40/40/20/375 St. Patrick’s Day Green PWO

    I saw this recipes while looking over the one of my favorite blogs The Nutritionist In The Kitchen.  This recipe also caught my eye because unlike many of the other green smoothie recipes online this one uses frozen spinach.  While many people will say that nothing beats fresh greens, I feel flash frozen benefits do provide some benefits.  One of the benefits of frozen vegetables is that they are an extremely convenient way to make sure you always have healthy foods around.  One of the main issues people have with buying produce is that it can go bad so quickly.  Buying some of your produce frozen is a great way to ensue you don’t waste money as you are working on changing your eating habits.  Nothing is more discouraging then trying to change your eating for the better only to end up wasting money and throwing out food.  Flash frozen vegetables have been shown to be just as if not more nutritious than many fresh vegetables in multiple studies. 

St. Patty's day smoothie 2

Image Credit: Nutritionist In The Kitchen

     In addition to the flash frozen vegetables this recipe has flax seeds whey isolate and banana.  These ingredients combine to make a really good post workout shake.  I tried this recipe as soon as I saw it as I already had all the ingredients at my place.  The author of Nutritionist in The Kitchen uses North Coast Naturals 100% Whey protein isolate as she says it is by far her favorite.  I have never tried it, but I definitely want to now. 

St. Patties day smoothie

Image Credit: Nutritionist In The Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use North Coast Naturals 100% Whey Isolate)
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 medium banana (peeled, cut into sections, and frozen)
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen spinach (I used the frozen chunks)
  • ¼ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 3-4 ice cubes
  • ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon pure dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  • Blend all ingredients except the chocolate chips. The mixture will be very thick so make sure you have a good blender! If you prefer a thinner consistency, add more almond milk. (I like to eat mine with a spoon!)
  • Garnish with the dark chocolate chips.

St. Pattys day smoothie

This recipe also has a pretty good nutritional profile.  If you look at the below it has a good amount of micronutrients for the calories.  The author of the original recipe included 1/2 cups of spinach.  Though some people may need to start with a very small amount of spinach such as 1/2 cup, most people who have made green smoothies can increase that pretty quickly.  increasing the amount of greens you are using in a smoothie is a great way to increase the nutritional density of a food.  Increasing the green content also increases the ability of the food to keep you full.  High nutrient, high fiber foods keep you full for a number of reasons.  Compare the nutritional density of the recipe with 1/2 cup of spinach to 2 cups of spinach, both shown below.

Original recipe 1/2 cups of spinach:

St. Patricks day smoothie nutrition data

 

Nutrition Data of The Recipe With 2 Cups of Spinach:

St. Pattricks 2 cups with comments

 

As you can see from the above sections, this version of the recipe has a greater fullness factor and is much better overall for weight loss.  You don’t need to do this all the time, but it is good to have the ability to enjoy this type of recipe when loaded up with more vegetables.  I suggest adding a little extra stevia and cinnamon to cover the taste when getting used to the extra greens.

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