Monday, January 13, 2014

Alternative green smoothies: sweet potato and almond (banana free!), and banana, mango and kale

I've been getting through a lot of green smoothies recently. In fact, I've started day dreaming about a blender for my workplace, so I can whip one up for my at-work breakfasts, or as a mid-afternoon snack, or an addition to lunch...or any time at all really. Sadly, I don't think that's on the cards, but I'm making the most of weekends and the weekdays I'm home in time to squeeze one in before dinner!

Sweet potato and almond green smoothie

The only problem (which isn't really a problem) I have with green smoothies is that my standard favourite - spinach, frozen banana, pineapple - gives me just 1 serve of vegetables but 2 serves of fruit. As I mentioned in my 2014 aspirations post, I'm trying to bump up my vegetable intake this year to get over the recommended 5 serves a day. In contrast, I already get plenty of fruit in my diet and at this time of year, eat lots (lots!) of fresh summer fruit. If I have my standard green smoothie, I can easily be up to 5 fruit serves before dinner. I don't really mind this, but the truth is, I don't need my fruit serves in smoothie form.

Given this, I've been playing around with fruit-free green smoothies and sweet potato has come to the rescue yet again. Is there anything sweet potato can't do?!

As I'm still in favour of fruit too, I'm also posting a new-to-me mix of banana, mango and kale today. I've had banana, mango and spinach before, but I actually think kale works better with the sweetness of the mango. 

Banana, mango and kale green smoothie.
Mango really makes it bright!

For those of you without high powered blenders, the sweet potato smoothie can also be made in a regular / low-powered blender. I tried it that way and it leaves the spinach slightly 'bitsy' (see picture above), but it works well enough. I remember how frustrated I was at being unable to process frozen banana or kale before I bought my food processor, so I like being able to share easy processing recipes too.


Sweet potato and almond green smoothie
This smoothie can be entirely fruit free - but is still sweet and creamy.
Can be made in a low-powered blender.
Vegan.
Serves 1.


Ingredients
~3/4 cup sweet potato pieces, cooked and cooled to fridge temperature (roughly 1/3 large sweet potato)
1 cup spinach leaves
Few drops stevia or 1-2 dates or 1 tbsp maple syrup / agave
1 tbsp almond butter
~3/4 cup almond milk (mine was unsweetened)
~3/4 cup cold water

Method
In a blender or food processor, blend the sweet potato, spinach and dates if using. Add the other ingredients and blend to combine.


Banana, mango and kale green smoothie
Packing fruit and kale, this is a beautiful drink for summer days...and winter days when you wish it was summer.
Requires a high-powered blender or food processor.
Vegan.
Serves 1.


Ingredients
1 medium banana, frozen
1/2 medium mango, chilled or frozen (frozen will give a creamier result and require more liquid)
1 cup kale, stems removed
1/2 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
1/2 - 1 cup cold water (depending on desired thickness; I used ~3/4 cup)

Method
Process the banana, mango and kale in a high-powered blender or food processor (I used my food processor), until well combined and smooth.

If using a blender, add all of the liquid to the processed fruit and then blend to mix. If using a food processor, add the liquid gradually with the food processor running (this will prevent splashing out the sides!).

Linked to the Weekend Wholefood Blender Party (previously Smoothie of the Week) on Om Nom Ally
and Ricki's Wellness Weekend.

What is your favourite smoothie mix? And do you have vegetable-only ideas for me (with the constraint that I don't like cucumber...)?

45 comments:

  1. I would LOVE a blender at my workplace too, not sure my workmates would want to chip in for one though :(
    Thanks for linking this post up to the Weekend Wholefood Blender Party, I think I need to try the sweet potato smoothie first as I've never had it in a smoothie before :)

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    1. I'm pretty sure my workmates wouldn't either. If only smoothie loving bloggers all worked at the same place ;)

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  2. Brilliant! I think you already know I've been trying fruit-free recently so I must try your sweet potato smoothie. I'd been thinking of trying sweet potato in a smoothie myself actually, especially after your chocolate sweet potato ice cream post :)

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    1. I was thinking as I made it how much this would suit people on an ACD diet or similar :-) I hope you enjoy it if you try it out!

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  3. A smoothie with sweet potato in it sounds almost like dessert to me!! Totally going to have to try that...since I'm now drooling thinking about it.

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    1. Dessert in all forms...that's me ;)

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  4. I bet sweet potato would be great with warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg! You might get inspired from Superfood Smoothies... there are smoothies with cauliflower, beets, carrot, bok choy and cucumber. It is a shame you don't like cucumber, because I have a strawberry-cucumber smoothie posted that I really like!

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    1. Spices like cinnamon and nutmeg would be gorgeous! And you're right, that Superfood Smoothies sounds very creative in vegetable uses. Beets and carrots are definitely ones I should explore!

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  5. I love that sweet potato smoothie! I went through a phase in the autumn where all my smoothies had a bit in it :)

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  6. I don't like cucumber either.
    I do love a smoothie of cos lettuce, spinach dates & walnuts. and i also love a pumpkin smoothie with frozen pumpkin pieces (precooked) and spices and dates.
    But my all time favourite is a chocolate smoothie made with spinach, banana, blueberries, dates, and cacao. Best start to the day ever :-) Oh and I make it thicker for a dessert too ;-) Who said chocolate can't be healthy?!?!??

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    1. Ooh, your smoothie ideas are fantastic! That pumpkin one sounds gorgeous and it's interesting to hear you don't have to cook the pumpkin?

      I definitely never said that chocolate can't be healthy :D

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  7. I think every workplace should have a blender! For someone who eats sweet potatoes daily, I've never added them to smoothies before. What a fantastic idea! Can't wait to try!

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  8. Love it! Sweet potatoes in smoothies are a favorite of mine :-)

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    1. Thanks Gena! I can understand why now :-)

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  9. LOVE your smoothie ideas! I'm quite into green smoothies at the moment. My fave is frozen banana and kiwi fruit, spinach, almond butter and water

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    1. I wonder if a smoothie would give me a way to re-introduce kiwi fruit? I ate way too much as a child and went off it, and haven't been able to eat it fresh since!

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  10. kale is still on my list of things to try - I would love to do this but often share smoothies with sylvia so doing my own is too much work - and I think at least she gets some fruit in hers. Today we had stewed apricots, frozen banana, oats and soy milk - I don't find a problem to blend frozen banana or ice blocks with our hand held blender which I just stick in a jug. Even spinach isn't too much but I am not sure about kale - must try it I also love the idea of sweet potato - I have done pumpkin in smoothies occasionally and really like it - works well with raspberries

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    1. Interesting to hear your hand held blender copes with frozen banana - that's a really handy thing to have on hand in that case. I do find kale harder to process than spinach but it is great in fruit smoothies and feels more nutritious to drink than spinach (although both are obviously great).

      Pumpkin and raspberry I will definitely have to try!

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  11. Oh the almighty sweet potato!! I've put pumpkin and squash in smoothies to sweet potatoes make perfect sense. Both the smoothies sound delightful. My current favorite is; almond milk, banana, ice, vega vanilla, spinach and matcha. YUM!

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  12. I never thought these ingredients can be that delicious. But I like it so much. Nutritious. :)

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  13. Delicious fruit that makes smoothies creamy and slightly sweet.

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  14. Its really that delicious and nutritious. You should try some today!

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  15. Green drinks are considered to be nutritional powerhouses because the Green drink naturally contain many of good elements which are superior and potent sources of high quality nutrients.

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