Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Green Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie and Lower Fat Guacamole Wrap

This morning was far more rushed that I prefer. I had a number of errands to run and with the temperatures predicted to reach 100 I wanted to get out and back as early as possible. Right after Dan left for work I straighten up the kitchen made a smoothie and ran out the door. Here is my on the go smoothie from this morning:

Green Banana and Peanut Butter Smoothie
Serves 1


1/3 cup oats, ground into flour
1 frozen banana
2 tablespoons reduced fat peanut butter
2 collard leaves, shredded
¼ teaspoon powdered ginger (for the anti inflammatory properties)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon (to help the body digest the fruit sugar and provide antioxidants)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
water and ice (to make the smoothie liquid and cold)
stevia, to taste (if necessary)


Process the oats into flour in your blender first. Now add the other ingredients and process until smooth. Add as much water and ice as you like. I used about 1 cup water and 6 ice cubes.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 415.59
Calories From Fat (31%) - 130.11

Total Fat - 15.37g
Saturated Fat - 2.4g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 177.37mg
Potassium - 772.18mg
Total Carbohydrates - 62.97g
Fiber - 11.86g
Sugar - 17.46g
Protein - 14.49g


This is one of my favorite smoothies. I don’t have them often but when I do this seems to be the one I make. The collards do add a little “grassy undertone” but the smoothie is sweet from the banana and rich from the peanut butter so it works, IMO. ;-)

I add collards for their nutrition. They are a good source of vitamin A, and K and a decent source of calcium. Since they are in the same botanical family as broccoli they are more nutritious when lightly cooked or raw. I like that the blender does the work of breaking down the cell walls to make the nutrients more absorbable.

Health food store:

I poured my smoothie into a quart jar and ran out the door with coolers to do a little quick shopping. We needed some medicinal mushrooms, astragalus and turmeric (with piperine) from the health food store. While I was there I bought a big bag of tulsi tea.  I also bought brown lentils, garbanzo beans and some organic bay leaves.


Next I ran to the library and hit the jackpot on healthy books. It was a productive stop. I grabbed the following:

The All-Pro Diet” by Tony Gonzalez. I bought this to read what his nutritionist has to say about protein but I also wanted to see his workout routine. ;-) Tony is a fan of T. Colin Campbell and was mentioned during the lectures for my Cornell certificate program. I am curious to see how he eats.

Sports Nutrition: From Lab to Kitchen” by Asker Jeukendrup. I grabbed this one for the title alone; they had me at from lab to kitchen. ;-)

The Eat-Clean Diet Recharged” by Tosca Reno. I am a huge fan of Tosca Reno and own her other books. I am hoping this one has more vegan options, but only time will tell.

Easy Green Living” by Renee Loux. I enjoyed Renee’s earlier book, “The Balanced Plate” so I wanted to see what this book was about. The titled sounded promising.

The Complete Book of Raw Food” by Julie Rodwell. I was looking for vegan books at the library that I didn’t own and there weren’t any that I wanted to read. I supposed that means I own to many cookbooks. I picked up this raw book because I am always looked for more raw recipes. While I am not and probably will never been a raw foodist I do like raw food especially in the summer.


After the library I stopped at Wegman’s. The nearby DSW was calling my name. But I resisted, somehow. ;-) I convinced myself that summer was almost over and that I didn’t really need more sandals. Who said that? LOL

I only needed a few items for Wegman’s so I was in an out in well under 15 minutes. We needed some ascorbate C powder for our green and white tea to keep the EGCG bioavailable longer.  Remember vitamin C is heat senstive so add at the end of brewing or to cold tea. I also was out of barley, bulgur and macadamia nuts.

Home for Lunch:

Running around from place to place in the heat was not my idea of fun so I was very happy to get home to the A/C. The problem was that I left so early this morning that I didn’t have time to exercise before I left. While I needed to exercise I was also hungry. Hunger won out and I made a quick collard wrap with lower fat guacamole. Here is what I did:

Lower Fat Guacamole filled Collard Wrap
Serves 1


½ Haas avocado, peeled and pitted
½ cup green peas, if frozen defrost
2 tablespoons salsa
1 teaspoon lime zest
¼ teaspoon cumin seed, ground
1 pinch cayenne
1 collard leaf, stem end removed and stem vein shaved flat with your knife
½ cup romaine, for extra crunch
5 slices cucumber, for more crunch


Mash the avocado, peas and salsa together with a fork. Add the salsa, lime zest, cumin and cayenne.

Lay the collard leaf on your cutting board light green side up. Fill with the guacamole. Top with cucumber and romaine and roll up like a burrito.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories 219.96
Calories From Fat (53%) - 115.72

Total Fat - 13.8g
Saturated Fat - 1.92g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 284.15mg
Potassium - 764.45mg
Total Carbohydrates - 21.74g
Fiber - 10.47g
Sugar - 5.93g
Protein - 6.68g


This is good but definitely messy. It would not be good to take to work but if you are eating at home go for it. I happen to be a huge avocado fan so this is great to me. If you don’t have any green peas you can make this dish with cold cooked yellow spit peas or white beans. It also works with edamame.

Dried tomatoes:

Last night I turned the dehydrator down to 115 and the tomatoes remained in the dehydrator an additional 12 hours. When I got home from my errands the tomatoes were dry.

Here they are before

and after drying.

I store them in a jar until I need them.

This weekend I will buy twice the amount of tomatoes to dry. I am hoping to use them in place of some of the canned tomatoes I would typically use. I am not overly concerned about BPA since I am not of child bearing age, nor do I have young children at home. However anytime I can reduce a processed food (in this case canned tomatoes) from our diet I think it is a good thing.


I have been putting it off long enough. I need to knock out my cardio and abdominal routine before I change my mind. I will be back later with whatever we end up having for dinner.


