Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Jungle Monkey

Not to be dramatic with the recipe titles here, but when you have 4 small children age 6 and under, creative naming goes a long way in creating recipe favorites (especially when trying to "sneak" in some nutritious elements!)

The Jungle Monkey has become our family's "go to" for a super quick meal replacement or nutritious afternoon snack....and the kiddos love it, because it is a chocolate shake!!!

Ingredients: 3 Bananas, 3-4 Cups Ice,  1 Generous Cup Spinach, 1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, 1/4 Cup Natural Peanut Butter, 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder, 2 Tbsp Honey, 2 Tbsp Flax Meal

Makes about 8 Cups




I place all ingredients into my Vitamix in the ingredient order listed above.
(The key here is to have the large, soft fruit at the bottom to get the blades engaged and processing. Then the ice and spinach are easily incorporated and completely blended.)


Turn the blender to high, using the tamper as necessary to push the ingredients into the blade while processing.  And, in about 30 seconds......your Jungle Monkey is ready to serve (possibly in the car en route to your destination!)




Note: Spinach is a nutrient dense, antioxidant rich addition to many smoothies.  It has a sweet, mild flavor that can be easily incorporated into the recipe without changing it's flavor.

However, it is key to make sure you don't add more spinach than will be masked by your other fruits or sweeteners.  (Trust me, I have pushed the envelope on this one and lost!)  I suggest you start with the ratios I suggest, then alter the amounts based on your own families' taste.  For instance, increasing the amount of unsweetened cocoa will darken the color of the drink, but will require more honey....but increasing both will further mask any spinach "over dose" errors, whereas adding more peanut butter can end up dominating the flavor balance of the drink.

Also, using local, raw honey has the added benefit of helping to ward off / lessen allergies.

Enjoy...and happy experimenting!

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