This is just genius!
I only wish it was my idea.
As I stood in the shower one day last week, warm water pouring over my head, thoughts of ways to make our diet a bit healthier were swirling in the little culinary corner of my brain.
I started thinking about smoothies. Green smoothies, to be precise; and my mind was quite engrossed with how great they are as a low calorie, low fat, super satiating, healthy breakfast option. I usually use Greek yogurt for the protein component in my smoothies as I'm not crazy about the chalky taste of most protein powders. While running through other options for protein (Yes, I think about stuff like this in the shower!), a crazy thought occurred to me: "Hey, I wonder how it would work to use quinoa?"
If you're not familiar with quinoa, it's an ancient grain that's grown super popular in recent years, and has gained a reputation as a "super food", because it's high in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and super high in protein. Here at The Café, it's become a staple and recently, we posted a tutorial on "How to Make Perfect Quinoa". I like to have a stash of cooked, ready-to-go quinoa in the fridge, as it makes quick, healthy meals really simple.
With hair still wet, I grabbed the computer and consulted my friend, Mr. Google. I typed in "smoothies with quinoa", quite sure no one had ever thought of this before. Wrong, wrong, wrong. There were all kinds of entrees - 946,000 to be exact. Oh well, it wasn't original, but it was a very intriguing concept.
I didn't tell Scott about my idea. I knew that he'd be honest in the evaluation of my experiment, but at the same time, I didn't want him to be biased. After all, a smoothie with quinoa sounds a little, ah... weird, right?
A lovely fresh pineapple sat on the counter, and there were a few kiwi and a ripe banana in the fruit bowl. I thought they'd be great stars for my new smoothie. A container of "perfect quinoa" was already stashed in the fridge, along with a carton of baby spinach. It was simple to put the whole thing together the following morning. I poured the pretty green smoothie into two tall glasses and served Scott his "liquid" breakfast.
"How'd you like the smoothie?", I asked, after he'd finished the very last drop.
"Really good", he said.
"Did you really like it?"
"It was great."
"Oh, that's wonderful!"
"Why is that so wonderful?", he asked, guessing he'd been snookered again.
"It had quinoa in it."
"Really? Quinoa? I would never have guessed. "
I'd be willing to bet that your family/friends will feel the same way about this delicious Fresh Pineapple and Kiwi Protein Smoothie. It's okay if you don't share the secret ingredient. They'll just be amazed over the fact they have so much energy and feel satisfied for hours!
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- 1 ½ cups diced fresh pineapple
- 2 medium kiwi
- 1 small ripe banana
- 1 4- inch long piece about 1 inch in diameter cucumber leave the peel on if unwaxed
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup spinach packed
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh orange juice
- 1 tablespoon honey agave (or your favorite sweetener), or to taste
- 1 ½-2 cups crushed ice
Combine all ingredients except ice in a blender container. Blend on high for 1 minute.
Add ice and blend for another minute. Serve and enjoy!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Wow! This ISSSS just genius! Love the idea of using quinoa in it these smoothies! And kiwi and pineapple - so yum!!!!
Maureen | Orgasmic Chef says
I have heard about quinoa in a smoothie but I too thought it sounded weird. Now I have to try it just to taste it. 🙂
Quinoa in smoothie? This is sure first time seeing this...I usually add tofu as a source of protein...
I like the idea of kiwi and pineapple...
Enjoy the rest of your week Chris 🙂
This really is genius, and I love all the fresh 'green's in your posts lately, it's really getting me into the spring spirit!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
What an interesting way to use quinoa! I wouldn't have thought of this -- very clever. And such a great color, too! Thanks for this.
Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says
Genius and beautiful all in one Chris.
Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon says
Chris, what a great idea. I too have been mulling over an alternative. I eventually will be making my own yogurt, but now your smoothie sounds genius to me. I am put off by the chalkiness of store bought yogurt.. It always makes me cough.
p.s. I have Paris envy.
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
One of my favorite combinations except for the quinoa - haven't tried that! These photos are gorgeous - don't you just love smoothies!!!
Chris, super genius you are! (Sorry, really didn't intend to talk like Yoda.) Seriously, I would never in a million years have thought to incorporate quinoa in a smoothie (I wouldn't have told The Hubs either.)
Jennifer @ Seasons and Suppers says
Love this idea! What a perfect way to get some extra protein and the tropical flavours sound so delicious.
Ginny Hartzler says
It looks and sounds wonderful!! Pretty as spring, and good healthy ingredients!
Vicki Bensinger says
Chris this sounds utterly delicious! You had me at the color and I love that you added the quinoa. I was expecting that you'd also add an avocado since you seem to use a lot of them. Great recipe and one I will definitely try.
I love putting chia seeds in my smoothies and now I have to try quinoa! What a great idea and I love the green straws.
Denise Browning@From Brazil To You says
The perfect healthy and refreshing drink for both spring and summer... I could drink it all day long!
These photos and flavors make me want to jump on a plane to Hawaii! I totally understand the thinking about recipes during any quiet moment, even if that moment is in the shower! 🙂 Inspiration can strike at any moment!
Sophia @ NYfoodgasm says
OMG this is a FABULOUS IDEA! I almost never Google things anymore since someone has always done it! LOL! I would have never thought someone did it!
Angie@Angie's Recipes says
Not at all weird to me...I try to squeeze quinoa into my diet as much as possible. Love this beautiful and healthy smoothie.