Monday, January 31, 2011

Pregnancy drink series: week 2, Green smoothie (spinach-banana-strawberry)

You need even more iron when you're pregnant, and that's one nutrient I struggle to get enough of normally with my mostly vegetarian diet (and the few meats I do rarely eat - chicken and turkey, stocks, aren't very high in iron anyway.)  There's certainly Fe in my prenatal vitamin, but supplements are generally harder to absorb than natural Fe ... it's less bioavailable due to its chemical form ... I won't get started on this but could go into a lot of chemistry if anyone's interested.

There's lots of iron in greens, and combining green with a little acid, especially the citric acid found in citrus, is a great way to increase its availability.  I love spinach in almost any form, but the smoothie form is a great way to start off the day.  Or for a snack.  My dad tried this this morning and despite he skepticism over the color and eating spinach for breakfast said it was good.

Green smoothie, serves 1
2 c. baby spinach greens (I buy the prewashed and add straight from the bag or clamshell)
0.5 banana (frozen is fine, even preferable)
a small handful of strawberries (4-6) (ditto the frozen remark)
0.5 c. plain yogurt
0.25 c. orange juice, adjust to achieve the preferred texture
optional: sweetener to taste (I usually skip this)
optional: a few ice cubes

Directions: Put in blender.  Blend.

I say that frozen fruit is preferable cause it makes the smoothie nice and frosty.  You may want to add a few ice cubes if your fruit is fresh.  I don't think they sell bananas frozen, but I buy a large bunch when they're on sale, and when they are good and ripe (a little overripe even), I peel them, break them in half, and throw them in a freezer bag.  Then they are ready smoothie making.

Other fruits are really good too - this morning I added some mango - but I would say strawberry makes for a classic taste.

Oh, and a random question - Andy picked up some Whole Foods 365 organic brand plain yogurt for the first time yesterday.  Did we just get a weird batch or is it about 10 times more sour than other brands of plain yogurt (specifically Mountain High, which is what we usually get)?  It was sour enough that when I licked the spoon I immediately spit it out thinking something was wrong with it.

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