Recipe: Spiced Peaches & Cream Quinoa Smoothies

So my mom got me a NutriBullet for my birthday a couple weeks ago, which was quite awesome of her. Last summer when I was doing my first state fair demo (remind me to put up those pictures from this year, okay?), I lost my immersion blender, so it’s been a very long year of no blending fun. I had the chance to work on my knife technique though, so I guess that’s a good thing. But the truth is, I’ve effing missed blending things. And now I can blend. (Or “blast”, as they say in NutriBullet land.)

I’ve already made several fantastic non-smoothie things in my new toy, so you can expect to see a lot more homemade pesto, dressings, and desserts in the next several months. But this thing was made for making healthy fruit & veggie drinks, so it was only right to make the first recipe one for a smoothie.

I debated about which blog I should post this one on first, as this is definitely GWBW-friendly (not familiar with that one yet? Check out tonight’s earlier post!). But this is my baby, and I haven’t posted a smoothie recipe here in YEARS – plus, there’s quinoa involved. I’ve done everything under the sun with quinoa, from salads to muffins to risotto. But I’ve never put it in a smoothie… and that got me thinking.

Quinoa in a smoothie = protein, protein, protein (and fiber)! Most folks who are into blending for health and fitness will use whey powder or other protein sources, but have you seen the prices of those things?! Even if all you use is a scoop or two, at $18+ a canister (the lowest price I’ve ever seen), that adds up. That’s almost one $25 Shopping Cart trip!

Not the most economical thing out there. Good thing I’m not a body builder because I’d either be broke or resign myself to really tiny biceps.

Anyway, I figured if there were oatmeal smoothies out there, I could do the same thing with quinoa and save myself a bundle in the process. Remember, part of why I have such undying love and devotion for the Mother Grain is that it yields so darn much once it’s cooked. One cup of uncooked quinoa yields about three cups of cooked product, which is wonderful for many reasons. Not only do you stretch out your meals, you stretch your dollar as well. Sometimes quinoa can look a bit pricey; but when you break it down and look at that yield, and consider the incredible amount of nutrition you can get from a simple serving, you can see how it can become an economical staple. Is it the same kind of protein/calorie content many fitness aficionados seek? No. But it’s a great way to add extra protein to your smoothies if you’re not able to afford all the fancy powders.

Like most things that involve quinoa, you can add anything to it and make it awesome. In this case, I opted for fresh peaches, as I still had a few from my last farmers’ market run and want to squeeze out every last bit of summer while I still can. But even if I wish summer could last forever, I do have a weakness for fall and all its warm, comforting flavors, so I made sure to add plenty of cinnamon to this one. Some Greek yogurt for the “cream” and honey to make everything sweeter, and this one was just (wait for it… you know it’s coming… start groaning!) peachy.

*womp womp*

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Before we check out the uber-simple recipe, I wanted to note that you don’t necessarily have to drink both smoothies or share with someone. You can always freeze the portion you don’t use, which I’m sure many of you already do. My favorite ways? 1) Make smoothie popsicles by pouring the remaining half into popsicle molds (and now you can share), or 2) pour the smoothie into a regular ice cube tray, then use those in place of regular ice cubes when making a new smoothie (of the same flavor of course). You get all the icy texture without the watery sensation.

Recipe time!

Spiced Peaches & Cream Quinoa Smoothie (makes 2 8-10 oz. smoothies; average cost per serving: $1.75)

Freeze your own! Take your fresh summer peaches, chop them into large chunks (peels on or off are fine) and portion them out according to your needs & tastes. Place into ziploc bags and freeze. Voila! Instant frozen peaches next time you need them (and you can avoid the ice this way, too). It’s a great way to hang onto all that delicious summer fruit just a little bit longer. : )

Ingredients:
1/2 c cooked quinoa
1/2 c plain Greek yogurt
1 c chopped peaches
1 T honey
1 c almond milk (plain or vanilla)
1/2 t ground cinnamon

Directions:
1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Check for flavor and adjust accordingly with more honey and cinnamon.

2. Enjoy!

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