Kid-Friendly "Monster Juice"
Let me preface this post with the fact that I am not a smoothie person. Smoothie drinks, smoothies in bowl form, I just have never been much of a fan. I think they're beautiful and gorgeous and extremely nutritious, but I have always been one to CHEW my food rather than drink it. I also prefer a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon, and avocado over anything that is remotely sweet. (ok, not counting those few hundred times I've had brownies for breakfast) Speaking of brownies, maybe if I found a way to blend a brownie into smoothie form, then and ONLY then would I consider moving it into the breakfast rotation. But that would more than likely morph into ice cream being used instead of yogurt, and then...well..isn't that just a milkshake? Smoothies are apparently acceptable as a breakfast food, but milkshakes aren't...I find this outrageous myself.
Smoothies. Yes, smoothies. The real attraction for me is the fact that now that I have children, I'm supposed to be setting a healthy foundation for them and teaching them to love real, nutritious food. I dreamed about how that would go down when I was pregnant with my first. We'd only EVER have organic foods, I'd make everything from scratch, and my kid? MY KID WOULD LOVE VEGETABLES. Fast forward a few years and yes, a lot of that is true...we, as a family, do eat a really nutritious, paleo heavy diet, but the truth of the matter is that you can lead a horse child to water vegetables but you can't make it drink eat. Enter the hero of this story, the smoothie. What genius decided that if you blend spinach and other green veggies up into drink form and stick a colorful straw in it and give it a clever name, then you could trick your children into consuming a HEALTHY amount of vegetation? I'd like to kiss that guy. You know what, it was probably a mom anyways, and in that case I'd like to take her out to Target, sans kids, buy her a glass of wine, and let her pick out anything she wanted from the dollar spot. Now, that's love.
One of my dearest friends and most favorite people on the planet, Holly, introduced me to this delicious drink, and she has always called it "Monster Juice" for a variety of reasons, #1) because she too has a little one, and using words like MONSTER and JUICE makes little boys go crazy for whatever you have. It could technically be dog food and anchovies and if you called it Spiderman Poop, they'd eat it without batting an eye. 2) It's monster juice because its green, and obviously all REAL monsters are green! That beautiful tint comes from all of the delicious greens that are not so subtly "hidden" in there--and it's GORGEOUS! My kiddo will devour cup after cup of this juice and ask for more. We seriously have to limit him. But I love the fact that when I know he hasn't eaten much during the day for whatever reason, that if I do offer him this "treat" he'll be getting lots of good fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and I can sleep well at night knowing I'm totally nailing this mom thing.
Couple caveats about this recipe, it really is almost completely customizable, but my recipe is the simple base. You can add more or less greens, more or less fruit, make it thicker or more watery really depending on your taste preferences. You can pick the frozen fruit you want to use--you can make it with store bought, bagged frozen fruit, or make your own. It's really that flexible. Also, this will keep for several days in the fridge (although it probably won't last that long in your house!), and if you want to, you can re-blend it with a few ice cubes prior to serving if you really like that icy texture. So here you go families, go forth and get those kiddos healthy!
1 cup water
2-3 packed handfuls of spinach leaves
1 can of full-fat coconut milk
1 frozen banana, peeled
2-3 cups of frozen fruit (your choice)
- In a food processor or blender mix water and spinach leaves until smooth.
- Add in coconut milk and frozen banana and blend well.
- Add in frozen fruit and blend completely.
- Keep in large container in fridge until ready to consume.