A little over 4 years ago, Shane and I took a trip to Hawaii; we spent 4 days in Kauai and then another 6 in Maui.  It was, hands down, the best vacation we’ve ever taken, and not just because it was our honeymoon, though that certainly played a part.  The scenery was breathtakingly gorgeous, unlike anything I’d ever seen before – from the mountains to the beaches to the waterfalls to the canyons.  We spent days just driving around taking it all in, something that would typically have bored me within the first hour on most other vacations.  I’ve basically been asking Shane to go back again ever since we got home.  It doesn’t help that we watch the Hawaii Five-0 remake every week, which is shot in Hawaii (on Oahu, I think) and reinforces my desire to get back there asap!


When I was looking for smoothie recipes recently and came across one called an Aloha Smoothie, well, I just had to try it.  It’s comprised of only a few ingredients – yogurt, pineapple and mango plus a little sugar (I also added milk in my version to thin the consistency slightly).  I try to make smoothies with yogurt whenever possible because I know it has a lot of health benefits but I just don’t like it enough to eat it on its own very often.  This smoothie was a hit – refreshing and definitely a bit tropical.  Until I can get back to Hawaii, it’ll do 🙂

In other news, I finally tried a version of the green monster smoothie that’s been making its away around the internet for a while. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s a smoothie incorporating either spinach or kale, which give it a bright green color. I’d first seen the idea about a year ago but honestly it just sounded gross to me. Spinach in my smoothie? Ick. However, when I found some baby spinach just barely hanging on in my fridge a few days ago I decided to just give it a try. Nearly every review I’d seen mentioned that the smoothie doesn’t end up tasting like spinach so I guess you could say curiosity got the best of me. I wasn’t brave enough to try the “basic” version which usually includes just spinach, milk, banana and ice. My adapted version includes peanut butter and cocoa powder as well, and sadly they do not give it the most appetizing color. I took a photo as proof I made it, and despite what it looks like, I have to say it was pretty tasty! I am most definitely not someone who eats something just because it’s healthy – it has to taste good too, and this does. As others said, it doesn’t taste like spinach at all, mine just reminded me of a peanut butter-banana smoothie. Definitely an easy way to get more spinach in my diet so I’ll be making it again.

Green Monster Smoothie

Aloha Smoothie
adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk 
3/4 cup frozen pineapple
3/4 cup frozen mango
1 tablespoon sugar, plus more to taste
pinch salt

Combine all of the ingredients in your blender with the yogurt and milk on the bottom.  Blend until smooth.  You can add ice if you want a thicker smoothie or milk if you want a thinner consistency.  Serve immediately.

Serves 2

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Green Monster Smoothie
adapted from Bridezilla Bakes

2 cups baby spinach
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup milk
1 banana
1/2 cup ice cubes

Combine all ingredients in your blender, with the ice on the bottom. Blend until smooth.

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