Sunday, April 14, 2013
Big Green Triple Chocolate Smoothie
The title--well, it kind of says it all. I think there are a few things in life you really can't go wrong with. Chocolate is one. Spinach is another. So when I got Fit Mama Real Food for my Secret Recipe Club blog this month, I didn't have trouble picking the recipe I wanted to make. So I made it. And made it. And made it. Uh-huh. It's delicious. And chocolate-y. And green. But not green like that plop of icky green cooked-from-a-frozen-block spinach that my mom used to plop on my plate when I was a kid. Oh no. Green like all that vitality being pumped into your body under a chocolate-y disguise. By which I mean that even though you can see the spinach, it does not have a strong taste in this smoothie (and there is a whole lot of it there, so that's saying something). I can't really taste it at all, but perhaps if you were highly attuned to the taste of all things green you would taste it just a bit.
This smoothie is especially nice as temperatures rise. When it gets hot, I find myself craving ice cream all the time. And there's nothing wrong with a little ice cream here and there. But 3 times a day might be pushing it. Drinks like this make me feel like I just ate a cold dessert even when I really just ate several cups of raw spinach, a banana, some dark chocolate, and milk.
This is extra easy to make, but here are a few tips for achieving smoothie perfection:
1. If you've got a lame blender like me, you're going to want to melt the chocolate into just a bit of the milk before you make this. Otherwise, you'll end up with a banana spinach smoothie that contains chunks of chocolate that get stuck in your straw. That hardly ranks on the world problems list (and you better believe I drank that first smoothie and enjoyed it), but I did like it better with the chocolate incorporated more. If you have time, melt the chocolate, and let it cool a bit, but even if you are in a hurry and throw it in warm, your smoothie will still turn out cold (just not quite as cold).
2. I've always got frozen bananas on hand because when my bananas get too spotty, I throw them in a bag in the freezer. All smoothie lovers (or banana bread lovers) should do this. However, if you forgot to freeze your bananas, cut them thin and put them in a single layer on a plate. Twenty minutes later they should be pretty frozen.
3. I used regular milk for this, but am pretty confident it would work with many different types of milk if you wanted to vegan it. Tomorrow I plan to use a couple tablespoons of coconut milk in it just because I love the stuff and have some sitting around.
4. If you've only got, say, regular chocolate chips lying around, you could still use them. Just omit the maple syrup and use about 3 Tbps chocolate chips in place of the dark chocolate and unsweetened chocolate.
Big Green Triple Chocolate Smoothie
adapted from Fit Mama Real Food
Serves 2--makes 3-4 C
Prep time: 5 minutes
banana: .15, spinach: .80, chocolate: .25, milk: .20, maple syrup: .10
1 banana, frozen in chunks
3-4 C spinach (I'm usually pretty generous with the spinach)
1 Tbsp dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 60% chips)
1 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/2 C milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup (I used the pure stuff)
Melt dark chocolate, cocoa, and unsweetened chocolate into 2 Tbsp of the milk. I do this in the microwave at 15-20 second intervals. Once melted or mostly melted, remove it and allow it to cool for a couple minutes.
While it cools, put the banana, spinach, and milk into your blender. Blend it. Then add the melted chocolate/milk combo and blend until it's smooth and brownish green (it is a surprisingly non-repulsive shade of brownish green, but brownish-green nevertheless).
At this point, you might want to taste your smoothie to see if you want the maple syrup. If you do, go for it.
Then drink it up my friends. It's surprisingly filling.