Hello, hello – happy Monday! Hope you enjoyed the weekend. Ours was fun and filled with lots of events. Friday we met up for happy hour and saw the Duke lacrosse team check into the hotel next door! While this may not seem exciting to most of you, it made Ben’s day as he went to Duke. I enjoyed the people watching aspect of it and realized that most of the team seems to follow suit from One Direction and had their hair styled either as a beautiful swoop or a beaming ray of sunshine.
Saturday, we did a lot of DIY-home improvement stuff at Ben’s brother and sister-in-law’s house on Saturday which was very fun and productive. And then Sunday we spent 50 minutes in a torture chamber called Solidcore. This is a new-ish addition to the DC fitness scene and it was pretty crazy. It’s a low/no-impact, all-body workout, and holy cow, do you feel it. My body shook through most of the class and I will probably look weird walking around today as I recover. I loved it, though!
Today, I have a big, green smoothie for you to kick off your week. Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day, after all, so I figured it was time to welcome in a little luck o’ the Irish. I’m not Irish, Ben definitely isn’t, but I feel like St. Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays where you can get away with celebrating even if you don’t have the same heritage. Rather than green beer (which kind of grosses me out, though I would be lying if I said I’ve never had one), I thought a green smoothie was a better and healthier recipe to post.
This one gets its color not from food dye but from a few star players: avocado, spinach, fresh mint leaves, and a kiwi who decided to make a fashionably-late appearance after I decided more brightness was needed in the flavor. I think he was getting his hair appropriately fluffed from the lacrosse team.
There are a couple of non-green items in here, too, that provide natural sweetness including frozen banana and a few strawberries. But let’s talk about the mint!
Mint in smoothies is one of the best and easiest things you can do to amp up the “WOW” factor. I file this under my list of “Things I Wish I’d Learned Sooner in Life,” as I only figured it out last summer when I experimented one morning and created one of the yummiest drinks I’ve ever had. Mint just adds another layer of complexity and some herbal notes to it that you can’t find through fruit or veggies.
If you haven’t tried avocado in your smoothie either, DOOOO IT. It makes everything so, so creamy. I’m not really sure what I like more about this smoothie…the avocado or the mint.
I think the mint may be the winner for today due to the Irish theme and the famous “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” saying. The bonus of adding some in here is that after you drink this, you can feel confident about kissing someone because you’ll be nice and minty! That’s a big improvement over green beer breath, in my opinion.
Topped with some chia seeds and fresh mint leaves, this makes a great breakfast to start your morning and week.
- 1 1/2 cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond)
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 4 frozen strawberries
- 4 to 5 ice cubes
- a big handful of raw spinach leaves
- 1 kiwi, peeled
- 1/2 avocado
- 4 to 6 fresh mint leaves (see notes)
- 4 to 5 ice cubes (use more if you want it icier)
- 1 to 2 teaspoons agave syrup or other sweetener that you like
- Chia seeds and fresh mint leaves for topping, optional
- Prep the kiwi and avocado by removing them from their peels and rinse the mint.
- Place milk into the base of a blender and then top with ingredients in order as they are written from banana to the ice. Blend until smooth and taste.
- Add the agave syrup or other sweetener if you desire; I used about 1 teaspoon, but if you want it a little sweeter, go with 2 teaspoons. Blend and taste again, and then pour into two glasses when finished.
- Top with chia seeds and fresh mint leaves if using and enjoy!
- Minty tip: If it's your first time trying mint out in smoothies, I recommend starting with 4 leaves in the smoothie. If you taste it and want more, feel free to add another 1 or 2.