Six Million Dollar Smoothies: Smoothie Hacks

I had my appointment with the surgeon today to discuss my MRI Arthrogram, and walked away less than thrilled with the results. I wrote about what I was hoping would happen yesterday—you can read that post here if you’re curious.

I’m going to post about the result within the next day or so, but I want to get my head screwed on straight first, and restore the positive attitude that’s so important to getting and staying well. I’m also holding off on another more important post that I have in the pipeline, just because I want to make sure the quality doesn’t suffer because I’m a little down.

Smoothie stuff is basically becoming my filler content, but it’s quality filler, since I know at least a few of you are actually making and enjoying these recipes. Filing my filler as a win!

Today’s smoothie post is going to be a little bit different. I’m going to share a couple of “smoothie hacks” I’ve learned over the past several weeks. Some of them I came up with on my own, others come from awesome websites, all of which I will link to.

First things first, let’s talk smoothie prep. I’m proud to say I thought this little gem up on my own. A lot of people will tell you to fill ice cube trays with coconut water, fruit juices, coffee, tea, etcetera, so you have a quick and smart alternative to ice for your morning smoothie. This is very smart, but I realized I could take this idea a step further.

TripleS3CUCUMBER ICE CUBES

That’s right people. I made cucumber ice cubes!

Cucumbers are mostly water, so it make sense that they’d cube-ify easily. If you’re like me, you love fresh produce, but also end up throwing a lot of it out because of poor planning. Never again shall I toss out a cucumber! I have seen the light!

As soon as I got home from the store on Sunday, I sliced up my gigantamous hothouse cucumber and processed the living daylight out of it. I own an itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, cheap but effective food processor, so processing was, in fact a process… but it was totally worth the extra prep time!

So, when—in future Six Million Dollar Smoothie Recipes—you see “Cucumber ice cubes,” this is what I’m talking about!  You can always use your regular, old, boring cucumber if you want… but know that somewhere out there, a grad student with no money and a less than active social life is judging your life choices.

Borrowed this image from The Diva Dish, one of my favorite recipe blogs. At least SOMEBODY understands the basics of food photography. Click the image to check out the website.

Borrowed this image from The Diva Dish, one of my favorite recipe blogs. It’s SUPER vegetarian and vegan friendly, and the recipes are proof that health food can taste great. I’m showing my appreciation through photo thievery. It’s you’re own darned fault, Arielle, for understanding the basics of food photography. Click the image to check out the website.

SMOOTHIE CUBES

I’m not the only person who’s taking smoothie prep to the next level. Over at The Diva Dish, I learned a tip that probably should have been intuitive, but nevertheless struck me as freakin’ miraculous.

Make your smoothies in advance, stick ‘em in an ice tray, and then throw in a blender with your milk or dairy-free product of your choice! Insta-smoothie for the days when you’re teaching, need to be on campus early, or just… can’t.

I’m actually planning to invest in a bunch of ice trays. My freezer is going to look utterly ridiculous, stacked to the brim with run-of-the-mill ice, smoothie prep stuff, and pre-made smoothie trays.

A BETTER WAY TO CLEAN YOUR BLENDER

This one is courtesy of Pinterest. Here’s the thing, I don’t actually use Pinterest… I honestly don’t even understand how I was able to grab the image. Needless to say, I can’t give this tip proper attribution, which—given that citing sources is in my job description—makes me feel a bit squicky. Realistically though, you can totally find this if you need it. I believe in you.

Smoothie hack

The picture pretty much speaks for itself. Realistically, I think the “rinse part of the equation should also include at least a quick swipe of the sponge (especially if you’re making smoothies with spinach or chia seeds or whatever), but the principle is definitely sound, and beats my “soak the thing in soapy water until you want to use it again” technique. A domestic goddess I am not.

I hope that some of these tips prove helpful to those of you out there who are joining me on the quest to get healthy and save money with smoothies! If you have other tips to share, PLEASE share them. I’ll pass said tips along (with attribution, of course) and actually use them myself!

If you’re catching the smoothie bug and want another recipe to tide you over until my next post, check out The Bluth Banana!

“The Six Million Dollar Scholar” is the personal blog of Andrea Milne, a Ph.D. candidate in modern U.S. History at the University of California, Irvine. To get the story behind the blog’s name, click here.

Six Million Dollar Smoothies: The Big Purple Giant

There are a great many food bloggers out travelling the information superhighway, and personal finance bloggers too! I don’t consider myself to be either of these things. SMDS is about learning how to survive and thrive in graduate school, with a dash of my own research interests for color. It’s hardly surprising, however, that my first-ever food-focused post turned out to be quite popular. After all, grad students love food, especially cheap food. I got a few requests for recipes, so I’m going to space them out over the next couple of weeks. In the meantime, I’m going to keep experimenting… see how many of these bad boys I can think up.

I cannot emphasize enough that I am NOT a food blogger. If you needed any more evidence of that, here's photographic proof. I promise I'll get better.

I cannot emphasize enough that I am NOT a food blogger. If you needed any more evidence of that, here’s photographic proof. I promise I’ll get better.

A quick refresher for anybody who didn’t read my last post: I am in the midst of a diet, so I am using smoothies because—if you’re smart about how you make them—they can be (1) healthy, (2) dirt cheap, and (3) excellent meal replacements. If you want a low calorie smoothie, you can tweak the recipe below, and half the calorie content.

Ask and ye shall receive dear reader. Without further ceiling staring and shuffling of feet, here’s my first recipe in my ridiculous new series: Six Million Dollar Smoothies. 


 

The Big Purple Giant 

This is a great way to get your greens in without sacrificing taste.

If you want to up the protein—especially if you’re a vegetarian (like me) or not actively trying to lose weight (unlike me) I suggest adding one scoop (100 calories) worth of vanilla whey powder. I don’t think it hurts the taste, but try it and see what you think.

The recipe is HUGE, but I drink the whole thing, because why not? If you’re less ambitious, this recipe is big enough to share with somebody.

NB: Take out the Greek yogurt and you’ve got a vegan smoothie, though I’d suggest adding tofu or something similar to improve the texture.

The other great thing about smoothies that I forgot to mention? You can *actually* get work done while drinking them. When I try to eat at my desk, it's a comedy of errors.

The other great thing about smoothies that I forgot to mention? You can *actually* get work done while drinking them. When I try to eat at my desk, it’s a comedy of errors.

Ice cubes, 4-5

Coconut milk, 1 cup (I use ½ cup unsweetened and ½ cup unsweetened)

Greek yogurt, ½ cup-1 cup (I prefer vanilla, but plain will work too)

Frozen blueberries, ¾ cup

Banana, 1 whole, cut into pieces

Fresh baby spinach, 2-2½ cups (or however much you can stomach!)

Calories: 352 – 307

 

“The Six Million Dollar Scholar” is the personal blog of Andrea Milne, a Ph.D. candidate in modern U.S. History at the University of California, Irvine. To get the story behind the blog’s name, click here.