I like a breakfast that is pretty light, but ideally packed with nutrients and this one definitely fits the bill. In my world it has superceded steel-cut oatmeal with dried fruit, and flax waffles with almond butter and black-strap molasses to become top of my list of best breakfasts.
You really have to have a blender or a food processor for this (or I guess a lot of patience and upper arm strength). I start with whatever fruit I have on hand, though bananas make a really good base because of texture so I try to keep a couple around when I’m in the smoothie mode. Cut up whatever fruits you want to use, toss in the food processor, and now comes the spinach.
Sounds weird, I know, but if you have fresh spinach that is young and sweet, not old and bitter (I have been getting really fresh, sweet spinach from a local farm as part of my CSA shares – for more info on what a CSA is, click HERE), you’ll be surprised how delicious it is. I particularly like the variety that is smooth and light green, though I bet the darker and more puckered-looking spinach would work just fine.
Just throw about 10-15 leaves in there and blend until it’s a slightly lumpy, foamy sludge. Sometimes I eat it just like that. But I also have experimented with adding fruit juice for a somewhat more liquid consistency, milk or soy milk for a thinner texture but creamy flavor, or yogurt for added protein but keeping some thickness. Experimentation is very pleasurable so try as many combos as you can think of.
Here’s what’s so great about spinach:
Spinach is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. Spinach is very close to a complete protein, and also scores high on the complete nutrient scale. This means that spinach is very very good for you all by itself, as opposed to foods which are best in combination with other foods to form a complete protein and include all the nutrients required by our bodies.*
The only down-side is that spinach is high in Sodium.
So far my favorite combos are:
plain yogurt, mango, orange juice and spinach
banana, kiwi, orange juice and spinach
*Nutritional information from nutritiondata.com