As I type this, I’m recovering from a longer than expected bike ride with Philip…isn’t that always how it goes with bike rides? You start out great and then you realize you still have to turn around and do that same mileage back. By the end, my bum was sore and I was ready to get a snack (food is never far from my mind).
But before my mind started wandering to everything food, we had a great time exploring more of the bike trails Madison has to offer (I realized there are a lot!). Philip just got a new bike this spring, so it was fun to be able to get out together, since that didn’t really happen much at all last summer. I’m hoping for many more bike rides this spring and summer…although maybe not quite so far. :)
I was originally so excited to share with you a soup that I just made on Friday (since you know, it was cold then, but now it’s hot). You guys, it was really good. But sorry, I’m not sharing it with you…yet. :) When Philip said he didn’t want the leftover soup for lunch because it was so warm out, it confirmed my thoughts I was already thinking—I can’t share this amazing soup with you now…it’s way too nice of weather and who wants soup when it’s 80° out. I’ll wait for another rainy day (literally).
But instead, I have a just as tasty and much more refreshing recipe up for you to try—Very Berry Chia Smoothie. This smoothie is perfect for any warm spring (or summer) day, plus it’s got some extra added nutrients in there that are tucked away, so you won’t even know they’re in there.
Philip and I were on a smoothie kick one day and basically were just trying to find fruit we had on hand that we could throw into our blender—and this amazing concoction was born! I like my smoothies more on the creamy side rather than crunchy with ice, so I started it out with vanilla Greek yogurt and almond milk (feel free to use any kind of milk you like). This gives the smoothie some staying power with the protein from the yogurt and milk. If you try to shy away from yogurts with added sugar in them, feel free to use plain Greek yogurt and add a little honey to it, if you think the smoothie isn’t sweet enough. Again, this is what I had on hand and I tend to like things a little sweeter…I have a
slight major sweet tooth. :)
Next up: The frozen fruit. Since I don’t like adding ice to my smoothies, I have to get it cold somehow! I added some red raspberries and peaches—it brought me right back to summer time. These peaches I used were leftover from last summer. I had gotten a whole bunch at the Farmers’ Market and froze a ton for times like these when I was craving a smoothie. I’m so glad I did, because nothing beats fresh, locally grown peaches.
One of the “secret” ingredients gets added in next: Fresh spinach. I add spinach to all my smoothies, because here’s another little secret—you can’t taste it! It doesn’t make sense to me not to add it in. It gives the smoothie an added nutrient boost. Plus, I think the smoothies just taste a little fresher with it in there. If you’re hesitant, start with just a small handful. There does come a point when you’ve put too much in and there’s a slight spinach taste, so just increase the amount gradually. Unlike a lot of “green smoothies” that have added spinach or kale, this smoothie doesn’t turn green at all because of the berries—the spinach is an even better kept secret in this one. :)
Top off the smoothie with a little extra fruit you may have hanging around your kitchen. In our case, we had a little bit of extra pear left over from something else (probably a different smoothie), but if you wanted to add some apple in or just leave that extra fruit out, I don’t think it’d make too much of a difference. And last, but not least, we have our second “secret” added into the smoothie—ch-ch-chia seeds!
I know I introduced chia seeds to you on this blog with chia seed pudding. If that scared you off, don’t give up on ’em yet! Chia seeds are very similar to flax seeds and can be used practically all the same ways—like adding it to smoothies, for instance. So why not just use flax seeds instead, you ask? Good question. Both are good, but chia seeds offer a little bit extra Omega-3 fatty acids, contain a tad more fiber and protein, and also have some calcium tucked away in those small little seeds. How does something so small contain so many nutrients?! Mind. blown. If you’re still not convinced and prefer flax seeds, just know you need to buy the ground flax seed or use them in smoothies where they will get ground up, otherwise our bodies can’t get to the healthy fats in the flax and reap the benefits. Don’t worry, you can’t taste the chia seeds in this smoothie—they’ll blend right in with the tiny raspberry seeds.
Once all the ingredients are added in, pop the lid onto your blender and let it do it’s thang. I have a monster of a beast—otherwise known as a Vitamix—which I absolutely love, but pretty much any blender will be able to do the job (although I like to think that no other blender could, which is why I needed to have a Vitamix). In my defense, it does do a lot of other cool things that I know other blenders can’t live up to, though…like make peanut butter or hot soup. Yeah, it’s pretty awesome. :)
In about 30 seconds, you have yourself a refreshing, filling, and nutritious smoothie—perfect recovery from a
leisurely unintentional-triathlon-training bike ride. I won’t complain, though; it was a good 2+ hours spent with my husband, enjoying the gorgeous Madison weather. Plus, I got a sweet smoothie out of the deal—what more could a girl ask for. :)
Very Berry Chia Smoothie
- 2 5.3-oz containers vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 cups almond milk (adjust for desired consistency)
- 2 frozen peaches, sliced
- 1 cup frozen berries
- 1 cup spinach
- 1 Tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 pear (half of an apple would also work)
- Add ingredients in order listed to blender. Start on a low speed and gradually increase to top speed. Blend until smooth (about 30–60 seconds, depending on blender). Enjoy!