One of my absolute favorite things to make for a fast healthy breakfast is a smoothie. I love the flavor, color, and health value of green smoothies in particular because a lot of people don’t get enough leafy greens in their diet. This lactose free smoothie is a nutritional powerhouse with vitamin rich spinach and kale, antioxidant filled blueberries, a potassium packed banana and a generous cup of Lactaid milk!Lactose intolerance is a subject near and dear to my heart. My grandmother is lactose intolerant and can suffer some severe reactions when she eats or drinks something that is not lactose free. Every holiday or family get together she has to ask about the ingredients of every dish, and often ends up with bland flavorless alternatives of what everyone else is having.
I try to come up with exciting dishes to bring her that are completely dairy free so she doesn’t even have to ask, but an even better alternative is cooking everyone’s food with lactose free dairy products! I was thrilled when Foodbuzz and Lactaid sent me a coupon for some free Lactaid and asked me to create a lactose free smoothie to share with you (which by the way could win me a trip to the Foodbuzz Festival next month).
I immediately knew that my grandmother would LOVE to have a healthy smoothie recipe that was safe for her to make. She’s always looking for something to eat in the morning that will give her energy to start her day. But this isn’t just for senior citizens, it’s a great after school snack for kids too!
My friend’s five year old refuses to eat vegetables. My friend has tried so many different ways to get her to eat them, and finally decided she lost the battle and would try again when her daughter got older. But children need those important vitamins for their little growing bodies and brains! I sat down with this very precocious little girl and asked if she would consider drinking her vegetables. She laughed at me and said that you can’t drink vegetables, “they’re just too big.”
I offered to show her how to make vegetables you can drink that even taste good. I explained that it will be green like slime (this is a girl who loves catching frogs and slugs!) but taste sweet like bananas. She looked skeptical but agreed to give it a try. A few whirls of the blender later, she was happily chugging all her fruits and vegetables for the day with a green mustache to prove it! The thing her mom was most excited about is that the smoothie is naturally sweet from the fruit, and didn’t need any added sugar.
(I learned during my photo set up that cats love smoothies too!)
Now, if you’re wondering how affordable this is, I have one big tip for you…freeze your smoothie ingredients. If you have a big package of spinach, or get a bumper crop of kale, freeze extras in baggies or food storage containers. Get blueberries in bulk from a local farm (usually 1/4 the cost of the grocery store) and freeze what you won’t eat fresh. If your bananas start going soft and spotty, peel them, break them into chunks and freeze them as well. The frozen ingredients add a better consistency to the smoothie, and by freezing them before they spoil you’re preventing food waste and not throwing your money away.
If you’re looking for an easy healthy meal in a glass, this is the recipe for you. And if you need to make it lactose free, go with Lactaid. It will cost you a little more than regular milk, but the health benefits of getting milk without lactose intolerance side effects will be worth every penny. (Plus you can get coupons on the Lactaid site!).
Lactose Free Green Smoothie Recipeserves 1-2
2 cups frozen torn greens (I used spinach and kale)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1 peeled banana (can be frozen as well but will make color muddier)
1 cup Lactaid lactose free milk
Place all ingredients in a blender, cover and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into one or two glasses.
Approximate cost/serving: I like to buy the soft bananas at the grocery store that are discounted to 4 for around 15 cents. I just peel and freeze them for smoothies. Our berries are bought for only $3/lb at a local farm and I grew the greens myself. If I had paid for the Lactaid, this would have cost me only about $1.50.
Vegetarian/Gluten Free: Good to go on both counts.