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After talking about purchasing a blender for over half a year, we finally decided to get one last weekend. We took so long to decide for several reasons: we knew we wanted a larger model capable of really crushing ice, but our kitchen is fairly small and getting pretty full; several people Papi Chulo knows kept telling him about the Vitamix and there are frequent demos at the Nex, but we couldn’t bring ourself to pay that much for a blender; and we just couldn’t decide whether we actually wanted it to use it or just because it seemed cool. Ultimately, we decided to get a Ninja blender that comes with two single serving cups as well as the large pitcher (and we paid less than 1/3 the price of the “less expensive” Vitamix!). We are totally thrilled with our purchase and have been making smoothies every day since then.
Papi Chulo loves cramming his smoothies full of kale and berries, but I set my sites on going a different direction. After a lot of experimenting (and far too much espresso!), I came up with a mocha oatmeal smoothie that I love. It has veggies, chocolate, and even coffee. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
My measurements are based on making a single serving. I use the 16 ounce single serving cups that came with our blender, but you can always mix it in a larger pitcher or double the recipe. You could just double the recipe and not share…I won’t tell.
It looks a little less “smooth” in the photos because, sadly, things start to melt as soon as I make them in our apartment. Living in Hawaii is nice, but year round warm weather and no air conditioning make it really difficult to photograph frozen items! Hawaii’s weather also means that a lot of produce isn’t very fresh by the time we buy it and most of it doesn’t last very long after we bring it home. Fortunately, kale is very hardly and one of the few produce items that really lasts like I’m used to. It’s also pretty tasty in salads as well as smoothies!
Our blender does a really good job of cutting up kale leaves, so I only rip it into chunks to help it fit in the blending cup. You can’t even taste a leaf or two in most smoothies!
Correctly layering you smoothie ingredients can have a big impact on how smoothly they blend. If you have your own tried and true method, feel free to use it, but the ingredients below are listed how I put them in my single serving blender cup. Because the cup flips upside down, the ingredients are backwards from the order you’d layer ingredients in a top-opening pitcher, so adjust the order if needed. You may also need to add a little extra liquid depending on how much protein powder you put, how many veggies you use, and whether you use liquid espresso or instant powder. I totally recommend adding “real” espresso, or even just normal coffee, instead of powdered instant espresso, but I know that isn’t always possible.
- ½ - 1 cup of ice, depending on how you like your smoothies
- ½ cup almond milk (I use unsweetened vanilla)
- ½ a shot of chilled espresso, or an equivalent amount of instant espresso
- ½ scoop of protein powder (I use vanilla, but chocolate would be great, too!)
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons raw cocoa powder/no sugar added cocoa powder
- ½ cup raw oatmeal
- 1 or 2 kale leaves
- 3 or 4 baby carrots ( I use purple carrots to help keep the color dark)
- Layer the ingredients in your blender cup or pitcher.
- Pulse a few times to break up the ice.
- Once the ice is broken up, blend until smooth.
- Drink and enjoy!
It’s kind of funny to me that I’ve started adding protein powder to smoothies because I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding it. I recently found one that doesn’t have gobs of added sugar, though, and it tastes pretty good. I never use a full scoop of powder, but half a scoop seems to give my smoothies a little more staying power. This recipe actually has no added sweeteners at all and it doesn’t taste overly dark or bitter to me, but I’m also not used to eating lots of sweeteners. If you are, you may want to add a few dates or a spoon full of honey to sweeten the smoothie. I hope you try it without adding anything sweet, though! If you avoid products with added refined sweeteners for even a few days, you’ll be amazed by how much you enjoy the natural sweetness of fruits and vegetables.
Do you enjoy smoothies or juicing? What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?