SMOOTHIE UP IN YOU (no pun intended)!
A quick blurb on the smoothie here. It is one of my favorite things throughout the day. In my opinion, It is the hands down, best way to eat healthy. It is so easy! It’s like drinking a milkshake everyday, and what can be easier than that? You can pack a lot of stuff into these things too. They are healthy and fast, and I’ll take that any day!
I’m not here to post recipes though. I’m hoping to broaden the spectrum. If you’ve never tried making your own smoothie and are a little intimidated with all the combinations out there, have no fear! If you have time to make a healthy lunch, but no time to sit down to eat it, a smoothie gets you there every time! With a general overview of smoothie making and some truly, voluntay guidelines I hope to convey how easy it is to incorporate good foods into your (or your loved ones’) diet, even if it is on the go. I was simply thrilled with the ease and speed I could throw one together, have it taste like a dream, and be ‘good for you’ all at the same time! There are no hard and fast rules here.
You will need something to blend with. We started making smoothies when I was gifted with a Magic Bullet. Thanks Mom! These things are a powerful little tool, but you can make smoothies in a regular blender if you don’t have one. The thing I like most about the bullet is your container you blend in becomes the cup you drink from. Fast and convenient. Two of my favorite things!
Fruity Tootie Fresh and Smoothie
You need some type of fruit. I buy frozen, or freeze my own fruit. The little one in our family will only eat half of a banana at a time, so I am in constant supply of left over bananas to freeze. Peel them first though! I’ve learned that adding non-frozen foods as well (fresh or canned) helps with the consistency. An ‘all frozen’ smoothie will render it very think. I like mine drinkable, thank you! If you use canned fruit, make sure you try to avoid heavy syrups and added sugar. Common fruits I use are (but not limited to):
- Strawberries (frozen or fresh)
- Raspberries (frozen or fresh)
- Blueberries (frozen or fresh)
- Pineapple (frozen, fresh, or canned)
- Mandarin Oranges (frozen, fresh, or canned)
- Peaches (frozen or fresh)
- Bananas (frozen or fresh)
- Mangos (frozen or fresh)
But there are so many more! You can combine any of these for different combinations. Have fun with it!
Getting the Good Stuff
As with all the mommy rage about sneaking nutritious foods into recipes for the little ones, you can do the same with smoothies. I discovered Kale Cubes and although they are a little work at first, they come in very handy and are chock full of vitamins. I’ve looked for pre-packaged, frozen kale to no avail, so kale cubes provides a super easy way to add the frozen content as well as the added nutrition to my smoothie.
Common veggies I like to add are (but not limited to):
- Kale (frozen or fresh)
- Spinach (frozen or fresh)
- Broccoli (frozen or fresh)
- Sprouts (fresh)
- Carrots (frozen or fresh)
I must note, I only add one vegetable per smoothie or I end up with a smoothie that tastes like vegetables. I like mine to have that fruity sweetness. You can add just about any vegetable though. Like I said before, have fun experimenting with the combinations!
REV IT UP!
You can add even more vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and Omega 3’s to your smoothie by adding nuts or seeds. For a good guide to what nuts you may want to add read about the value of nuts in this Livingstrong article. I like to add a few for texture, as well as ground flax-seed. Peanut butter is another possibility, with a grain cereal and milk. Breakfast to go!
Raw, unrefined coconut oil is another super food I try to sneak in. You can read more about the health benefits from here. I add about a half of a tablespoon, and when blended you can’t even tell it’s in there. It does lend a tiny bit of frothiness to the blended product though.
Get It Moving
A liquid is required to get the smoothie churning while blending. I usually add some type of 100% fruit juice or water. If I am not using any green vegetables I will add yogurt or milk. Yogurt is full of probiotic bacteria that is super good for your digestive system. But what liquids are right?
A common concern in the smoothie world is food combination rules. There is a huge debate about whether combining some foods with certain others is healthy. What I have found is, it goes both ways. Though, along with impracticallity, most of the information out there debunks the need for sticking to these rules hard and fast. My opinion is, if you are having a digestive problem, then you may want to adhere to them. So far, I have not had any problem in straying from them. You can read more about these rules online. Here are a few good sites I have found information:
The one rule I do stick to in smoothie making is keeping dairy away from any green, leafy vegetable. With the digestion rate of the two being so different, it just seems like the right thing to do. And in doing so, you avoid the risk of one going bad in your stomach before the other can digest, causing gas and irritability. Plus, it is not an issue to use juice over milk or vice versa, so I do incorporate this chain of thought.
Keep In Mind!
Nothing is off-limits but there are a few things you need to consider when mixing and blending:
- Food combination rules if needed
- Always combine frozen with non frozen for a good consistency
- Adding more than one vegetable will give you a smoothie that tastes like vegetables!
So that’s it! A little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and you have yourself a healthy, and delicious meal or snack. And its made to go! Please let me know of other smoothie combinations you have come up with. There are endless possibilities, and I am willing to try almost anything! Now go have a great day!