Moving out of the dorms often results in being asked a multitude of questions: How much is the rent? Do you like your roommates? How close is the apartment to campus? There’s one inquiry, though, that always seems to pop up more than others: Is the apartment nicer than the dorms? And, just throwing a reasonable guess out here, nine times out of ten, the answer is along the lines of: I like my apartment, but I miss the convenience of the cafeterias.

Not being able to have food readily prepared for me was one of the biggest adjustments I had to make after moving a few blocks down the road from my former home of Brody Neighborhood. I will admit that I am not the best cook out there, and often times my good friends will ask how I am doing cooking for myself. Occasionally, I will prepare “fancy meals”, however, easy-to-cook boxed and frozen foods make up about 95 percent of my diet.

But this recipe is neither boxed nor frozen and is great for those who need a boost of energy or something easy and simple that will hold off hunger for a few hours. I usually have one of these guys right after a morning workout on the elliptical, but they are great for anytime of day, as a small meal or with a light snack.

smoothie-ingredients

Ingredients:

1 handful frozen strawberries
1 handful frozen banana slices
(Note: This can be replaced five fresh strawberries and one fresh banana. I like to use frozen fruit because it lasts longer and saves money.)
1 serving vanilla Greek yogurt
¾ scoop chocolate protein powder
1 handful of baby spinach leaves (about five or six, don’t worry-you won’t taste them!)
1 handful of chocolate chips
Splash of fruit juice (I typically use apple cranberry or cranberry raspberry, but orange is also an option as well)
Splash of water/milk
4-5 ice cubes
Optional: spoonful of peanut butter

What you’ll need:

Spoon (for scooping out the yogurt and miscellaneous mixing needs if the fruit and ice get stuck together)
Blender
Large cup or glass

smoothie-blended

Preparation:

1. Gather ingredients. It’s best to have them all in one spot so that the frozen/cold items don’t get too warm when you realize you have gotten everything out but the yogurt, which happens to be in the back of the fridge (no, I haven’t done that…)

2. Begin putting the fruit (fresh and or frozen) and ice cubes into the blender. I suggest these items go first because they’re the most difficult items for the blender to mix.

3. Place all other ingredients in the blender. It doesn’t matter what order they go in, but I usually find it best to put the juice and water/milk in last, so liquid isn’t splashing around everywhere when other ingredients are being mixed.

4. Blend smoothie. If your blender has settings like mine, I’d start with the ice crush setting and then move to liquefy once all the frozen items have been mixed in. If the blender just has one setting, go with that.

5. Pour out the smoothie into a tall glass and enjoy.

smoothie-final

This smoothie has become a quick favorite of mine in less than a month of living off campus and gives Tropical Smoothie a run for its money (which is no easy task in my book.) It’s easy, simple, and cheap, and not to mention healthy–everything college students are looking for. Grab a blender, grab the ingredients, mix up, drink up, and prepare to get energized with a great recipe that even the worst of cooks can make.

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