GREEN SMOOTHIE SMILES BY DEB GLASSER, MS, RD
Procuring the talents of Executive Sous Chef Luis and our fantastic kitchen staff, SNP has created, prepared and served our signature “Epic Green Smoothie” to over 4000 students since the start of this school year. That’s right. 4000 students have sipped their greens…and liked them!
Staying true to the SNP mission of providing nutritious and delicious food to our students, we embarked on a nutrition mini mission to create a delicious nutrient packed green smoothie for our students to sample. We wanted to “prove” to them how delicious green can be (while simultaneously packing a nutritious vegetable punch).
Mission accomplished. Thousands of students were offered green smoothies with some encouragement to “JUST TRY IT”. Frankly, the students’ willingness to sample our SNP Smoothie was surprising-it’s a really green smoothie. Not surprising however, was their positive reaction. Students were excited by our attention to their well-being and grateful for the delicious smoothie. Comments ranged from “really good” to “wow, there’s vegetables in there?” to “I could drink this every day”. Did I mention mission accomplished?
Full disclosure: at one school, smoothie day coincided with fajita day and at least one student dipped their fajita chicken in the cup thinking it was salsa verde. And yes, we had the occasional duck and dodge by an unwilling student or two.
Personally, the amazing response to our Epic Green Smoothie is encouraging. When students are given the opportunity to eat (and drink!) nutritious food-especially in school…they do. In the last several years students’ attitudes toward fruit and vegetable consumption HAVE changed. This shift in the right direction is evidenced by their willingness to try a bright green smoothie and often times ask for seconds. The delight on their faces when they tasted and honestly enjoyed their smoothies speaks volumes to the efforts of parents, teachers, communities and of course the SNP Chefs. We (and I mean the collective we) are doing something right. Let’s continue to move forward and work to give our students healthy, delicious and fresh food.
If you are interested in trying the SNP Epic Green Smoothie at home, recipe follows.
SNP Epic Green Smoothie
Yield: approximately 3 cups
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup frozen mango chunks
½ cup chopped cucumber, with skin
½ large banana
¼ cup plain yogurt (we like 2% Greek)
½ cup ice
½ cup water
- Add all ingredients to blender
- Blend until smooth