Quick Smoothie Tip of the Day

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One of my favorite ways to bulk up and balance out my smoothies is to add spinach! Yes you heard me correctly :) For anyone who hates eating their vegetables, this is the perfect way to sneak in an extra daily serving without even noticing!

Just a warning: Your smoothie will turn green, but the good news is you can’t taste the spinach at all. Promise!

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Fruit smoothies are one of my favorite things to make—they’re quick, easy, portable, and filled with healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. My one complaint is that the high sugar/carb content (good sugars + carbs from fruit so don’t worry!) tends to leave me starving only an hour later.

By adding spinach, I’m getting the increased fiber and water-filled veggies to keep me feeling fuller longer, plus my smoothies are now SUPERCHARGED with Vitamin K, A, manganese, folate, iron, magnesium, Vitamin C, E, calcium…the list goes on and on.

Here’s one way to enjoy a green smoothie, but remember, you can get creative with any ingredients you like!!

Simply Savor Green Envy Smoothie

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Ingredients:

-lots of spinach (2-3 handfuls)

-1/2 skim milk

-1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

-1/2 banana

-12 cup blueberries

-2 packets Stevia (or sweetener of choice)

-Lots of ice

-Topped with plum slices

Combine ingredients in blender and enjoy!

5 Ways to Eat the Most Nut Butter!

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Growing up, I think I ate a peanut butter + jelly sandwich for lunch almost every day …anyone else??  Maybe that’s why the obsession with nut butters, whether it be almond butter, pumpkin butter, sunflower seed butter etc., seems to be something many of us have in common!

While most people trying to lose weight avoid peanut butter altogether because of its high calorie and fat content, I’m here to tell you that nut butters can actually be an important staple in your diet for weight loss!

Top reasons why Simply Savor loves her nut butter:

-Convenient and cheap

-Is a great pre or post workout snack (paired with an apple, banana, whole wheat toast, smoothie, etc)

-Full of protein  (~8 g per serving!) and fiber to keep you feeling full. Here is a good resource that compared many different powders out there!

-Full of nutrients, especially Vitamin E and niacin

-High in good for you, heart healthy fats  (polyunsaturated and monounsaturated) that have been proven to reduce cholesterol levels, improve brain function, and promotes satiety

-Tastes good on everything! (ok maybe this is just my personal opinion)

However, my problem is that I’m one of those people who if I could put peanut butter on everything, I probably would.  Absolutely no self control around a peanut butter jar…Seriously, it’s dangerous.  ;)

One serving of nut butter is 2 Tablespoons, ~200 calories, and 16 g of fat (remember it’s the good for you kind though!)  It’s so easy to get carried away and consume almost a meals worth of calories in just 4 dips into jar (which I’m definitely guilty of!)

So instead of cutting back, this hungry girl decided to come up with 5 tips and tricks to get the most spoonfuls of peanut buttery goodness into my life… sans all the crazy calories!

 

1. PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter

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Nutritionals (for Original PB2)

Serving Size=2 Tbsp.  Calories: 50   Fat: 2 g (Saturated: 0g)  Carbohydrates: 3 g  Protein: 6 g

-PB2 is made with premium quality peanuts that are slow-roasted and pressed to remove the fat.

-All natural with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives.

-Same consistency as full-fat peanut butter with all of the roasted peanut flavor, but with more than 85% less fat calories.

How to make: Just mix 2 tablespoons of PB2 with 1 tablespoon of water and stir until smooth.

Ways to eat: Can be mixed directly with jam for a PB2 and Jelly sandwich, yogurts, smoothies, baking etc.  Peanut butter Chocolate Milk anyone?

 

 

2. Katie’s chocolate Covered Banna Butter 

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Serving Size=2 Tbsp. ~50 calories

Banana and peanut butter is probably my absolute favorite food couple.  So when one of the sweetest and most creative food bloggers came up with this amazingly simple… and even more amazingly delicious recipe for BANANA BUTTER using just 2 ingredients I was pretty much jumping up and down in peanut butter joy.    :)

 

 

3. CurlyTop’s PBU

Pbu Oats

Nutritionals

Serving Size=2 Tbsp Calories 67  Fat 5.7g (Sat 1.1g)  Carbohydrates 2.3g  Protein 2.8g

Emily (aka CurlyTop) was certainly right when she said this recipe would go down in history.  Her PBU has taken the foodie community by storm!  Her recommendations for eating PBU?

Eat in on toast.
Eat it in Greek yogurt.
Eat it in oatmeal or oatbran or muesli.
Dip carrots or apple slices or strawberries or blueberries.
Make ants on a log.
Dig out the graham crackers and make Pbu s’mores.
Spread it on a
Larabar

Spoon it on ice cream.
Dribble it on a sweet potato.
Lick it off the spoon…

 

 

4. The Simply Easy Mini Spoon/Fork Method

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This technique is purely mental.  By using a fork (to scrape the PB) or smaller spoon (like this cute condiment spoon from Crate&Barrel), you can have the the satisfaction of getting to dip into the jar multiple times since you’re getting smaller amount of PB with each spoonful…  No more feeling deprived!

It’s kind of like the mental aspect of volume eating…do you feel more satisfied filling up on a huge salad the size of your head with tops of delicious toppings, or having only one teeny tiny bite of cake?

5. Lose (Some of) the Oil

 

All-natural peanut butters (the kind you should be buying—no trans fat/hydrogenated oils!) have a top layer of oil separation that occurs.  This is a natural part of the process, and is where most of the fat is found.  Before stirring up your jar, try pouring out half of the oil from the surface, and save the rest to mix in with your peanut butter to keep it moist and rich.  Doing this can slash hundred of calories, and you’ll still reap the benefits of the healthy added fats in there!

Have a favorite nut butter or not sure what brand to choose from?  Check out this Peanut Butter Taste Test!

 

 

Storytime:  (For all the new Simply Savor readers, I studied abroad in Rome for 6 months,)  and the first thing I wanted when I arrived was…you guessed it… peanut butter!  Those first days being away from home, surrounded by some of the best food in the world, and all I wanted was my comfort food!  You should have seen the look on the food vendors faces when they saw an American girl trying to ask where to find PB (“Burre di nocciole?” along with crazy hand gestures…it was quite the scene.) :)  

Here’s evidence of how much I loved my PB while abroad…

my ROMAN PEANUT BUTTER PYRAMID!    …Molto delicioso

 

I wasn’t exaggerating—there’s probably 3 or 4 missing jars too! (we would take these with us when traveling to make sandwiches or just eat straight from the jar to save $$)

 

What’s your favorite nut butter?  Have any of your own tips or tricks?  Let me know!