Let’s face it. Summer starts on Friday, shorts weather is imminent, and most of us probably need to– ahem– “lighten up” a bit. I know I sure do… we’re headed to Miami soon, a hot and humid tropical playground, and jeans just won’t cut it. As part of my new “get healthy” regime, I’ve been replacing my afternoon snack with a green smoothie (aka The Greenie), and I’ve noticed a big difference in the way I look and feel. My skin is clearer, I have more energy and there’s a pep in my step. I’m loving green smoothies… but lately I’ve been finding that they don’t curb my appetite like they once did. It makes sense; the greenie I usually make doesn’t include protein, so it doesn’t satisfy my hunger in the same way a protein shake might.
Enter cashews, the hunger-busting nut that never fails to eliminate my hunger pains. I used to rely on almonds for a quick protein snack, but a few months ago I learned (via my friend’s Korean doctor) that they were causing me to break out on my chin. I cut out almonds for a few weeks, and problem solved! Strange that something so healthy could have been the source of my skin trouble. At any rate, I replaced my daily almonds with raw cashews, and now I’m finding all kinds of ways to use them in my cooking. They blend up rich and creamy (see my cashew milk post if you want to make your own homemade dairy-free milk at home). It wasn’t long before I made a new green smoothie with them– organic baby spinach or baby kale, apples, cashews, a little banana and spices. The results were spectacular. The drink turned out smooth, creamy and mellow. It was almost like a green milkshake. I know, that sounds so gross. Trust me, it’s yummy. It’s also incredibly healthy. This Cashew Apple Green Smoothie takes a bite out of the hunger monster, so I can make it to dinnertime without feeling ravenous. Green smoothies for the win!
Have you tried a green smoothie yet? How do you get your daily greens? Do you prefer smoothies, juicing or a good old fashioned salad?
- 1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
- 1 cup cold water, plus more for soaking
- 1 organic ripe Fuji or gala apple cut into chunks, core discarded
- 1/2 banana, peeled and cut into chunks
- 2 cups fresh organic baby spinach or baby kale (not mature kale-- baby kale is more tender and will blend up creamier)
- 16 ice cubes (or as needed)
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp stevia or 1 tbsp agave nectar, or more to taste (I use 1 packet of Truvia)
- Place cashews in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Soak the cashews for 1 hour up to overnight (if soaking overnight, keep them refrigerated).
- Drain and rinse the cashews. Pour 1 cup cold water into the blender along with the cashews.
- Blend till the cashews and water look like milk.
- Add one handful of the apple chunks. Blend till the mixture is liquid. Continue adding the apple and banana in small handfuls, blending each handful one at a time, till all of the fruit chunks are blended in.
- Add the greens, one handful at a time, and blend thoroughly.Add the ice cubes, cinnamon, nutmeg and sweetener. Blend till the ice cubes are thoroughly crushed and the mixture is smooth. I blend it for at least 1 minute to make sure all of the greens are totally pulverized. You may need more or less ice cubes depending on the size of your cubes-- just add them till the mixture is thick and milkshake-like in texture.
- Divide the smoothie between two large glasses and serve. There may be a little left over, which you can use to top off the glasses after sipping them down a bit. Enjoy!
Other Great Recipe Ideas:
Oh She Glows: Iced Mocha Green Monster Smoothie
Healthful Pursuit: Sleepy Raspberry Lemon Poppy Seed Smoothie
Cookin Canuck: Green Tea, Berry & Yogurt Smoothie
La Fuji Mama: Soymilk Carrot “Cake” Smoothie