Tag Archives: kale

Green Smoothies: Frozen Veggies Better Than Fresh?

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Okay, so now that I’m on the “eating clean” game, I’m trying to incorporate green smoothies into my diet. In the past, I found it difficult to be consistent as I HATE grocery shopping weekly to get fresh produce … and I never have enough time to do all the rinsing/washing/ peeling/de-stalking, etc. that is required. So, stuff inevitably spoils and has to be trashed (I HATE being wasteful of my money and food even more than I hate grocery shopping).

So, when someone suggested I use frozen veggies in my smoothies to eliminate the need for ice, I had an “Ah Ha” moment!! Forget not using ice. From what I’d read, frozen veggies might be even better than fresh!!

via LiveStrong.com

The nutrients of fresh vegetables begin to deteriorate from the instant they are harvested. Results from the Institute of Food Research presented in the NY Daily News reveals that fresh vegetables such as green beans lose 45 percent of their nutrients; broccoli and cauliflower, 25 percent; carrots, 10 percent; and peas up to 15 percent after 16 days of storage. With fresh vegetables, you never know how long it has been since they were picked and the amount of nutrients that were lost en route to the market unless you are buying from a local farmer. With vegetables that are frozen in their prime, you can savor most of the nutrients that were present at the time of freezing.

As much as I use frozen veggies to supplement my Lean Cuisines, I don’t know why I never thought to use them for smoothies! DUH!!!! I mean, they are frozen at the peak of ripeness, hence nutrient rich. They are already washed and cut. They can last for months in the freezer!! And most of the time, they cost far less than fresh produce!! How much more economical, quick and convenient can you get?!?!?

That being said, I picked up some frozen spinach (which I always keep in the freezer) and kale at the grocery store last week and whipped up the green smoothie above last Saturday! With protein, fiber, Omega-6, potassium and a variety of other vitamins and minerals, it was a perfect post-workout recovery meal!

SPINACH, KALE, BANANA, PROTEIN GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE

Greensmoothie5

8 oz. water

6 oz. almond milk (30 cal)

1 lightly thawed frozen banana (100 cal)
(suggestion: PEEL first, then freeze! LOL!)

1/2 c. frozen spinach (15 cal)

1 c. frozen kale (25 cal)

1 tbsp flax seeds (47 cal)

1 scoop Nectar Strawberry Mousse Whey Protein (100 cal)

Total:  317 Calories

HEALTHY and DELICIOUS!! 

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Do you use fresh or frozen veggies in your green smoothies? If you use both, which do you prefer fresh and which do you prefer frozen and why?

I ♥ Sweet Potatoes

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Okay, let me open this with, I don’t cook. Like, seriously? I just don’t do it. I used to cook healthy stuff when I was bodybuilding in my 20s. But now, I want simple, easy and quick. So, this is not really a cooking post and you won’t see me sharing recipes often … unless I come across something involving very few ingredients and very little actual cooking.

That being said, I didn’t really cook today. But, I did bake a few organic sweet potatoes to serve as meal additions and snacks for the week. You see, baby when I used to bodybuild, this was a mainstay of my diet. Sweet potatoes are full of fiber, nutrient rich (Vitamin A, C, potassium, beta-carotene, etc.), and a great addition to many meals (a medium-sized one counts as a serving of veggies). The best thing of all? When I’m watching calories and sugar, sweet potatoes, which have a low glycemic index (surprise!!), sooth my sweet tooth and are a satisfying dessert!! Want to learn more about the health benefits of sweet potatoes? Check out this post on LiveStrong.com: The Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes.

Anywho, prior to going to yoga this morning, I rinsed and scrubbed the organic sweet potatoes (organic is preferred) and left them on a paper towel on the countertop to dry. When I got home, I simply pierced each sweet potato with the fork a few times and baked in a 450 degree oven (on aluminum foil in middle rack) for about an hour while I took a nap (don’t worry, Wei was awake )!! I ate half of one, skin and all, when I awoke! Delicious!!

Since I was thinking about sweet potatoes, I figured I’d share a simple and healthy, sweet potato with kale and ricotta cheese recipe that a friend shared with me a couple of years ago!! The ingredient list is short and sweet, just like I like it!

via WholeLiving.com

Ingredients
4 medium sweet potatoes (8 to 10 ounces each), pricked all over with a fork
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch kale (about 1 1/4 pounds), thick stems removed, leaves torn into large pieces and washed with water left clinging
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet and rub with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high. Add garlic; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer garlic to a paper towel to drain.
  3. Add as much kale as will fit in the skillet; season with salt and pepper. Continue to add kale as the leaves cook down. Cook, tossing frequently until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and red-pepper flakes.
  4. Open each potato; add salt and pepper. Top with ricotta, kale, and garlic.

This is when I made it about 2 years ago!! LOL!! Guess it’s time to try again.

I think I’d like to try this with spinach too! And, I read another recipe that suggested slicing them after baking and sautéing in coconut oil with sea salt!! Mmmmm … simple and easy!!

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Are you a fan of sweet potatoes? What’s your favorite way to eat them?