This matcha mojito smoothie is crisp, refreshing, cooling, and just sweet enough. Plus, it offers a gentle energy boost thanks to matcha (green tea) powder.
The sun is shining, there's a balmy warmth in the air, and the days are getting longer. Summer is moving in and the school year is drawing to a close.
The school I work at has been undergoing major renovations, many of which will take place this summer. So in an effort to provide plenty of time for summer construction, the last day of school is this Wednesday, which is two weeks earlier than normal.
I always feel a bit sentimental about the end of each school year—students graduate, colleagues retire, and the structured routine of the work days gives way to a more relaxed summer routine. But I'm feeling extra sentimental this year in particular, because the end is more significant this time around. I've been shy to share the news, but I'll be taking a one-year leave of absence next school year to focus on the book and a few other pursuits.
The decision wasn't an easy one to make, and I spent much of this past fall going back-and-forth again and again and again. I had been burning the candle at both ends (and at times, in the middle too), sacrificing time with friends, family, sleep, etc. to keep up with an overflowing plate that never seemed to clear. And I was feeling so burnt out. To be honest, I still am.
On an intuitive level, I've known for quite some time that taking a leave from work was the right choice, and I'm grateful to work at a school where this is an option. (You can take up to two years leave and still have your job waiting for you.) But every time I went to commit, that nagging, judgmental inner critic would say things like, "Are you crazy? Who do you think you are? You've worked hard to get here, and you're just going to give it up? Dream smaller. Quit whining. Work harder." Well jeez, tell me how you really feel. With friends like that, there's certainly no need for enemies.
But to my ego's dismay, the truth of the matter is that it would be selfish of me not to make this choice. I had hoped I could do it all (work full-time as a school psychologist + essentially full-time on the cookbook and blog), all of the time. But just the thought of trying to keep this pace for another year sapped the energy and enthusiasm right out of me. Because time is the one thing we can't get back once it's spent, and I didn't want to spend another year rushing from one thing to the next, allowing precious everyday moments to slip through my fingers.
With the end of the school year within reach, I'm feeling vulnerable, excited, inspired, scared, and hopeful all at the same time. Yet I'm certain this is the right choice, perhaps not in my logical mind but definitely in my heart.
Whew. If you stuck with me through all those paragraphs, thank you. And if you just came here for the recipe, thank you too (and my apologies for the lengthy scroll to get down to the tasty stuff).
Let's (briefly) talk smoothies.
This smoothie waited patiently on my "recipe ideas" list for nearly a year, and I have no clue why I sat on it for so long. Matcha powder, fresh lime juice, and mint are woven throughout the pear- and banana-based delight. The result is crisp, refreshing, cooling, and just sweet enough. Plus, it offers a gentle energy boost thanks to matcha (green tea) powder.
If you've ever thought to yourself 'Gee, I wish there was a way to enjoy my breakfast, morning tea, and favorite mocktail all in one slurp,' 1) you sound like an awesome and interesting person, and 2) think no further, I've got ya covered.
Matcha Mojito Smoothie + News to Share!
- 1 firm-ripe Bartlett or D'Anjou Pear, cored and roughly diced
- 1 ripe and speckled banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
- ¾ cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 ½ to 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, to taste
- 1 to 2 soft medjool dates (optional to sweeten)
- 2 teaspoons smoothie-grade matcha powder
- Small to medium handful fresh mint leaves, tough stems removed, to taste
- In a high-speed blender, combine the diced pear, frozen banana, almond milk, lime juice, date/s (if you prefer sweeter smoothies), and matcha powder. Blend on high until smooth. Add the fresh mint leaves and blend for another 10 to 15 seconds to finely chop and incorporate.