A typical serving of avocado (100 g) is moderate to rich in several B vitamins and vitamin K, with good content of vitamin Cvitamin E and potassium (right table, USDA nutrient data). Avocados also contain phytosterolsand carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin.

The avocado has a rather subtle flavor, so we need to add to it to create a well rounded flavor in this smoothie, so we add banana! Bananas are yummy. They are a great way to sweeten a smoothie without added sugar. They have a substantial carb count, so they are great before or after physical activity. Bananas are a prebiotic, meaning that they encourage healthy gut bacteria. Bananas are also easy to digest, they are often one of the foods parents are told to give their children who are having tummy troubles. But did you know that bananas are also good for your mood? Take a look at this paragraph from

Besides being a rich source of potassium, eating bananas adds a hefty amount of tryptophan to our diets. This amino acid is then converted into serotonin in our bodies, known to make us relax, improve your mood, and generally make you feel happier. In a study at Oxford University, researchers found that women recovering from depression who were deficient in tryptophan had a higher chance of regressing back to depressive states. Bananas are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, natural sugars and carbohydrates.
Fun factoid: did you know that a banana is technically a berry? No? Me neither, but it is. A berry is defined as any fruit that has seeds enclosed in a fleshy pulp. So botanically speaking, an avocado is also a berry. :)

Cinnamon pairs wonderfully with the avocado and banana in this smoothie. It provides a richness and warmth of flavor to this tasty treat. Cinnamon is touted to have many health benefits, you can read about it here. Suffice it to say, it has anti-inflammatory properties, it increases insulin sensitivity, helps to stabilize blood sugar, and it is full of antioxidants.

Last but not least, spinach. I am always looking for more ways to add greens to my diet. Smoothies are a great way to disguise greens, if you have picky family members. We all know if it is green, it is probably good for you, but do you know how good for you? Spinach is chock full of vitamins and minerals including:
  • 49% DV Folate (B9)
  • 34%DV Vitamin C
  • 460%DV Vitamin K
  • 10%DV Calcium
  • 21%DV Iron
  • 22%DV Magnesium
  • 43%DV Manganese
  • 12%DV Potassium - That's more potassium than a banana!

When blended in this smoothie, the spinach is hardly noticeable, but you still get all the benefits of this nutritious green.

Now, Lets make a smoothie!

The first thing you want to do is peel your bananas and freeze them. If you are crunched for time, you can put the peeled bananas in a zip top bag and smoosh them flat before tossing them in the freezer. By freezing the bananas, you won't need to add as much ice. Aim to leave them in the freezer for at least an hour.

After that, it's pretty simple, toss all the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.

It's pretty fool-proof. Try it out, let me know what you think in the comment section below!

Bananacado Smoothie

  • 2 bananas, peeled and frozen
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, loosely packed
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup ice

  1. Place all ingredients into a blender.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Makes 2 servings.


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