Yes, you guessed it... smoothies!
Whether you are a beginner or an avid smoothie-maker, we hope this will provide some insight or new ideas, even if it is just to add some variety to your current smoothie routine!
Smoothies are one of those things that most think..."just throw whatever you have on hand into a blender and you will have a great smoothie." That may be true for some (and I greatly admire you if you are able to do just that), but I am one of those people that needs a little guidance. For people like me, we came up with a smoothie formula to use as a guide for a no-fail smoothie. By no means do you have to follow this exactly...it is just a guide. Get creative and don't limit yourself to just the smoothies you have recipes for!
The Smoothie Formula (makes 2 servings)!
1 cup liquid (almond milk, milk, or 100% juice...or use 1/2 cup yogurt with 3/4 to 1 cup liquid)
+ 1 cup unfrozen fruit (banana, berries, peach, grapes, pineapple, kiwi, or others of your choice)
+ 1 cup frozen fruit (frozen banana, mango, pineapple, berries, or others. None frozen? Add to the fruit 1/2 cup of ice!)
+ 1 veggie (OPTIONAL, about 1/2 to 1 cup spinach, kale, avocado, cucumber, cauliflower, pumpkin or others)
+ 1 Tbsp nutritional boost (OPTIONAL, nut butter, nuts, hemp hearts, flax seeds, chia seeds, etc.)
+ 1/2 to 1 Tbsp sweetener (OPTIONAL, 1-2 pitted dates or 1/2 to 1 Tbsp of pure maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar)
Check out this video from Zonya, where she provides more guidance on this formula and shows you how to make a great smoothie that tastes just like a one of our favorite pieces of candy!
Here are a few tips that may help your smoothie-making adventures!
- Add liquid first! (It will make it easier for the blades of your blender to get things moving!)
- Using some frozen fruit is preferred, but if you don't have frozen, just add ice (about 1/2 cup). Be careful...don't go overboard on the ice or your smoothie's flavors will fade and taste watered-down.
- Make your smoothie first with no additional sweetener, and then taste and add the optional sweetener if desired. Sometimes the sweetness of the fruit is enough! If not, try natural sweeteners like honey, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, dried dates, raising, dried cherries, or even your favorite dark chocolate chips!
- If your liquid is 100% juice, then you definitely should taste your smoothie before adding any more sweetener -- juice can add a huge punch of extra sweetness.
YES! You can use a wide variety of greens in smoothies, everything from spinach to kale to Swiss chard, but spinach is the most neutral tasting so its taste is easily hidden in most smoothies. The Mango Mint Green Smoothie is crazy good!
- When making a smoothie with greens, avoid dark berries such as blueberries or blackberries. (Your smoothie will end up being an unattractive color!) Or, if you don’t care about how it looks — then go for it and add them in!
- If you are new to smoothie making, or are trying to get your kids to be smoothie lovers, and you think the color might be a turn-off, it might help to serve the smoothies in a colored cup (not a clear cup) with a straw. Of course, the extra thick smoothie or milkshake straws are also a lot more fun!
Boost of nutrition!
- Smoothies are an excellent way to get lots of nutrients in one place. Add nut butter, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flax seeds, or even 100% cocoa powder -- which happens to be an antioxidant superstar! And, it's chocolate! You can also add one scoop of protein powder -- the choice is yours!
- You can buy flax seeds, even chia seeds, in ground form. If you don't like the noticeable seeds in your smoothie, either grind them in the blender first or purchase them already ground. When looking for hemp seeds, try to find hemp hearts.
- What really is the nutritional benefit of smoothies? When made at home with REAL ingredients, smoothies are a fantastic way to get a wide variety of nutrients. But what is an even bigger benefit? When foods are blended, such as in smoothies, it actually breaks down the cells of the foods and makes them easier to digest, and makes the nutrients ready for your body to absorb!
One caution with smoothies is that you can unknowingly consume more than if you were eating the foods in their whole form. Especially if you enjoy a smoothie at a local restaurant, be aware of serving sizes...they can be very large! The at-home formula above makes 2 servings. As we know, the beauty of REAL food is that we can be mindful about serving sizes, but don't have to obsess about them!
We hope this information is helpful...and would love to hear about your favorite smoothie creations! Try our Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie, it's great and has a secret ingredient...cauliflower!
Super Pink Strawberry Raspberry Smoothie (watch the video!)
1 cup juice (white grape or pineapple)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup pineapple
1 cup raspberries (or mix of raspberries, strawberries, cherries, or mixed berries)
(NOTE: either the pineapple or raspberries should be fresh, and the other frozen.)
1 beet (raw, washed but no need to peel!)
1 Tbsp of hemp hearts (or hemp seed, flax seeds or chia seeds)
1/2 Tbsp honey
Blend everything together in a blender. Serve and enjoy!