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Kid Friendly Green Smoothie

I don't know about you, but I love a nice, fresh salad ~ especially in the summer when the veggies are fresh. My kids? Not so much. Although I try to expose them to a variety of veggies, our current reality involves WAY too much ranch dressing (and they STILL don't always eat it!). As their mom, I know how important it is to make sure they're getting plenty of vitamins, minerals and all the other good stuff that's in those vegetables. So, what's a mom to do?

Enter "THE GREEN SMOOTHIE." This cool concoction is packed with loads of veggies but has just enough fruit to sweeten it up and make it seem like a treat instead of one of mom's new "healthy recipes." You guys - they totally love it. Yup. They love drinking their veggies. One loves them so much he'll try to steal everyone else's when they aren't looking. It's that good.

At our house, we love them for breakfast, but really any time of day will do. They also hit the spot for a cool afternoon snack on a hot summer day. So what's in this magical drink?

Cool as a cucumber ~ cucumber adds a refreshing twist to this smoothie. Full of vitamin K, pantothenic acid, potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, lots of B vitamins and more! You won't want to miss adding this in!

I love, love, LOVE adding spinach to smoothies. It has such a mild taste that you can add TONS of it (we're talking heaping handfuls) and no one will be the wiser. Plus, it helps give it that cool green color, which my kiddos love. Oh, and it just happens to be a great "super-food" - loaded with iron, more B vitamins, folate, calcium, zinc...do I need to keep going? 'Cause I can. Spinach packs some serious nutrition into those tiny leaves.

Peaches, pineapple, mango, 1/2 a banana and a slice of lemon all add that sweetness my kids are looking for. I like to use frozen chunks of pineapple, banana and mango for an added creaminess, but fresh would work, too. In addition to flavor, you're also getting even more B, K, and C vitamins, potassium, biotin, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and niacin.

*Pro-tip: Occasionally, our grocery store will put bags of "almost-bad" bananas together for a ridiculously low price. I love when I can snag these because I stick them in the freezer (peel first!) and can use them for our smoothies!

Throw it all in a blender with a cup or so of filtered water, blend and enjoy! (And no - you don't need a fancy blender for this ~ as much as I drool over the Vitamix at Costco, this old Oster is still getting the job done!).

This is just one of many of our favorite smoothies - sometimes we use berries, sometimes beets - really, it's whatever is in the fridge at the time. :-) Feel free to use this recipe as a base and experiment with your own favorite fruits and veggies. And definitely let me know in the comments below what your favorite combos were!

KID FRIENDLY GREEN SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

2 handfuls of spinach

1/2 cucumber - cut into chunks

1 thick slice of lemon - peeled

1 peach - sliced and pit removed

1/2 frozen banana

1/4-1/2 C. frozen pineapple

1/4-1/2 C. frozen mango

1 C. of filtered water

Put all ingredients in blender, blend and serve immediately.