You may have noticed I drink a lot of smoothies:
Smoothies are a great way to sneak extra vegetables and fruit into my diet, not to mention goodly doses of anti-inflammatory spices. I also find a refreshing, protein-enhanced smoothie to be a convenient and energizing breakfast.
I am definitely not a morning person, so dumping a bunch of pre-prepped ingredients into a blender and hitting “Start” is about all I can handle before leaving for work. The Midwestern Gentleman and I have started measuring out our dry ingredients (ground flax, spices, protein powder) into individual baggies on Sunday evenings for the week ahead. We make sure the fridge and freezer are well stocked with greens and frozen fruit, and we’re good to go. Buying frozen fruit works well, but it’s easy to freeze leftover fresh fruit, too, especially if it’s on the verge of getting over-ripe. Just chop the fruit into chunks, spread the chunks out in a single layer — making sure none of the pieces are touching each other — on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Once the fruit is frozen, you can transfer it to a freezer baggie without worrying about the fruit sticking together in a giant, blender-busting clump.
Last week, I was busy hosting family (and getting hitched to the Midwestern Gentleman), so my typical weekday smoothie breakfasts fell by the wayside. After a week or so, I could really feel the difference. I had less energy, more achiness, and felt less hydrated during the day. So, I am back on the smoothie bandwagon. A tropical smoothie bandwagon, since pineapple and mangoes contain copious amounts of anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants, as well as being abundant and on sale at the grocery store right now. This smoothie would make a great pre- or post-workout snack, but I also love it for breakfast.
Tropical Anti-Inflammatory Smoothie
2/3 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into chunks and frozen
1 mango, peeled, de-pitted, and chopped into pieces
1/2 banana, sliced and frozen
1 – 2 large leaves swiss chard, de-veined and coarsely chopped
2 scoops unflavored egg white protein powder (or 1/3 cup silken tofu)
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup cold water (or to desired consistency)
2 – 3 ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender. Pulse until the ice and frozen fruit are broken up. Blend until smooth and pourable, adding more cold water if needed. Enjoy immediately. Makes about two 12-oz servings.