Green Berry Smoothie

Green Berry Smoothie_1 No. There is no such thing as a green berry (at least not that I know of). The grammar freak inside of me is having a minor meltdown right now over the misplaced modifier - "green." I considered revising the name to "Berry Green Smoothie" but foresaw the "berry" being mistaken as a descriptor of the amount of "green" in the beverage and decided against it. This is neither a smoothie made from green berries nor is it a very green smoothie. Rather, it is a smoothie made with greens and berries - spinach and strawberries, to be exact. If I wasn't determined to give the poor drink a short and, hopefully, memorable name, I might have used the ever descriptive "Spinach and Strawberry Smoothie" title, but golly that sounds boring. So, Green Berry Smoothie it is and ever shall be. In my opinion, and to further the confusion, this delicious concoction of fruits, veggies, oats, and juice tastes like none of the above. For the spinach haters in the crowd, this is probably a good thing. Green Berry Smoothie_3 Now, I love my smoothies super thick (otherwise I'd order a juice - duh) and boy does this one check that box. Thick and almost creamy, a gift from the frozen banana to our taste buds, you can sip on this bad boy through your entire mid-morning meeting - or dig into it with a spoon. It gets bonus points for filling power, preventing the otherwise unavoidable nod-off halfway through the boss's presentation on ______. This particular ingredient combo is well on its way to becoming a staple in my smoothie rotation. Look at all those beautiful ingredients! Green Berry Smoothie_Ingredients Thank you California for providing fresh berries year-round - though the ones in spring do have a little special something that even the best year-round berry farmers can't pack in to their off-season greenhouse growths. Green Berry Smoothie_Ingredients 2 I obviously piled my glass to overflowing - that's just how I roll. But, should you be in a sharing mood, the recipe below makes a full 24 ounces so you could always split it down the middle to share with your BFF, significant other, or one lucky other meeting attendee.

Green Berry Smoothie

A fantastic mid-morning pick-me-up.

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 5 – 8 strawberries (depending upon size), hulled
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach (about 1 ½ cups)
  • ½ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup ice
  • ½ cup apple juice

Place ingredients into blender in order listed.

Press smoothie button. If you don't have a smoothie button, blend to preferred thickness.

Pour into a cup.

Top with strawberries, chia seeds, and coconut, if desired.

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

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Mini Pumpkin Pies

  • 1 1/2 batches pastry dough (store bought or homemade)
  • Pumpkin pie filling (I use the Libby's recipe on the back of the can)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place a rack in the middle.

Prepare the pumpkin pie filling according to the recipe on the back on the can or using your favorite. Set aside.

Roll the pastry dough to about 1/8" thick. Using a small circle cookie cutter (or a glass prep bowl, like I did. Not super efficient or easy, but it gets the job done), cut as many circles as you can fit. Pull up the excess dough. Place each circle into one of the mini muffin tins.

Note: To prevent the dough from getting too warm, a good practice is to cut it in half. Work with one half while leaving the other wrapped in saran wrap in the fridge.

Repeat the roll, cut, pick up, & place process until you have filled the entire tray.

Using a tablespoon, fill each mini pie crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes or until done.

Allow them to cool in the tin for 5 - 10 minutes then transfer to a wire cooling rack until they reach room temperature.

I have found that 1 batch of dough makes about 30 mini pies, but there is always leftover filling. You can either dump the filling or get the second batch of dough and do another round (hence the extra 1/2 dough in the ingredient list).

If you do this, you will have about 1/2 of the second dough leftover. You can use mini cookie cutters to cut leaves or other seasonal shapes to place on top of the mini pies while baking for an extra festive kick.

Serve with whipped cream.

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