I always love getting emails from Christine Koh because she’s always up to the most interesting things.   Just the other day she asked if I would join a blog relay for the American Cancer Society’s More Birthdays talking about a “Healthier Holiday Table”, a project she’s working on with our good friend Morra Aarons-Mele, and write about a favorite healthy recipe to get us all thinking about healthy living this holiday season, and I jumped at the chance.

I have a special place in my heart for the American Cancer Society.  I’ve lost my best friend, my mother-in-law, father-in-law and stepfather to cancer and have too many dear friends and family who have or have had cancer.

In support of all the good that the American Cancer Society does, here’s my favorite smoothie recipe – layered with all sorts of healthy goodies (that the kids and others won’t even know are there):

Start with the basics: frozen berries and bananas.  All good there – pretty much typical smoothie starters – and you can choose any other favorite fruits.

 

 

Then add the goodies, starting with baby spinach, nuts, yogurt and a liquid – juice, almond milk or water.

 

The spinach and nuts probably sound pretty gross, but once you hit the blend it, the green gets swirled into nothingness and the fruit masks the spinach and nut flavors – and you’re left with a delicious smoothie that’s full of healthy greens and protein.

And voila – you’re serving your family fresh greens.  And they’ll LOVE it!!

 

 

This isn’t the best photo of the smoothie, but I wanted to show you how you really can’t see the spinach.  Your kids won’t suspect for a second!

Time for a quick side note:  I used to use a hand blender that did a pretty good job mixing, but recently made the big investment into a Blendtec mixer (remember their hilarious YouTube videos where they blended anything you could think of for publicity stunts?) after doing extensive research.  The competing blender is the Vitamix but it is even more expensive and from what I could find, doesn’t perform any better.  Getting the Blendtec has changed my smoothie making life.  You hit the ‘smoothie’ button, and a few minutes later, the machine turns off automatically and you have a perfect smoothie with all the lumps gone.  If you and your family love smoothies, might be worth considering.

The American Cancer Society has offered up some tips:

· Eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk. The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day.

· Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Here are some innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake.

· Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat. Some studies have linked eating large amounts of processed meat to increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers.

Be sure to checkout all the Healthier Holiday Table recipes here.

You can also follow #HealthierHolidays and @morebirthdays on Twitter!  And @EmilyMcKhann@CooperMunroe@TheMotherhood too!