Morning Smoothies

My summer walking bestie and I switched up our routine this week.  Instead of our usual hour at a local park, we headed out to a historic Chicago neighborhood to admire old architecture and some phenomenal landscaping.  Turns out the neighborhood is a little hilly (for a plains state), and we were able to get more steps and a more challenging workout.  I haven’t been as routine as last summer about my post-walk breakfasts (for a variety of reasons), but this smoothie caught my eye the other day because we have a lot of fresh mangos in the house.

This recipe is from a feature of 4 smoothies from Prevention Magazine, January 2014.  The mango one has been reblogged quite a few times (thanks, Google), but all 4 recipes are in the link.

http://www.prevention.com/food/healthy-eating-tips/super-healthy-smoothie-recipes/slide/4

Mango-Strawberry Power-Up

SERVINGS: 2.5

¾ c coconut water
½ c 2% plain Greek-style yogurt
1¼ c frozen mango chunks
¼ c frozen strawberries (about 5)
2 Tbsp almond meal (ground almonds)
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Combine ingredients in high-power blender and puree until smooth. Divide between 2 glasses.

NUTRITION (per serving) 181 cal, 8 g pro, 30 g carb, 4 g fiber, 24 g sugars, 4.5 g fat, 1 g sat fat, 27 mg sodium

Variations:

Change the flavor: swap frozen peaches for the mango, or use a frozen tropical fruit blend.

Pump up protein: Add raw almond butter or unsweetened whey protein powder plus a dash of pure vanilla extract.

Pack more potassium: Toss in a banana (sliced and frozen) or a few golden kiwifruits.

I put a chopped mango in the freezer along with the strawberries, then went about some other business while I waited for the fruit to firm up (note– must plan ahead for this smoothie unles you have frozen mango in the house).  I used a handful of almonds instead of almond meal and bottled lemon juice instead of fresh. I also put in a scoop of my protein powder, which adds about 110 calories.

20160729_104432-1

Verdict: refreshing and sweet! This was a perfect breakfast.  Skip the yogurt or substitute soy yogurt to make this vegan.  Confession: I made the batch as listed here and drank the whole thing myself, but it really served as breakfast and lunch, so I don’t feel guilty about the calories.   Here’s some confusion though– the original recipe lists the servings as 2.5, but says divide between 2 glasses.  So is the calorie count here for 1/2 the recipe, or one serving?  I don’t care that much, since I’d rather get 24 grams of sugar from real fruit than a can of pop, but the inconsistency made me wonder.  I also have made the beet orange smoothie that you’ll see if you click the original recipe link, and I thought that one was tasty as well, though a little earthier than this one.  Maybe it’s time to get back on the smoothie bandwagon–it’s just a little weird to sit back and linger over a cup of coffee when breakfast is another beverage.

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