For Christmas, I was surprised with a flight ticket for British Columbia. My dad, brother and I, along with my dad's girlfriend, and two of her kids will be spending seven days at Big White Ski Resort, which I am very much looking forward to. It hadn't really sunk in that I was going skiing for a week until last night. With that being said, the weather in Ontario this past week has been nothing short of beautiful. Every single day it's been at least fourteen degrees Celsius, and as much as I am looking forward to this trip, going from the beautiful warm weather, to a cold snowy environment is sending chills down my spine. I know however when I go there, and I see the beautiful mountains, and the abundance of white (in which we lacked here in my part of the province), that I will forget all about the cold and will not be able to contain myself.
Shamrock Shake Version 2.0
Now, as I said, I am not one to celebrate St-Patty's, however, I really love the colour green, and well, one of my latest favourite ingredients to incorporate into my meals is spinach, which is a beautiful, vibrant green as we all know. This time last year, I had come up with a delicious and healthy Shamrock Smoothie, despite the fact that there wasn't anything bad for me in it, I wanted to make a new and improved version. At this time last year, despite the fact that I was "working out" (for me to look back on last year in comparison to now, I don't believe what I was doing was really working out. Not only that, I was incredibly ignorant to protein all together so it really wasn't a focus of mine). This year however, especially now that I know how to lift weights properly, and how to get my heart working like a mad man without your "stereotypical" cardio i.e. running or biking, I now focus a lot of my attention on how to get protein into my diet.
Shamrock Shake Version 2.0 - is still just as delicious, if I'm to be quite honest, it taste practically the same, except it is substantially higher in protein versus the one I made last year, seeing as last years didn't have any, other than what is in the soy milk, oi. So here we have it, if I had to choose between the two, clearly version two is much better suited for the needs of my diet!
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 large frozen banana
- 1/4 tsp peppermint extract
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup 0% vanilla Greek yoghurt
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
- Cacao nibs - to garnish
Tropical Green Pancakes
Next on my St-Patrick's Day list of goodies, is something that I am a huuuuuge fan of and wanted to healthify even more (yes, I know that's not a word). At first I was a little skeptical as to how these would turn out, but nevertheless to my surprise they turned out amazingly. When I woke up this morning, I really wasn't in the mood to have a protein shake, instead I was really craving some pancakes, probably because I'm beginning to get in vacation mode, and pancakes are always a nice comfort food and reminds me of vacation. However, I'm not on vacation, and even when I do go to British Columbia I will still be maintaining a healthy diet via exercise and food consumption of course. Despite the fact that I wanted pancakes, I wanted to add a bit more nutrition to them as well, so I decided that I would try making some green pancakes - because I wanted to be healthy of course, but as well so I did have a delicious entry to post.
I have seen various green pancakes on the web, but none of them have ever really drawn a lot of attention to my tastebuds, so I figured why not get in the kitchen. These pancakes took a little longer to make than usual (first because I'd never made them before, so wasn't quite sure what to do), as well as because I had to use the blender and take out some few extra bowls. I was in the kitchen for quite a while, but it was seriously worth it. It was worth it for the flavour of course, tropical, what else could I ask for, but the beautiful green! At first I wasn't so sure that the green would still be as prominent after cooked, but I'm assuming because it was natural versus an artificial colour i.e. food colouring this is some of the reason behind it, I'm not a scientist, but this makes sense to me haha.
From now on, I'm going to try and use spinach in a lot more of my foods. When blended in you seriously don't even know that there is spinach other than the colour. I love this, and it is such a sneaky way of adding in a lot of greens to your diet. The thing that's awesome about spinach too is that when it is combined with fruits the iron absorption is greater, win-win-win situation!
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 very ripe banana
- 1 1/2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp flaxseed + 1 1/2 tbsp water
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped pineapple
- 1 tbsp flaked coconut
- 1/2 banana
- Carob chips
- 0% fat Greek yoghurt (flavour of choice)
- Coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 tsp maple syrup
In a teeny tiny bowl, mix your flaxseed and water. Allow to sit for a few minutes until it becomes almost gelly like (about five minutes).
In a small bowl combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and coconut flakes. Leave this to the side.
In a blender, add your milk, banana, pineapple, and spinach until there are no visible chunks of spinach. Add in your flaxegg. Pour your green mixture in with the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Preheat a griddle on medium low. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, drop batter onto the griddle. Cook until the tops are bubbly and edges are dry. Flip and cook another minute.
Mash the remaining banana and maple syrup together. Top your pancakes with your banana mixture, yoghurt, coconut flakes and carob chips.
How do you try to sneak greens into your diet?
Have you ever tried sneaking spinach into anything other than smoothies/shakes?