Monday, April 28, 2014

Everyday Favorites: Saturday Smoothie with Banana, Cinnamon, and Sun Butter

Well happy Saturday! Wait a minute. Where did Saturday go? Oh yes. It drowned in the rain we're experiencing this week. My husband told me last night that many meteorologists come from Minnesota because, go figure, there is WEATHER here - dynamic, always-interesting-if-you're-into-that-sort-of-thing, worthy-of-study-and-commentary weather. I haven't fact checked this or anything, but it sounds reasonable, especially in light of a conversation I had with my bff Nicole in Corralitos, California, where their experience of weather is the exact opposite of the kind of weather above-described (and where I grew up, knowing exactly zero people who aspired to be a meteorologist). Especially in recent years, Corralitos and surrounding areas seem to cling to a general forecast of mostly sunny, highs in the low 70s. It's delightful to just be in weather like that: beautiful, fragrant, almost disconcertingly comfortable. As we sat in her backyard, Nicole had an epiphany. She observed that she never realized what the big hype about weather was, until it occurred to her recently that my life is entirely different from her own, largely because of the weather. To which I responded: Yes. We've got an urban/rural distinction too, but it primarily is the weather that gives our lives such different landscapes. Spring cleaning in Minnesota is a real thing. We literally pack up half the stuff we've been using for the last eight months and tuck it into our basements, from snow boots to pizza stones. ("Pizza stones? Why?" you (or Nicole) might ask. Because in the winter, turning our oven to 500 degrees is really just giving our furnace a break. Baking that aggressively in summer while we've got our air conditioner cranked up as high as it can go is just plain evil bad stewardship. See? Weather. It affects everything here. Especially once you move out of that condo...)

I digress. Happy Monday! About that smoothie.

So this is the smoothie I drink every Saturday. You can drink it any day you'd like, but it's fairly high calorie, so I can justify it only on Saturdays, because Saturdays are when I do my extra long workout at the YWCA. This smoothie is so delicious it has almost motivated me to do an extra long workout on other days of the week. But then I remember how nice sitting is and I opt out.

This smoothie is popular with the children and MC too. Once you read the ingredients you will understand. It's a whole bunch of yummy things blended together.

Saturday Smoothie Collage

Saturday Smoothie with Banana, Cinnamon, and Sun Butter
Yields: 1 large smoothie

A note on the optional protein powder: I use Tera's Whey or Vega Protein Powder most of the time, which both have a great texture, dissolve into liquid seamlessly, and are slightly sweetened with stevia. If you don't use a sweetened protein powder and/or a sweetened non-dairy beverage and/or if your banana isn't super ripe, a couple teaspoons of honey or maple syrup might be in order. Also, sometimes I throw in a handful of spinach. It totally works. And then you're trendy circa 2007 because you're drinking a green smoothie.

1 cup milk or non-dairy alternative
1 apple or banana
2 tablespoons sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or peanut butter
1 scoop / 2-3 tablespoons vanilla protein powder (optional)
1 teaspoon maca or lucuma powder (optional - these are weird overpriced completely nonessential natural sweeteners; I like them and you can buy maca powder in bulk at the Wedge Co-op)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt if seed or nut butter is unsalted
5-6 ice cubes

Blend everything together until smooth and cold and perfect. Enjoy. Whatever the weather. And hey! Great job on that killer workout!

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