Quest

Okay so about five weeks ago I jumped on the Paleo Diet band wagon, well sort of. I wanted to cut out processed sugar and wheat (candy, cookies, and breads) to help clear out my system. I was well aware that the hunger swings I felt through the day were driven by sugar highs, and my weight gain over the winter was due primarily to all the home baked bread I was consuming. I love fresh baked bread .. ::sigh::

Having lived the winter on a breakfast staple of pop tarts or cereal, finding a suitable breakfast routine was a challenge. I started with eggs, first omelets then, when that became too much work, I switched to egg scrambles. But serious after a couple weeks of that I couldn’t look at another egg.

I’d liked the protein shakes I created in the past, but the cleanup of my blender every morning was a pain in the butt. So I thought I’d try a new smoothie regimine and invest in a hand blender. I found a web site that provided immersion blender reviews and selected a kitchenaid hand blender from Amazon.

 With my new blender in hand and set about finding a collection of breakfast smoothies that would give me variety and were high in protein. I also wanted smoothies that were easy to prepare and didn’t require me to keep my fridge stuffed with exotic crap, eg. flax seeds, lemon grass, whey, etc… I’m sorry, I just think that is pretentious. I’m sure they are healthy ingredients, but so are bananas, strawberries, and grapes.

So I found a couple I loved and thought I would share them here with you.

Spinach, Grape, and Coconut Smoothie
This is one of my favorites. Yes keeping coconut on hand is out of my norm, but not that far out of my norm. 

Time to Prepare: 5 minutes, Serves 1 


Ingredients
1 cup seedless green grapes
1 cup packed baby spinach
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup coconut milk 



Directions
Very simple, place all the ingredients in your hand blender cup, or your countertop blenders and blend until frothy. Believe me this was SO much easier with the hand blender. When i was done I just rinsed off the business end in the sink and tossed it back in the drawer.

Rasberry Nut Smoothie
This one is pretty different. I wouldn’t have thought of combining nuts with fruits… I’m not that creative. But it’s different, and I find it very filling in the morning. 

Preparation Time: 5 Minutes

Ingredients
3/4 cup low-fat milk
3/4 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 banana
1 tablespoon natural almond or peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey

Directions
As with the previous recipe, just throw all the ingredients into your blending cup or blender and run it on high until you get a nice frothy mix. Again, I highly recommend investing in a hand blender for this. I literally am done with prep and clean in about 5 minutes.


Mango Smoothie
Keeping mangos in my fridge is about as exotic as I get. But I find the best thing to do is to just cut them up when I get home from the store and freeze them in individual portions in freezer bags. Then I just grab what I need each morning. I can even rinse out the bags and use them again.

Preparation time: 5 minutes Serves 1 


Ingredients
1 cup chopped ripe mango
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup ice
1/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
1 tablespoon honey 


Directions
Place all the ingredients together in your blending cup or blender ( are you seeing a theme here?) and just blend until frothy. 



While visiting that blender review site I ran across these  blender bottles. They are absolutely brilliant. I dump my smoothie in the bottle and head out the door. It keeps the drink blended and smooth a few shakes. The bottles have this little wire ball inside that acts like a stir stick or something. They are cheap and well worth the buy. 


Enjoy!