Spinach. Yeah, that’s right, spinach! Do you KNOW how good spinach is for you? Prepare yourself. It has: Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamins- C, A, K, E, (Hey, that spells cake! Mmm…) Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. I highly recommend always keeping a bag of spinach or baby spinach ready to roll in your fridge.
Ya know what else is great about good ol’ spinacia oleracea? In its raw form it really doesn’t taste like much. Which is kinda great because you can sneak it in just about any food for some added nutrition. I’m a big fan of putting a handful of fresh raw spinach in my smoothies. Okay, it’ll turn your drink green which may be a little weird. But if you’re not afraid to take a walk on the wild side, the next time you make a smoothie, use spinach! Here’s a picture of my breakfast this morning–though as you can see, I couldn’t resist taking a big gulp before I got around to getting my camera.
Another way you can use spinach is with a light meal like I had last night for dinner. This meal loses its nutritional value pretty quickly if you’re not careful, but it only costs about $1.39 (Tuna-$1.09, 1/2 Plantain-$.20, Spinach-$.10). Start with a handful of spinach on your plate. Put a nice can of chunk *white* tuna mixed with your favorite spices. Although light mayonnaise isn’t super healthy, I mix a teaspoon or so of it in my tuna. You can definitely leave this out though. I also mixed it with cumin, curry powder, garlic powder, and hot sauce. When you’re done, just drop that on top of the pile of spinach. I’ll write later about plantains, but I like to saute 1/2 of one to compliment my tuna meal.
Ok, back to smoothies. There’s no secret to making smoothies. If you’re a terrible cook, you still can’t mess up smoothies.
I’ll break it down…
1. Cut up your favorite fruit or veggies.
2. Put it in the blender.
3. Add a handful of ice.
4. Add a hearty splash of liquid.
5. Now slaughter.
Seriously, anyone can do this. Now what to put in your smoothie? In addition to your favorite fruits, think about adding some veggies that work with it. Try out carrots, spinach, avocado, cucumber, kale, cilantro, mint, or Swiss chard. Try a tiny bit of vanilla, zest of an orange or other citrus, or natural peanut butter to spice it up a bit too. For liquids try your favorite juice (with no sugar added), water, soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, soy yogurt, or fresh squeezed OJ. Bananas are excellent for smoothie texture, by the way. If you’re not sure how much of each ingredient, just experiment. Add enough liquid so that the ingredients inside the blender move around without too much trouble.
Another helpful hint! Go buy a junk load of fruit on your day off when you’ve got a few extra hours. Come home, get a nice sharp knife and cutting board, crank up the tunes, and cut up all the fruit in bite sized portions. Bag the fruit in individually sized bags and throw them in the freezer. OR if you know you like certain fruits together, put those cut up fruits together in the bag. Then, one morning when the last thing you want to do is cut up fruit, you’re already ready to go already.