  1. Love dehydrating my own tomatoes. Now if something would just stop eating them before I could get to them, I'd have dehydrated tomatoes ;-)

  2. Peanut butter banana is my favorite flavor combo for smoothies. I usually throw big handfuls of spinach or kale in, I should try collards next time. (By next time, I mean whenever I get a new blender, still waiting it out!)

    I haven't been using my dehydrator and now is certainly the time. I love the idea of dehydrating tomatoes and I'm going to steal this idea promptly. They look so much like sun dried tomatoes, but do they taste like them/have the same texture? If you are stocking up for winter I assume that they are shelf stable like sun dried tomatoes are? Tell me more! :)

  3. Heather,

    My tomatoes in the garden were a complete bust this year. Good thing they are abundant at the farmers' market now.


  4. Sarah,

    In our area the local Costco's are having their Vitamix road show. A good friend just bought one last Friday for under $400. ;-) Hint, hint.....

    The dehydrated tomatoes taste exactly like sun dried tomatoes to my palate. If there is a difference I don't know what it is. I dry mine until they are completely dry and store them in jars in my pantry. They last the winter. We normally eat them before the next summer. I soak them to rehydrate them sometimes before using depending on what I am going to do with them. Normally they go into cooked dishes like sauces, soups of stews. Did that help?


  5. Very helpful! Thanks! I'll have to see if CostCo is doing the same thing over here. I am not sure why I am waiting, it can be $400 that I don't have right now, or $400 that I don't have later, what's the difference? :)

  6. Sarah,

    Good luck with the Vitamix acquisition. I know you will love it once you decide the time is right. When I got mine I was sorry I waited so many years (being frugal) to buy it. I use my Vitamix more than I use my stove. It was definitley one of the best kitchen items I ever bought.


  7. WOW...interesting take on the smoothie. I never thought about adding collards. I will have to try that in the morning, since I have some in the frig. Never had a collard wrap either...adding that to my must try list also.
    Those dried tomatoes look so good. I think I need to start making out my Christmas list now of all the gadgets I want. A dehydrator will be in the number one spot. :o)
    Sounds like you got some great books checked out. The library is a great idea instead of buying every book you hear about. I need to go get a library card!
    I just love your blog! You always have great info to share. Thanks for the info you left for me on my blog about protein. Hope you have a great evening!

  8. The tomatoes look lovely in the jar. :)
    I am excited to jar my own! :)
    Funny the things that excite me now. ;)
    Your book selection looks like a fun time too. :)
    My family finds me quite boring, but they tolerate me. LOL

  9. Michelle,

    I really like collards for their nutrition, which is why they turn up so often on my blog. ;-) You may want to start with one leaf and taste the smoothie. Collards add much more "green" flavor to smoothies than spinach, if you know what I mean.

    A girlfriend of mind reminded me of the library. It is a good idea in theory. I end up buying many of the books I check out. But at least I know I am getting, LOL.

    Thank you for the blog compliment. I try to share things when they pop into my mind. I know how difficult it was for me to find some of this info so I want everyone to know.

    You are very welcome for the protein info. I think as long as you eat a varied diet and include some beans you can't help but get enough protein. Though I can't wait to read what Tony Gonzalez and his nutritionist have to say on that topic. ;-)


  10. Naina,

    Thanks, I thought the tomatoes looked pretty too. I am such a food geek, LOL.

    I am already reading the All-Pro Diet. So far it is an interesting read.

    You are too funny about what your family thinks. Mine thinks I have gone over the top (nutritionally) but they put up with it. ;-) I like to remind them that I have the lowest unmedicated blood pressure in the famiily when they give me too much guff. That usually slows them down a little.

    talk to you later,

  11. I love Tulsi Tea :-)

    Your library finds sound wonderful! I will be curious to hear what you think of them!


  12. that smoothie looks so refreshing and packed with protein. i love it. those wraps are ingenious as well. i've never dehydrated tomatoes. another to put on the list!

  13. Courtney,

    Somehow I knew you would like Tulsi tea. ;-)

    I got really lucky at the library today. I will write a quick review of each book when I finished reading them. Like normal I am looking at all the books at the same time. Why do I do that? LOL

    talk to you later,

  14. Aimee,

    Thanks, that is one of my favorite smoothies. The oats add protein to this one.

    I love collard wraps as you probably know. I like to add beans or peas to guac to reduce the overall fat percentage. Then I don't feel as guilty eating it. ;-)

    Dehydrating tomatoes works very well in the oven and it is much faster.


  15. That smoothie sounds just like my kind of smoothie! I LOVE peanut butter in smoothies too! You have so much great stuff in this post! There are those wraps again! They must be awesome if you eat them this often! I can't wait to try!

  16. Guac in a collard?! Inspired! I'm so glad you mentioned dehydrating tomatoes. I bought a dehydrator this winter and have yet to use veggies in it. I imagine the farmer's market will soon be overflowing with tomatoes, so it's time! And aren't mason jars grand? As an adult, I never had them in the house until I started vegan. Strange.

  17. Carissa,

    I love nuts and seeds of all sorts in my smoothies. They add a richness that I really enjoy.

    I told you I like the collard wraps and I wasn't kidding. I eat them a few times a week. I hope you like them too. I am sure you will find collards in the states.


  18. JL,

    Sometimes I just crave guac and that describes yesterday. I didn't want the chips though so in the collard it went. Messy, but good. LOL

    I love drying tomatoes. It works really well in the oven too if you buy too many. I plan to make some zucchini chips today in the dehydrator. The only question is what flavorings to use.

    I never had mason jars in the house before we went vegan. What is up with that? Now I use them for many things.

    have a good Wednesday,


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