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!