Magic Mint Chocolate Smoothie

Magic Mint Green Smoothie

Ok. So I have officially changed my stance on smoothies in the morning. I know I said that I’d rather have a meal with all the smoothie ingredients, but that was until I discovered the magic of chocolate and mint.

The real magic here is that the smoothie is made up of all vegetables, except for one frozen banana. Yep, one banana, and the rest is straight veggie goodness. No more sugar head rush or instant hunger 10 minutes after drinking it. Normally, this would taste like a sweet salad in slime form (yuck!) but add some cocoa powder and peppermint oil and BAM, you have a mint chocolate milkshake.

The natural bitterness of the cocoa powder masks any bitterness from the vegetables (kale, I’m looking at you, here) and the peppermint really brings out the natural sweetness of the banana. You can use almost any vegetable that is mild in flavor and isn’t too stringy. I’ve used:

  • kale
  • spinach
  • beet greens
  • carrot
  • broccoli stalks
  • cauliflower (stalks and head)
  • mild mushrooms (these add a strong flavor, try only a tiny bit at a time)
  • turnip
  • asparagus

Pretty much anything goes except for the obvious like garlic or onions.

And my favorite way to eat them lately? Popsicles!

Magic Mint Fudgesicle

It’s finally been getting warm here in San Francisco, and there’s no better way to celebrate it than a icy cool  mint fudgesicle! My smoothie was about 300 calories, and made 6 popsicles. That means each one was only 50 calories! The molds I just bought are the best popcicle molds that I’ve ever used.

You can experiment as much as you want, to get the perfect combo of veggies.

Magic Mint Chocolate Smoothie

  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • 1 cup mild leaves, such as spinach
  • 1 cup chopped vegetables
  • 1 frozen banana (very ripe)
  • 6-10 drop stevia extract (or sweetener to taste)
  • 10-15 drops peppermint extract (use less if using peppermint oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbs cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup ice cubes

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend on high until well blended. If not using a high-speed blender, make sure to chop vegetables finely.

Pirate Mint Chocolate Smoothie

Arrr! Pirate Green Smoothie!

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Green Smoothie vs a Meal: a comparison

As I mentioned earlier, I have had a hard time getting into the green smoothie craze. I love all the ingredients, but I have a hard time enjoying ‘thick’ food. I also have had trouble with getting strange headaches right after drinking them, like I’m having a sugar rush.

This weekend I decided to try an experiment. I made a green smoothie on Saturday, and on Sunday I made a meal using the very same ingredients. Here is my comparison.

The ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 kiwi
  • 1/2 banana
  • 3 large leaves of kale
  • 5 cashews
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp coconut butter
  • 1 Tbs flax seed meal
  • 5 cashews
  • 1 cup almond milk

For the meal, I chopped up the fruit, and tossed it with the lemon juice. I used the coconut butter and made a massaged kale salad, and sprinkled the flax seeds on top.

Ease of preparation:

The smoothie wins hands down. With my trusty Blendtec, I barely had to chop the fruit. I just threw everything in the container, pressed the smoothie button and presto! smoothie done. The meal took about 15 minutes to make, with all the chopping and massaging.

Green Smoothie

Flavor and Enjoyment:

Due to my ‘thick food’ aversion, it’s pretty easy to guess that I enjoyed the meal more. The fruit salad was of course delicious, and the massaged kale salad was better than expected, but not something I’d ever crave. The almond milk was enjoyable as usual, and I really relished munching on the cashews. The smoothie on the other hand, was pretty much right down the middle of the two in flavor. Don’t get me wrong, it was very good, just not fruit salad good.

Satiety:

I drank the first half of my smoothie rather quickly, and it was very filling. I first felt heavy and full, then the usual light headed feeling and slight headache kicked in. However, I sipped the second half slowly, and the feeling quickly dissipated. I wasn’t hungry, but I did have the nagging desire to chew on something, out of sheer habit.

The meal took longer to eat than the smoothie, so didn’t have any trouble with a “sugar rush”. It’s definitely something that I could eat on a daily basis, it I had time. I was able to wait for my next meal, just the same as with the smoothie.

Green Meal

The Verdict:

I think I still prefer to have a meal for breakfast, but the smoothie was pretty good. You can’t beat the ease and speed of the prep! As long as I drink the smoothie really slowly, I think I can prevent the ‘weird’ feeling. In the mornings during the week, I barely have time to brush my hair, let alone massage some kale. I think I may have to same a meal like this for the weekends. The smoothie, I might give another chance. The key is, make it fast, drink it slowly!