I started adding nut-butter to my smoothies out of sheer laziness. The hardest part about making my own nut-butter is scraping it all out of the blender, then cleaning it up afterward. Fortunately, it occurred to me that I could simplify matters by just scraping out most of it – leaving the hard to reach tablespoons at the bottom of the blender container, then making a smoothie in the same container.
I always start with milk (and/or yogurt) and some greens and blend that up well. That’s enough to loosen the nut-butter from the blades and start to work any leftovers off the side of the container. Add a few more ingredients, and I have a tasty smoothie and an easy-to-clean blender.
When I made a batch of mixed nut and seed butter yesterday, I used the remnants as the basis of a pumpkin-berry smoothie. The nut butter went really well with pumpkin, and I was surprised by how well the berries complemented the other flavors.
If you don’t make nut butter first (sun butter or any nut butter of your choice would work well), then just add two or three tablespoons in the first step of the recipe. I used the wet container of my vitamix, but any high-power blender will work well. I also used frozen berries (mostly blueberries, with a few raspberries and blackberries). If you use fresh berries, you’ll probably need to add several ice cubes to chill and thicken the smoothie.
Place in the wet container of your vitamix (or your blender container):
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1.5 cups milk (I used cow’s milk, but any unsweetened milk will be fine)
- 1/2 cup (uncooked) oatmeal (not quick oats)
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup kale or other leafy greens, tightly packed
Blend until everything is liquified – about 30-60 seconds. Then add:
- 1 banana
- 2 cups berries of your choice
- ice (if you don’t use frozen berries and banana)
Blend until smooth. Makes about two 16-ounce servings.