Saturday, June 1, 2013

Smoothie Week: Almond Joy Protein Smoothie

Temperatures across the U.S. are really starting to heat up!

Although it's been hot in Florida for a while now, places like Seattle and New York City are finally seeing weather in the 80s. Given my days at Panera Bread last summer, I know people will soon be trading hot cups of coffee and tea for one thing . . .

Smoothies!

These cool, refreshing drinks have been a breakfast staple for me since January, but I somehow manage to make at least one new smoothie flavor every week.

Given my obsession and the warmer temperatures, I'm declaring this week smoothie week on Hungry Gator Gal.
 

I'll be sharing at least three new slurp-able, spoon-able recipes this week. Feel free to challenge yourself and join me in making at least three new-to-you smoothies between today and next Saturday. Also, don't forget to check HGG often to make sure you're not missing out on the creamy, dreamy deliciousness.

With that said, here's my inaugural recipe. Enjoy! :)

Almond Joy Protein Smoothie




A six-mile round-trip bike ride to Target and Publix Thursday morning left me with burning legs, a grumbling stomach and sweat dripping down my back. A nice cold lunch was definitely on the menu, and this smoothie certainly hit the spot! Here's a rundown of my thoughts:

  • Texture: The combination of coconut milk, almond milk, yogurt and frozen banana makes this drink creamy but not as thick as my Banana Vanilla or Healthy Thin Mint Smoothies. It fills you up without weighing you down.
  • Flavor: The drink features a nice balance of almond, coconut and chocolate flavors. None overwhelms the drink, but you could definitely increase one flavor by adding extra toppings. The dates and banana add a simple, natural sweetness and disguise the spinach. 
  • Nutritional Profile: Where do I even begin? Coconut, almond butter, dates, spinach, protein powder and plain Greek yogurt makes this smoothie a powerhouse!
  • Look: My photography skills aren't the best, but I think the toasted coconut looks pretty yummy.
  • Overall: The smoothie is a drinkable version of the Almond Joy candy but not as sickeningly sweet. I'm definitely making it again soon.

Almond Joy Protein Smoothie



Recipe adapted from Edible Perspective


Total preparation time: Two to three minutes


Difficulty: If you can open a can, you can make this smoothie.


Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup lite canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk.)
  • One tablespoon creamy almond butter
  • 1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 pitted dates
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used Cabot Lowfat Plain Greek-Style Yogurt.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • One large handful fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 scoop protein powder (I used Body Fortress Super Advanced Whey Protein, chocolate flavor. A half scoop of this powder is 70 calories. Feel free to use more, if desired.)
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut (for topping)

Steps:

  1. Spray a pan with cooking spray. Spread coconut in an even layer on pan. Broil coconut in the oven or toaster oven for about five minutes. (Warning - watch the coconut carefully to ensure it doesn't burn!)
  2. Remove coconut from oven when golden-brown. Set aside.
  3. Shake the can of coconut milk before opening. Pour one cup of the milk in your blender. Store leftover milk in a sealed container in the fridge.
  4. Add all ingredients except the toasted, shredded coconut to blender.
  5. Blend and stir/scrape the sides until fully smooth. (Note: I have a bullet blender and  find it's best to "pulse" on and off for a minute or so.)
  6. Top with toasted coconut and any additional toppings.(I.e. your favorite chocolate chips or chocolate shavings; chopped almonds; simple, healthy homemade hot fudge; coconut butter magic shell.)

Questions: 

  1. Do you prefer Mounds or Almond Joy?
  2. Do you ever ride your bike instead of driving or taking public transportation?

Related HGG Posts:


Banana Vanilla Power Smoothie



Healthy Thin Mint Smoothie



Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter and Coconut Cups



Of Possible Interest:

 

Dark Chocolate Covered Almond Drops from living.on.purpose 

Homemade Twix Bars from Chocolate-Covered Katie

Mounds Candy Bar from elena's pantry

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