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Who am I? Wife. Mother of 2. "Newbie" to fitness. Personal Trainer-in-training. Lover of health. Fitness. Religion. Family. Gluten and refined sugar intolerant. Welcome to my journey. Learn with me.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chocolate Spinach Protein Smoothie

I have a reason for not having a picture of this most decadent and delicious of smoothie recipes. I was thinking about photographing it and looked at it and thought, "Wow... this is kind of a sickly pea green color." I felt like Linguini on Ratatouille, "Why do they call it that? If you're going to name a food it should sound delicious! Ratatouille doesn't sound delicious. It sounds like rat, and patootie. Ratpatootie! Which does NOT sound delicious!"

I don't want to turn you guys away with a picture of sickly pea green substance in an awful orange colored cup. Yeah... not a good idea.

This color. In a cup. Not kidding.

But, seriously, this is my favorite smoothie of all time. It is smooth, delicious and VERY filling.

I buy organic spinach in the tubs at Sam's Club. ($4.39/lb for the organic baby spinach). It is cheaper if you can get it at Costco but only slightly ($3.99). The tub is pretty big and lasts quite a while. I also get my almonds at Sam's club. At $10.89 for a 3 lb bag you just can't find them cheaper ANYWHERE.

The xanthan and guar gums are optional. The smoothie works without them but they lend a creaminess that you can't beat. It makes the smoothie take on more of a soft serve ice cream texture. You can find them online or at a local store that carries spices in bulk. (Like Winco).

A Shayla Original
Serves 2 (or 1 if you are really hungry)
See bottom of recipe for substitution options

12 ounces unsweetened almond milk 
1/4 tsp Saigon cinnamon
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

1 large banana (very ripe)
1 huge handful baby spinach
1/8 tsp each xanthan and guar gum
2-3 cups ice

Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.

If you have a BLENDTEC or other high powered blender you can make your own almond milk very easily. Just put 12 ounces cold water in the jar, add 1/3 cup whole, nonsalted, nonroasted almonds, cinnamon, protein powder and the cocoa powder. Blend on WHOLE JUICE. Add the remaining ingredients and blend on SMOOTHIE.

I, personally, LOVE saigon cinnamon. You can get it at Costco or other bulk food places. If you are using normal cinnamon you might want to use a bit more since saigon cinnamon is a little bit stronger.

You can also make this without protein powder. Since I can't do sugar it is hard for me to find a protein powder that fits my needs. The only one I have found so far is Jillian Michael's Vanilla Cream Whey Protein Powder:

It is naturally sweetened with fructose and a little bit with stevia. I don't have problems with either of those so this is the ideal protein powder for me. However, they recently stopped carrying it at Sam's Club so until I can find it for a good price elsewhere or find a suitable replacement I have been making my smoothie without it. Since the protein powder lends an amount of sweetness to the smoothie on its own when I eliminate it I add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1 heaping Tbsp stevia powder to my smoothie mix. If my banana isn't very ripe I add a little bit more stevia. It is wonderful either way.

This is the stevia that I use. If you use it be careful... the more you add the more of a bitter aftertaste it will have. A little bit goes a long way!

I made this smoothie this morning and gave some to my babies. My girl [A] said to me, "Mom, thank you for making this oh so delicious smoothie!" 

Happy blending!

All opinions on products listed this post are my own based on personal experience. I was not contacted by any of these companies to provide these opinions or compensated in any way. All pictures were obtained via Google Image Search on the web and Shayla's Kitchen makes no personal claim to them. 

QUESTION FOR MY READERS: Do you have a favorite protein powder? Send me a link to your favorite smoothie recipe or just send me the recipe itself!

Loves... Shayla

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