“What kind is it?” the 5-year-old girl asks skeptically.
“Um. I dunno. It’s a green smoothie,” the mom replies hopefully. “Maybe it’s a strawberry smoothie.”
“I don’t LIKE it,” comes the surly reply, the slight pout of the lips, the chin tilted down while the eyes glare upward through morning-mussed hair.
“Aughhhhhh!” says the exasperated mom, rolling her eyes with a great deal of maturity and wisdom and scoffing her way back into the kitchen.
Such is the scene on “smoothie and oatmeal” mornings here at the Kimball house (and I really do say, “Augh” and “Arg” with a hard g sound; my college best friend said I’m the only person in world who sounds like a Garfield comic read aloud).
My smoothie routine for years has been to dump some milk and yogurt in the blender, add greens of some kind, bananas, and whatever fruit I bump into in the freezer or fridge and blend it up, often adding kelp powder, chia seeds, or a whole foods probiotic powder. The “green smoothie” is typically pretty brown (red strawberries + greens = ick), sometimes tastes like a salad gone rogue, and usually has a chunk or two of unblended banana that goes *glop* into someone’s glass.
We don’t really play cards or bet on races around here, but mornings can be a real gamble.
All of this changed a few weeks ago when the big kids’ excitement finally caught up to the toddler’s, who thinks I’m making “MOOOOO-by” every time the blender runs – no matter what I’m making – and would drink blender pancake batter if he could get away with it.
This post is sponsored by Squooshi.
I got my hands on an early review copy of High Protein, No Powder by Tiffany Terczak of Don’t Waste the Crumbs. Tiffany and I have been working together since the Back to Basics Baby Steps mini-challenge here at KS back in January, so I got to preview the book as she was putting some finishing touches on it. (Me and my big mouth may be responsible for almost 20 extra pages of information being added to the text! I joked that now I’m even making other people verbose and long-winded, not just myself.)
UPDATE: The book is now released, and it’s more awesome than ever! You can buy it by itself or with some great bonuses – check them out right HERE.
I skimmed through the smoothie recipes looking for ones that I had most of the ingredients for, printed out about 10 on one page, and made a short shopping list to fill in some blanks (lemons for raspberry lemonade, limes for key lime pie, and cottage cheese for strawberry cheesecake and a few others).
Suddenly, oatmeal-and-smoothie morning became fun.
“What kind is it?” could finally be met with a real answer.
“It’s Morning Glory,” I said.
Instead of slanted eyes, surprised eyebrows shot toward the ceiling and small people lined up, saying, “Can I taste it?”
The next morning, I asked the kids, “Do you want a peanut-butter-and-jelly or pumpkin-pie smoothie?” After some heated debate, they landed on an answer and I assured them we could try the other the following day.
Smoothies at School
My kids get a lot of questions about their lunches, some teasing, and some notoriety (you’ll understand that last one if you’ve read The Healthy Lunch Box).
The only time they feel like they have something “cool” is when I send a frozen smoothie in a Squooshi reusable food pouch. When the smoothies taste awesome like the ones from High Protein, No Powder, it’s all the better. Of course, I don’t think I’ve had any of those leftover to send…
That’s not to say that everyone liked every smoothie we tried. My daughter wasn’t big on the pumpkin or apple pie, but I think she doesn’t like strong nutmeg flavor. The 8-year-old boy liked both of those but didn’t go for anything with peanut butter, although I really liked those a lot. This means I’m going to have to use the dissolvable labels on our frozen Squooshis now so they don’t fall into the wrong hands…
Hubby only had one he didn’t like, pumpkin pie (he has a thing against mushy orange vegetables). The toddler’s enthusiasm for smoothies remains unabated. He often has thirds, or even fourths.
He can even handle a Squooshi without spilling (usually), as long as it has a Sip’n top on it (see below), although the small size is too small even for him. I used to think that smoothies for school would be equally cool in a silicone popsicle mold as in the Squooshi, but whenever I send the popsicle style, the kindergartner doesn’t even open hers (she claims she can’t), and when the older child does, we sometimes end up with smoothie residue in the lunchbox because he doesn’t always get them closed fully.
So. Logistically, Squooshis win out 100%. They’re also much nicer for hiding the visual of the green smoothie that is actually brown, making it a lot more palatable.
High Protein Smoothies
I would be remiss if I didn’t give a shoutout to the central focus of Tiffany’s book, which is to provide an antidote to protein shakes and bars with uber-processed, yucky powders in them to artificially increase the protein for those work-out types. My husband is a former protein powder user, and he didn’t even know that I had either beans (legumes) or cottage cheese bulking up the protein in all our smoothie experimentation recently.
If you like to see the protein counts and nutritional information, Tiffany’s book won’t disappoint. It’s all spelled out for you. Like this:
Recipe: Apple Pie Smoothie
Tiffany graciously allowed me to share one recipe with you – We decided we had to go with something seasonal, so our 350+ pounds of apples volunteered to participate. Photo from High Protein, No Powder.
- 1 c. kefir
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ c. white beans
- 1 c. loosely packed spinach
- ½ c. banana (½ of 1 medium)
- 1 ½ c. peeled apple (1 large)
- ½ tsp. cinnamon
- ¼ tsp. nutmeg
- ¼ c. coconut water or whey (optional)
- Add ingredients in the order listed to the blender and process. If the smoothie is too thick, add optional liquid and blend a second time.
- Makes one smoothie.
* Go easy on the spices and taste for your preference. You can always add more, but you can't take it away.
* Cook dry beans in bulks and then freeze in half cup or 1-cup portions so you're ready to make smoothies with just a bit of thaw time.
* Get the whole book right here: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/HighProtein
If you try this smoothie with your kids, be sure to use the right language. “Anyone want an apple pie smoothie,” tends to go over much better than, “Here. Drink this.” That way your kids can eat your words right up and you don’t have to worry about putting your foot in your mouth. For more smoothie and other squooshy food ideas to fill your Squooshi pouches, check out the Whadaya Squoosh? board on Pinterest. We’re just starting to populate it, so if you have any favorite smoothie or porridge ideas for me, leave them in the comments. Thanks!
Other Smoothie recipes from Tiffany:
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon and the eBook from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase, and the Miessence store is my own. The post is sponsored by Squooshi, who did send those darling pouches as a free product review sample. See my full disclosure statement here.