Recipe: Case of the Mondays Smoothie #FreshStart

Mondays. Oh sweet weekend do I hate Mondays. When you're a blogger they tend to be big time catch-up days which means you need a great grab-and-go breakfast, even if the only place you're actually going is to your desk. I've got emails, emails, emails to deal with. Posts to double-check scheduling on. Reviews to format and jot notes on. Photos to upload. Sometimes it's almost 2PM before I realize all I've put in my tummy is a cold cup of coffee. Which is one reason I sometimes cook oatmeal on Sundays and put it in the fridge so I can nuke it for breakfasts for a few days.

But let me tell you... oatmeal gets old. So I have an arsenal of smoothie ingredients I keep around so that I'm getting some healthy antioxidants and vitamins when I really need a powerful breakfast that I an just sip without stopping typing. I'm literally leaning forward and sipping my smoothie while I type this post.

While I'm super fond of yogurt and berry based smoothies with greens, I decided—kind of at the last minute—to take on a challenge that Influenster was hosting for Rader Farms. I've been having a tough time finding their products because there was a voluntary recall on those containing spinach and kale. I really didn't want to go with the Morning Vitality blend because I really wanted my greens!

The huge plus of the Morning Vitality Fusion blend, however, is that it is high in fiber and with my protein powder choice I was able to add greens without making it taste like a salad. But I digress, I just wanted a solid breakfast that would get me through to lunch while I clickety-clacked away at the keyboard. Keeping in mind the tougher-to-mix-with blend of fruits and veggies in Morning Vitality I decided to keep it very simple. Coconut and Mango are always good together. Nectarine and Vanilla. Carrot and Pumpkin Seeds. Sweet Potato and Cinnamon. I list some other options so find out what works best for you. When I come up with recipes I am always fiddling with them, changing them to suit my mood.

Rhialistic Case of the Mondays Smoothie 
1 ½ Cups of Morning Vitality Fusion (frozen)
1 Scoop of Vanilla Protein Powder
6-8 Ounces of Green or Herbal Tea 
1 Tablespoon Pumpkin Seeds
1 Tablespoon Non-Sweetened Shredded Coconut
2 Tablespoons Uncooked Quick Oats
1 Teaspoon Chia Seeds 
Blend all ingredients to desired consistency and serve!
If you use herbal tea I recommend going with those that have a very mild taste profile like chamomile or something with a ginger or cinnamon spiciness as those both work well with all of the fruits and veggies in Morning Vitality Fusion. Avoid anything minty so you don't get that toothpaste-mouth flavor and sensation. For the photo shoot version I used Dandelion Root Tea With Hibiscus & Cinnamon because I wanted something that wasn't strong that had additional health benefits today. On most Mondays I would probably go for the chamomile for the calming factor or a lemon green tea for the caffeine boost.

Your optional ingredients—I recommend adding only one or two—can be blended or stirred in or used as toppers. I prefer blending them in because I like some texture in my smoothies. My protein powder has stevia as the sweetener (which I actually really dislike and it upsets my stomach) so if yours is unsweetened you could easily add honey, coconut sugar (my fave!), or another sweetener like monk fruit powder.

The great thing about Rader Farms' Fusions is that they can be used in so many ways. If you let them thaw a little bit and whip them in the food processor they're a yummy stir-in for oatmeal or yogurt!

If you had one of Rader Farms Fresh Start Fusions bagged frozen fruit and veggie mixes on hand what creative way would you use it? Leave a comment below and tell me which appeals most to you and what adventure you'd take it on.

Notes: This post is part of a Brand Badge Challenge for Influenster and Rader Farms. For more details click here. #FreshStart #contest

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