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Pomegranate Strawberry Banana Smoothie

February 12, 2012

At work the other day, a student’s parent asked me how “far along” I was. I know this is one of those moments every female fears, but in this case I really wasn’t insulted. I have seen this father every morning for 6 months now, and he seems like a gentle, helpful man who adores his daughter and looks out for other kids at school. My appearance has changed very little in that time, so I truly think he was just trying to be nice and make conversation in the hall. Anyway, I explained that I was not pregnant, and he exclaimed how sorry he was and that he wasn’t thinking at all about my weight, but I had “that glow” so he thought I must be.

It didn’t take me long to figure it out: I am most certainly the only person he saw that morning who had spinach, pomegranate juice, and strawberries for breakfast! I bet you will be glowing too if you drink this surprisingly delicious combination of nutritious fruits and veggies. But, I hope no one asks you if you are pregnant. Unless, of course, you actually are. :)

If you are not used to green smoothies, I know it might seem strange to put spinach in your drink. But, I promise, it really blends in and you won’t even know it is there. It is a great way to get an extra serving of vegetables in your day, and add nutrients, volume, and fiber to your smoothie without many calories. It does change the color though, so I made sure to take a few pictures of the beautiful pink drink before the greens are mixed in.

Feel free to leave out the maca, hemp seed, protein powder, and coconut oil. I use them to turn the smoothie into a satisfying meal and contribute extra nutrition, but they are not necessary. I got the idea of adding healthy fats like avocado or coconut oil to smoothies from Frank Lipman’s book Revive, and I really do think they help it feel more like breakfast than just a drink. Though coconut oil contains saturated fat, it is converted to energy by the liver instead of being stored in the body’s cells as fat (especially helpful before I leave for work at 6:30am). I think the early protein boost also helps me feel less hungry throughout the day. This smoothie’s flavor is a little different without the protein powder- more tart and fruity.

Vegan Pomegranate Strawberry Banana Smoothie

1 heaping cup frozen strawberries

1 cup pomegranate juice, or 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1 tsp. gelatinized maca powder (optional)

1 Tbsp. shelled hemp seeds (optional)

2 Tbsp. vanilla protein powder (optional- I use a half rice, half pea mixture)

1 tsp. coconut oil or flaxseed oil (optional)

1 small-medium banana

2 huge handfuls baby spinach

additional water if needed to blend

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Combine all ingredients in blender, and mix until smooth. Make sure to give it a little longer than you think it needs, so that you do not have big lumpy berry hunks fall toward your face as you sip. (And be sure to check the mirror before you leave for work.) I’ve listed the ingredients in the order I put them into the blender- I’m not sure it makes any difference, but this has worked well for me.

Makes 1 large smoothie or 2 smaller ones.

I really do not think you need any pomegranate seeds for flavor- I just put them there because otherwise the brown smoothie was even less aesthetically pleasing. :)

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