Posts tagged ‘banana’

October 12, 2011


I love cooking.  If I had the time, I would cook every meal from scratch, going to the market for specific ingredients and eating things hot off the stove [this has become especially true since we got rid of the microwave!].  But life doesn’t quite work that way.  And my farmer’s market is only open on Saturday mornings.

To make things easier on myself during the week, I like to take some extra time during the weekend to wash and prep a few of our favorite fruits and veg.  It makes it ten times easier to make a healthy meal when everything is set up nicely for me. 


When we’re especially in a rush but don’t have much time to cook, Ben and I will make protein smoothies with frozen fruit, spirulina/dark leafy greens, maca root, and chia seeds.  I usually just mix my protein powder with water [I’ve really been loving this all-natural ProEnergy supplement!], but Ben’s smoothies usually contain some frozen banana or berries and maybe a bit of nut butter to up the calorie content. 

To freeze bananas for smoothies [or muffins or whatever], first peel and slice the bananas and place them in the freezer on a cookie sheet.  Once they’re frozen through, place them in a ziploc or tupperwear in the freezer.  Freezing them in small pieces ensures that they won’t stick together, so you can pull one piece out at a time rather than having to work with a huge hunk of banana-mush. 


Another thing you’ll always find in our fridge is some type of dark leafy green [usually kale, chard, and/or spinach].  Kale preparation isn’t difficult, but it does feel time-consuming after a long day’s work.

To prep kale for the week, de-stem the leaves and tear them into small pieces, then rinse and spin-dry. 


Place the clean, dry kale pieces in a ziploc or air-tight container with a paper towel at the bottom, and you’ll have kale ready for the week! 


Do you have any time-saving prep tips?  I’m always looking for ways to be more efficient! 

Aloha Pumehana.
Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!

March 17, 2011

Shamrock Smoothie

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Although my favorite color is green, St. Patty’s isn’t my favorite holiday (come to think of it, I’m not really sure what my favorite holiday is…).  I just don’t understand how a day meant to honor someone could turn into just an excuse to get drunk.  Don’t get me wrong: that isn’t to say that I haven’t spent my fair share of St. Patty’s days plastered.

My most memorable drunken March 17th was spent with great friends abroad in Aotearoa/New Zealand chugging Irish Car Bombs and plastic cups full of green beer into the early morning hours, at which point we headed to the pubs (and proceeded to scarf down wedges with sweet chili sauce).

Looking back, I’m glad I don’t drink anymore. Of course, there are no regrets, but seeing how much more I honor my body nowadays is confirmation enough for me to steer clear of alcohol and drugs.  But focusing on health, eating clean and not drinking doesn’t mean I sit out the celebration!  My hubby is Irish (and he loves his beer!) so I wanted to do something fun, festive and special to celebrate St. Patty’s Day while also ensuring that we both get our nutrition in.  Enter: the incredible Shamrock Smoothie [a.k.a. the Chocolate 'O Mint or "Black+Green" Shake].

There just aren’t enough words to describe the pure deliciousness.  I already know more than a few of you will look at the ingredients and think spinach?!!, so I’m here to tell you: hells yes!  If you have yet to try spinach in your smoothies, do it STAT.  You won’t even taste it and it’ll add incredible nutrients to your meal!  For this occasion, mix it up with some mint and chocolate and I have only two words: SO. GOOD!


Shamrock Smoothie

[Ingredients: In order to keep the bright green color, you'll need to mix up two different batches [the green + the brown] and then pour them into your glass separately.]


  • 2/3 frozen banana [I used an apple banana]
  • 2 c fresh spinach (packed)
  • 2/3 c almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1/4 tsp spirulina and/or flaxseed [optional]


  • 1 serving chocolate protein powder [I use BioChem 100% Whey]
  • the other 1/3 frozen banana
  • 1/3 c almond milk
  • small handful of dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate chips [I used about 6 chips]

IMG_5707Blend together all green ingredients until smooth, then blend together all brown ingredients until smooth.  There will be more green than brown.

In a tall glass, pour in half the green mixture, then all of the brown, and finally the remaining green.

Top with fresh mint leaves and a few chocolate chips and enjoy


Or, warm up some of the smoothie a bit and use it as a mix-in for your oats [I used my go-to steel cut oats with chia (click for recipe)]!


This was delicious, although it totally ended up looking like Shrek’s swamp about half-way through…



Ben tried to make me feel better about it by saying “it looks like Ireland!” (hehe), but when it comes to healthy and delicious food, I don’t always need to be persuaded by looks.

And with that, I’m off to shave my legs and get to work (it’s embarrassing how long it’s been since I last shaved my legs!).  Thank goodness I only have two more days before Spring Break – I am in need of it!!

Don’t forget to wear your green today!

How are you celebrating today? Are you a ‘green monster’ smoothie fan?  How do you feel about drinking?

Aloha Pumehana. Whether you’re here to find balance, wholesome recipes or inspiration, I hope you enjoy the posts.  Please subscribe to Green Plate Dinners to receive automatic updates and be the first to read new posts for free!


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