You Heart What You Eat: Smooth[ie] Operator

Tera Johnson-Swartz

— Breakfast is supposed to be the best meal of the day, but for many of us (with young kids and busy lives), there just isn’t enough time in a day or as my grandmother used to say, “you can’t squeeze blood from a stone.” So, with that in mind, I go to great measures in making my breakfast smoothie the healthiest and most filling breakfast or snack option possible. I’ll warn you now, don’t look for that appealing color you see in brightly colored photos in a juice or smoothie shop. No, no, I tend to go for that ugly shade of green-brown, but then again, I tend to focus less on appearance and more on nutritional content. My children certainly haven’t complained and as soon as the Magic Bullet starts blending, I get two new bodies in the kitchen screeching: “It’s loud Mama, but can we have some of your smoothie?”

I have several different smoothie recipes that I rotate depending on my mood or tire of a certain taste, but the general base ingredients are the same. I’m an avocado advocate, so you’ll probably see just about every recipe I post with an avocado of some sort in it, and the Smooth[ie] Operator is no exception. In addition to the avocados healthy fat content, in a smoothie, it adds creaminess replacing what most recipes containing yogurt or other dairy additives might use for similar texture. You’ll also start seeing a repetition in my recipes to include spinach. No, not Popeye’s canned version but the fresh greens you find in the produce section. Spinach is such a great, easily flavor-hidden addition that kids and adults notice when it’s added to recipes and being that it’s rich in antioxidants and is a great source for vitamins A, B2, C and K as well as magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium, why pass by this free nutrient rich option?

Below is one of my favorite smoothie recipes. It’s healthy, filling and quite popular in our house. So give it a try and at the very least you’ll have satisfied almost half of your vegetable requirements for the day. Now, sometimes I use an entire banana instead of the kiwi or change out the orange juice to pineapple or another favorite yummy fruit juice option, but if I need more liquid, instead of using more juice I try to supplement plain (unsweetened) almond milk or just plain water. Either way, this flavor-blasting smoothie should keep you upbeat and on your toes for at least a few hours until your next snack-crave.

Breakfast Greens Smoothie

1 kiwi

1⁄2 ripe avocado

1 cup or healthy handful fresh spinach

1 clementine (rind peeled)

4-5 frozen strawberries

1⁄2 cup orange juice

1 tbl. Apple cider vinegar

2 tbl. ground flaxseed

Put all the above ingredients into a blender of your choice and pour into a cup with a big straw to enjoy.

YOU HEART WHAT YOU EAT is a weekly blog offering a twist of healthy alternative tips and recipes for some of our most coveted comfort foods. From decadent desserts to main dish favorites, you’ll surely look forward to our next edition. Questions or suggestions you’d like included in one of our future blogs, should be directed to Tera Johnson-Swartz via email at

Tera Johnson-Swartz is a mommy first, but also enjoys working one of her many, many side gigs whether it be freelance writing, music, massage therapy, independent childbirth, lactation or health educating. She is eternally grateful she is able to follow her passion each and every day and loves her supporting husband and their two young children  and couldn’t imagine living a better life outside the city limits of Steamboat Springs.

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