Florida’s wildly warm winter weather is definitely affecting my state of mind.
All I want to do is put on my bathing suit, grab my towel and head to the beach to soak up the sun for a few hours like I do during the summer. Class? Readings? Papers? Projects? Forget about them!
Unfortunately, I’m in Gainesville. The nearest beach is miles away, and schoolwork is important. I could lounge around at Campus Lodge’s resort-style pool, but it’s just not the same as feeling the sand between your toes.
The near 80 degree temperatures are playing tricks on my taste buds too. I slurped smoothies during breakfast four times last week! I’m definitely on a kick, and the craving shows no sign of stopping.
In fact, I was pondering fruit and yogurt combinations for the a.m. Wednesday night, and one smoothie recipe in particular popped into my head. I used to make it for myself during work breaks at Panera Bread, but I completely forgot about it.
This smoothie isn’t technically on the menu at Panera Bread. I loved both the low-fat black cherry and mango smoothies equally while working at the fast-casual eatery, and this creation resulted one day from my indecisiveness.
The Panera Bread version had a little something something going on, which I don’t think I could replicate 100 percent even though I worked as a barista. I blame it on my cheap blender. Nevertheless, this homemade version I mixed Thursday morning came pretty close to the original and packs more nutrition than my favorite treat from last summer.
Total Preparation Time: Five Minutes
- 1/2 cup frozen dark, sweet cherries
- 1/2 cup frozen mango chunks
- 1/4 to 1/3 cup milk ( I used Silk Pure Almond’s unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt (I used Chobani’s non-fat vanilla variety)
- 1/4 cup fat-free cottage cheese
- One teaspoon vanilla
- One cup fresh spinach
- Handful of ice cubes
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend for one to two minutes or until frothy. I find it’s best to stop every 30 seconds and scrape the sides to be sure all the ingredients are being incorporated.
- Sip through a straw, eat with a spoon, or add to a travel mug and enjoy on your way to work or school.
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