Big news: Erik is requesting green smoothies.
Yes, that is my Midwestern, steak-loving, Honey-Bunches-of-Oats-traditionalist boyfriend loves my spinach concoctions so much, he’s asking for them, hopefully, in the morning. I’d like to think this is due to my mad blending skills, but this is probably due to my new secret ingredient: chocolate protein powder (it’s amazing.)
Turns out, he’s happy I’m dipping into his supply because, as I was tickled to learn, he’s worried about my protein intake! As he probably should be. I probably should be. The internet says I should be eating somewhere in the ballpark of 60-80 grams of protein a day. That…is not happening.
But I’m trying. My impressive consumption of Greek yogurt was even remarked upon the last time I exited Costco (oh, how I feel out of place as a single young professional amidst the middle-aged couples and Asian families that travel in packs) with my three large containers of Fage 0%. Yes, it’s true. I’ve turned into a yogurt fiend. After detoxing dairy out of my diet, I’m curious to see what this does to my body but for now, I’m going with the 23-grams-of-protein-per-cup flow and enjoying every last creamy second of it.
This frozen yogurt is essentially my latest favorite green smoothie (spinach, banana, milk, protein powder) with yogurt instead of milk. I follow the exact same steps of making a smoothie (blending all the ingredients in a blender), and then dump everything in a very cold ice cream maker for a few minutes. This is by far the easiest “ice cream” I’ve ever made and definitely the first with vegetables.
I prefer this over pure banana-only frozen yogurt because you get more volume (who has 10 frozen bananas lying around?!), a creamier texture, and WAY more protein. Which I need.
The result is something that looks like it should taste minty, but really just tastes like vanilla-y banana goodness with a hint of chocolate. The spinach is undetectable. If you hate bananas, you can leave the banana out. If you don’t have protein powder, you can try adding a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder (taste the blended mixture and if it’s not sweet enough, add additional sweetener. But my vanilla yogurt was pretty sweet.) I’d like to try using unsweetened Greek yogurt next, but for now, this is some incredibly, incredibly easy frozen yogurt that you deserve to consume right. Now.
Boyfriend rating: 7
Erik’s comments: “The texture is halfway in between froyo and ice cream..the flavor wasn’t too intense which made it refreshing! The chocolate chips were a nice bonus. Overall..very good for a healthy alternative to ice cream/froyo!”
This cool, creamy treat is loaded with protein from vanilla Greek yogurt and fiber from spinach--essentially my favorite green smoothie turned into frozen yogurt!
- 2 cups nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
- 1 large frozen banana
- 2 cups spinach
- ½-1 scoop chocolate protein powder (After careful research, EAS is Erik's brand of choice]
- 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
In a blender or powerful food processor, blend together the yogurt, banana, spinach and protein powder until very smooth. I find it’s best to add the ingredients in the above order, otherwise the protein powder tends to get stuck on the sides of the blender.
Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze as directed*. Mine took between 10-15 minutes. Add the chocolate chips right before you remove the frozen yogurt and stir to distribute evenly. You can eat as is (mixture will be soft) or freeze for an hour or so to let it firm up a bit into a more scoop-able form. Enjoy your vegetable-packed treat!! Store in a freezer-safe container. It will freeze rock-hard, so let it thaw for 10-15 minutes before eating.
*If you don't have an ice cream maker, there are two alternative ways to make ice cream/frozen yogurt:
1) Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once completely frozen, blend the cubes of smoothie goodness until ice cream-like!
2) Pour the mixture into a freezer-safe container and stir with a spoon every half hour or so until it's at your desired texture (I'm guessing this would take about 2 hours to get an ice cream-like texture). Stirring the yogurt breaks up ice crystals so theoretically you don't end up with a frozen green block. But I've tried this before and my ice cream ended up pretty chunky and icy, not smooth and creamy. I suppose you could try to break up the large ice block and blend it...it's just a bit more work.