I want to take you to a warm place I met last summer. Under a big, tall tree. Beneath a lush pile of grass. On top of a kilim blanket. A blanket from the basket just outside the front door of the juice shop. There were mountains in the background. But this particular story isn’t about the mountains. Because traveling to the mountains with a then 4-year-old, like we did last summer to meet up with family, well, there’s only so much you can do. And not a lot of those things involve mountains. Except for the day we took the overpriced gondola to the top of the world. She loved it.
This post is a four part series sponsored by Vitamix and The FeedFeed. I’ve been using a Vitamix my entire adult life and have been known to travel with my Vitamix by car. I use my Vitamix as a blender, food processor, and sometimes a mixer. Thank you for supporting a brand that makes my kitchen run more smoothly.
But not as much as that spot under the big, tall tree, where we found ourselves every afternoon. Usually on our backs, looking up at the umbrella of leaves that blocked the sun like sunglasses. Praise be. Because, of course, we forgot those at home. Even on a warm day, someone must have turned on the air conditioning outside. Though, maybe that was the frozen smoothie in my hand. Usually the Mint Chip Green smoothie, except for the one afternoon when they ran out of bananas. Talk about bananas.
We brought the idea of the Mint Chip Green smoothie home with us to tinker with. It’s winter now, and the wild mint plant that was growing in the backyard is no longer growing. Which means we have to pay excessive amounts to buy handfuls of mint from the store. The heat is on. My jacket is on. But I’ve pulled out my Vitamix again to blend up that creamy (from the avocado and almond butter), minty (from the mint), chippy (from the cacao nibs), and green (from the spinach) smoothie to drift off to that warm place from last summer. Under the big, tall tree. At the base of the mountains. It’s getting warmer in here already. Though, maybe that’s the fireplace crackling.
This wholesome Mint Chip Green Smoothie is reminiscent of a Mint Chip Shake. However it’s high in protein and the good fats, low in sugar, and so satisfying as a smoothie or an end of day treat.
1/2 c. almond milk (unsweetened)
1/2 ripe banana
1/4 ripe avocado
1/4 c. fresh mint, tightly packed
1/4 c. spinach, lightly packed
1 tbsp. almond butter (unsweetened)
2 pitted medjool dates
pinch of kosher salt
1 scant c. ice
1 tbsp. cacao nibs
In a Vitamix or high powered blender, add all the ingredients in the order listed to the blender, except for the cacao nibs. Using the smoothie mode, blend until smooth, adding the cacao nibs at the very end to crunch into smaller pieces without pulverizing.
Alternatively, turn the blender to medium for about 20 seconds to break down the ice before blending on high speed until smooth, adding in the cacao nibs at the end.
You’ll know you have the perfect ice ratio when the smoothie burps at the end of a blend. Serve immediately.
Note: This wholesome smoothie is low on sugar. If you prefer something a little sweeter, add an extra date or 2. If you don’t stock cacao nibs, throw in a couple chocolate chips.