This is my version of the green protein smoothie.  Green because of the spinach – no surprise there – but the protein is not from a protein powder.  I use two great sources of natural protein – gelatin and chia seeds.  There is a ton of information on the web regarding chia seeds’ nutritional benefits so I won’t be delving too much into it here.  Gelatin on the other hand, is something that I am learning more about and am really liking what I find.  Besides the artificially flavored and sweetened box variety, plain gelatin is a nutritional powerhouse and is a pure protein.  I buy the Great Lakes brand of unflavored gelatin because it’s derived from grassfed animals and is a hydrolyzed collagen so it’s easily and quickly digested by the body.  Great Lakes makes both a beef and a porcine gelatin.

I started taking chia when I had acid reflux years ago and the little purple pill wasn’t working for me.  I found that taking chia gel helped with the discomfort and offered so many other benefits, like protein, anti-oxidants and omega-3 fatty acid.  Because of its gelling properties, chia seeds help to thicken drinks.  The seeds can also be ground into meal and used in baking.

Green Powerhouse Smoothie

Serves 3

1 1/2 cups kefir (or yogurt or coconut milk)

2 cups baby spinach, tightly packed

1 cup frozen fruit (I use mangoes and banana)

2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons chia seeds

stevia to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Smoothie will thicken as it sits.

The taste of spinach is unnoticeable and the smoothie is thick from the frozen fruit, gelatin and chia.  You can certainly use fresh fruit but if you use fresh or frozen pineapple, the gelatin won’t come together because of the enzymes.  In that case, just use more chia.  This is a really filling drink and so tasty, too.