This combination has been done (a lot), I know. It is 100% basic, but PB & J is popular for a reason; it's delicious! Who doesn't like the mineral tang of salt in peanut butter mixed with fruit's sweet sugar? I power up my morning with this smoothie boasting peanut butter for satiety, berries for antioxidants, banana for potassium, protein powder (well, for protein!), coconut water for electrolytes, and spinach stems for iron. Talk about power boost for your consumed calories!
Sustainability Spotlight: While the leafy greens of spinach have more nutritional value, spinach stems also have iron, calcium, magnesium, and essential vitamins (just less, but it's still there!) Despite the nutritional value, rarely are the stems used from the bunch. Many recipes call for just the use of the leaves which means we are wasting valuable resources from our harvested crop in discarding the stems. Not today! Using the stems in smoothies is a great way to ensure that for plated dishes (like salads or pasta) you can use the leaves which are appealing visually and have great mouthfeel. For the stems, you are blending in a smoothie until you don't have that texture or visual need. Why not use the stems then for this breakfast / snack then? My kitchen gets a boost for sustainability because I'm not only using all of the vegetable I purchased, but I'm also using it across multiple recipes. Again, saving me money (and the planet!) just by making delicious food and using all of the ingredients I have procured for the week.
2 cups frozen mixed berries (I used raspberry, blackberry & blueberry blend)
1/4 cup peanut butter (or just a large serving spoon scoop of the butter)
1 handful spinach stems
1 (small) ripe banana
1 scoop protein powder
2 cups coconut water
Garnishes (optional but recommended): hemp seeds, chia seeds and fresh raspberries
Place all ingredients (berries through water) in the order shown above in a high-powered blender.
If you have a Vitamix with smoothie button, turn on and wait for the blender to automatically stop. Proceed to Step #4.
If you do not have a Vitamix with a smoothie button, turn on blender on low and gradually increase in increments of 20 seconds each all the way up to the highest setting. Use a tamper or scrape down sides as needed and blend until smooth (~4 minutes).
Pour into glasses and top with the optional garnishes noted above. Serve & enjoy!
With love & hope for a better future for all of us - Jamie