Summer is the smoothie season…

A fantastic smoothie is a tough task. Every summer, I become obsessed with creating the ultimate milkshake or smoothie, to the point that I pressure myself to top the previous one I made.

Smoothies can be really simple, but mine usually aren’t. I pore over bizarre ingredients to concoct the perfect taste, the ideal texture, the appropriate temperature. Complicated? Of course. Delicious? Undoubtedly.

Frozen spinach has been the guest star of my smoothies this week. Mixed with other ingredients, you can hardly taste it. It adds great texture and some nutrients. It works really well with a banana/plain yogurt base and some berries for a breakfast smoothie. Also, it turns the entire smoothie green (because I’m secretly six years old).

Tonight I opted for a different spin: chocolate-spinach-banana milkshake. I know, it sounds disgusting. But it tastes like a cold, liquid version of my mom’s amazing chocolate zucchini bread. As with all my milkshakes, I improvised the recipe (warning: this does not always turn out well — I ruined one smoothie this week). Here it is:

1 banana (frozen or regular; this time I used regular)
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T oat bran
1/2 cup skim milk
frozen spinach (break it up w/ a fork so the blender doesn’t get stuck)
1 t blackstrap molasses
a couple of ice cubes

The molasses gives it just enough sweetness to balance the cocoa powder and the spinach. Meanwhile, the spinach taste defers to the other flavors. Tasty and (relatively) healthy, but sadly not green.

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