Summon Summer with a Raspberry Lemonade Green Smoothie

Raspberry Lemonade Green Smoothie by Produce with Amy“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” ~F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

Today marked the third official day of my summer break. To many people being an educator and having summers “off” would be a dream come true. Yet, I feel guilt surface when Mike kisses me goodbye in the morning (I know he would love extra time to complete all of his household projects). While I love to have time to prep and plan for a fresh school year and enjoy much-needed R&R, the beginning of my summer holiday often gives me a hearty dose of the blues. Last year my friend Sue (now a retired teacher) suggested that perhaps it was the loss of adrenaline that I get from guiding spirited teenagers each day. Maybe it is the surge of the crowd that keeps me moving and drives me. Once the school year is over, my endorphins plunge and I feel depressed.

Well, I decided that this summer I was going to outrun the blues. To have a productive summer I decided that I WAS NOT going to lounge around in my pajamas drinking coffee and feeling sorry for myself. After all, I decided back in January when I started this blog that I was going to be PRODUCTIVE! So I started off Monday morning with a schedule (imagine that) to make sure that my time was structured.

I am enamored with my morning routine: hot water and lemon followed by a cup of green tea (yes, I am giving up coffee. I will dedicate this adventure to it own blog post in a week or so). 30 minutes of reflective journal writing (I listen to meditative/instrumental music and will gradually increase this writing time to 60 minutes). A short walk with Phoebe (our dog) and 30 minutes of cardio. One of the rules during the above is that I am not able to access facebook or other technology until I complete my morning routine. After cardio I drink water and have breakfast (usually a green smoothie).

My afternoon routine is composed of various household chores (which I have honestly failed at). For next week I am going to simplify my afternoon routine and come up with a long list of projects that need to be completed (example: clean the kitchen utensil drawers, scrub out the refrigerator, organize bookshelves, swap out winter clothes for summer). Each morning after my morning routine I will choose ONE project to complete. That way I can still spend time gardening, getting in extra exercise, reading, writing, blogging, and planning for the 2013-2014 school year.

Today I did have every intention to deep clean the kitchen from top to bottom. It would have been a perfect day since today was rather chilly, rainy and gloomy, with temperatures in the 50s. After my morning routine I quickly scanned my schedule on the refrigerator but I felt so calm and peaceful after my writing session and rejuvenated after my cardio that I started to rethink my day. Before Phoebe and I went for our walk I made myself a green smoothie. Since I drink one each morning I try to change things up but usually do not follow a particular recipe. Today’s smoothie was very simple and I could not help thinking how much it tasted like raspberry lemonade. I wanted to share this smoothie with others (which meant I could not possible deep clean the kitchen…sorry, Mike 😉

The ingredients for this green smoothie are simple: Raspberries (I used frozen), spinach, lemon juice and zest (I used a small organic lemon), frozen banana, fresh mint (optional but highly recommended), and water.

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Fresh raspberries would be perfect in this recipe and makes me want to pick fresh berries this summer.

Fresh raspberries would be perfect in this recipe and makes me want to pick fresh berries this summer.

I only used two of these three pieces since I wanted my smoothie more tart.   For green smoothies I recommend waiting until your bananas are ripe. Peel and toss in a bag or bowl in the freezer.

I only used two of these three pieces since I wanted my smoothie more tart. I would recommend more banana if you want your smoothie to be sweeter. For green smoothies I recommend waiting until your bananas are ripe then peel and toss in a bag or bowl in the freezer. I buy extra bananas each week so I have plenty frozen for 1-2 green smoothies a day.

If you are using lemon concentrate my lemon rendered 1/4 cup of juice.

If you are using lemon concentrate my lemon rendered 1/4 cup of juice.

Lemon zest adds a fantastic zing to a smoothie!

Lemon zest adds a fantastic zing to a smoothie!

I have fresh mint growing in my garden and love to add it to smoothies, fruit salad, and even savory dishes.

I have fresh mint growing in my garden and love to add it to smoothies, fruit salad, and even savory dishes.

I will soon be celebrating our Vitamix's "One Year Anniversary." How did we ever live without it?

I will soon be celebrating our Vitamix’s “One Year Anniversary.” How did we ever live without it?

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The finished product. Summery and nutritious.

Here is the exact “recipe” that I used with measurements. You may also want to add a few ice cubes to the blender or to the finished smoothie. For a larger version click on the photo.

Raspberry Lemonade Green Smoothie

I bought this dainty little crystal vase yesterday for 25 cents when I was thrift shopping. It looks darling with Johnny-jump-ups and forget-me-nots from my garden.

I bought this dainty little crystal vase yesterday for 25 cents when I was thrift shopping. It looks darling with Johnny-jump-ups and forget-me-nots from my garden.

Who wants to deep clean the kitchen when blogging is so fun? Not me. ;)

Who wants to deep clean the kitchen when blogging is so fun? Not me. 😉

It always makes me feel productive when I share a new recipe and focus on healthy living. I think that blogging will help fill the void of my empty classroom. I am looking forward to sharing more recipes and I even have a post on upcycling thrift store items started. Here is a sneak peek of some of the items that I purchased for a song yesterday. To give you a hint, the post probably will not take root for a couple of months. It needs warm weather and sunshine to help it bloom.100_1651

If you use Pinterest here is a pin for the recipe: Raspberry Lemonade Green Smoothie. Hopefully it will help summon summer in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Cheers to a productive and healthy summer!

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