Okay gals. Or guys. I am not gender-biased around here. Actually, I still think that only my 2 sister in laws read this blog so in my head it is gals. That is another discussion though.
Smoothies. Probably the thing I consume most overall. I have one almost every morning. Except when I run out of greens. It happens every once in a while, mostly because I am lazy and hate grocery shopping. The smoothies we drink are a 60:40 smoothie, made with 60% fruit and 40% dark leafy greens. I know, that just sounds weird - veggies in a smoothie. It is good and so very good for you. Do NOT knock it until you try it!
There are a few VERY important keys to a good smoothie:
1. Frozen fruit, people. Some people try to do fresh and add ice but it never works out the same. Fresh fruit makes smoothies foamy and runny and the ice makes your blender work so hard. Go frozen and drink happy! The exception to this is when you have fruit that is about to go bad and you want to use it up. Throw it in with some ice and use that fruit!
2. A banana. Use a medium ripe banana and while you will usually not taste it (unless it is really ripe), the sweetness it adds and the texture/creaminess it creates is super important. Friends don't let friends make smoothies without bananas.
3. Use dark leafy greens that are not bitter in taste. The best to use are spinach (especially if you are a beginner - it completely melts into the smoothie), kale (remove the hard centre veins) and collard greens (again with the hard veins). They are all super nutritious and blend well but more importantly do not alter the taste of your smoothie much. Things like lettuces, beet or mustard greens or swiss chard are not great for smoothies due to their super strong bitter flavours. We used arugula once ..... lesson learned.
4. Use 100% juices or else water to liquify your smoothie. I mostly use 100% apple juice, occasionally orange and mix it with water to get the consistency I want.
5. Don't be afraid to try new things. Mix it up, so to speak. Add things in like oatmeal for a filling smoothie or flax seed for general health benefits - I use the flax most days. Change up your fruit combos and get a new flavour. Use whatever fruit you have going bad in your fridge, stems and all. Just remember, more fruit than greens and you are good to go!
Here is a basic recipe for one of our favourites and you can change it up as you wish.
recipe by Domestic Diva
1 medium banana, either frozen or not
1 c baby spinach leaves
1.5 c frozen cherries or blueberries (you can buy both in the freezer section of Costco)
2 tsp ground flax seed (the golden roasted stuff is a little strong in taste so try to get the regular ground flax)
3/4 c 100% pure apple juice
as much water as you need to blend and make it smooth (start with 1/2 a cup and continue to add more - I usually do about a full cup in the end)
Put all the ingredients in the blender and let it go. Blend until super smooth, a few minutes on low and then a minute on high to really get it fine. Pour into cups and enjoy!
For a "greener" smoothie, as in a neon green colour, try this:
1 medium banana
1 c spinach
1 1/4 c frozen mango chunks
3/4-1 c pineapple juice
3/4-1 c water
2 tsp ground flax
The colour is crazy but it tastes like the beach! My kids call it monster juice or if they are into Star Wars (and whose kids aren't?) we call it Yoda Soda.
Make and enjoy - they are so totally delicious that you will forget just how good they are for you!