Archive for Smoothie

Recipe ReDux: Pre-run vanilla, pear & black tea smoothie

Each month, those of us participating in Recipe ReDux follow a theme to devise healthy, tasty recipes. The idea is to showcase good-for-you food that also does right by your tastebuds. So this month—where we’re giving a nod to the World Tea Expo with tea-inspired dishes—I’m bringing you a recipe that is deliberately high in sugar, low in fiber, and contains really only one major food group.

Wait, what?

pear tea smoothie1

See, when I think tea, I think running. In the mornings before my longer runs, I need some caffeine delivered via something less strong and gut-pummeling as coffee. So a cup of black tea is the typical accompaniment to my pre-run fuel.

The second component of that pre-run meal is one of the few times that conventional dietary guidance goes out the window, because I’m actually trying to eat high-carb, low-fiber, quick-hit-of-sugar foods. Those are generally the best way to quickly give your body the energy it needs to run without provoking your GI tract too much with fiber and fats.

So I figured, why keep the tea and carbs separate? The result is a pre-run vanilla, pear and black tea smoothie that will help put a few more miles on your Sauconys (or Hokas, or Mizunos, or those weird monkey feet Vibram things).

Runner’s vanilla, pear and black tea smoothie

(1 serving, approx. 180 calories)

1 (or more, see below) black tea bag
½ cup water
1 cup canned pears (or peeled fresh pear)
½ banana
¼ tsp vanilla extract
4-5 ice cubes
Honey, to taste

Heat the water either over the stove until boiling, or in the microwave for 2 minutes. Add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag, and chill in the freezer while assembling other ingredients.

Another option would be to make a larger batch of the strong-brewed tea, and leave it in the fridge for future use—that way, you’ll also have a longer time to get it nice and cold. Just use the ratio of ½ cup water to each tea bag when brewing, and measure out ½ cup of the brewed tea for use in the smoothie.

Combine all the ingredients—brewed tea, pears, banana, vanilla, ice cubes and honey—in a blender and process until smooth.

Pour, drink, and enjoy, leaving yourself ~30-60 minutes before heading out for that run.

pear tea smoothie2

If there’s no 20-miler on your training schedule today, maybe you’d like to try some of the other tea-ful recipes devised by my fellow ReDuxer? Just follow the links below:

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Smoothly Subversive Week: Drink your dinner with curried lime mango spinach smoothies

It’s time for some rebellion, unorthodoxy (actually a word; did not know that until today), and subverting the dominant paradigm. For too long, we’ve been hemmed in by the rigid confines of Appropriate Smoothie Timing. Breakfast? Have at it. Post-workout? Blend away. But dinner time? Whoa, there, tough guy.

This tough guy loves green smoothies any time of day

This prohibition makes no sense, though. With just a few minutes, (generally) no cooking, and a lot of flexibility in terms of ingredients and measures, smoothies can put food on the table and some more fruits and vegetables into our diets. Dinner is often an end-of-day struggle against limited time and waning patience for the effort of healthy home-cooking, so what better thing than a smoothie every so often?

Curried lime mango spinach smoothie

If we’re really going to stick it to The Smoothie Authority, maybe we need some dinner-appropriate recipes. So I set out to find liquid equivalents to some of the best flavor combinations in typical dinner fare.

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Rhode Scholar: Pullback week + cherry recovery smoothie recipe

Ahhhhh, pullback week: a couple easy 4-milers, some yoga & cross-training, a little ok, a whole bottle of wine, and an 8-mile long run. Granted, the long run was in the snow, but even that wasn’t too big of a deal (look carefully in my hair, though).

Snow? What snow?

The easiest part of this week, oddly enough, was the recovery from last week’s 14-miler. Honestly, I’ve never bounced back from a serious long run more quickly. Is my vegetarianism helping me recover? In No Meat Athlete’s post about his laid-back approach to veggie boosterism, Matt notes that some crazy endurance runners credit their vegetarian diets with shorter recovery times. Or maybe it’s my adherence to post-workout ice baths, even though I look forward to submerging my nether regions in freezing water about as much as I do shoving an ice pick into my forehead.

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Green on the red carpet: Kale Week

It probably won’t be found on the red carpet anytime soon, but green leafy kale certainly is a food superstar.

And we’re not talking one-hit wonder, either. Kale – a relative of cabbage – boasts a huge amount of vitamin K to help build bones and promote normal blood coagulation. It also contains good amounts of vitamins A, C, iron, and calcium. Carotenoids found in kale are essential for visual function, and some may protect against vision loss associated with aging. It provides fiber and a reasonable amount of protein, and several compounds in kale may be protective against several types of cancer.

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