Green Smoothie Week, Day Three

Happy Tuesday! It seems that I am on a berries and cream smoothie kick, because today's lunch is a variation on yesterday's theme. My berry of choice was fresh strawberries, and the "and cream" half of the smoothie was filled by 2% cottage cheese.

A short while ago, a reader complimented my green smoothies but wondered what would make a good substitute for bananas as she is allergic to them. That's an excellent question! I love the nutrition of bananas (hurray for potassium!), but I mostly incorporate them to lend a thicker texture to the smoothie. If you don't want to use bananas, cottage cheese is a great alternative. It makes the smoothie even creamier than using yogurt, in my experience, and adds a unique tangy flavor.

Other banana substitutes that I favor are pureed pumpkin, light ice cream or frozen yogurt, avocado, and nut butters. Do you have any other smoothie-thickening tips or suggestions? Post them in the comments or email me at escagnel04 (at) yahoo (dot) com. Also, don't forget to send your green smoothie concoctions to me in time for green smoothie week!

Without further ado, let me leave you with today's green monster recipe. As I already mentioned, this smoothie served as today's lunch, which I drank while beginning The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones for Cook the Books. The green smoothie turned out super thick and chilly -- perfect for refreshing me after this morning's sweaty hike with my students. Enjoy!

Strawberries and Cream Green Smoothie

1 cup fresh strawberries, diced
1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
2 cups fresh spinach
2 handfuls ice cubes
1/2 packet of stevia, or your favorite sweetener
water as needed (I used 1/4 cup today)

Blend, then serve in a chilled glass. Drink. Pick a few unblended strawberry seeds from between your teeth. Feel how full and energized you are. Smile.

Serves 1.

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