We’ve made smoothies in our house for years, mostly for breakfast and mostly fruit and yogurt. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to appreciate them on a whole new level; in the variety of ingredients to use, new flavor combinations, and their ability to conveniently deliver lots of nutrition.
Credit goes to the fine women over at Simple Green Smoothies. I joined their “30-day Green Smoothie Challenge” in early April. Now, a few weeks into the challenge I am comfortable stuffing spinach and kale in all our smoothies, and the kids are on board too. It’s a great after-school snack to sip on while doing homework, and it works as a nutritious on- the- go breakfast.
The Green Smoothie Challenge helped me branch out to include new ingredients. Of course fruit is great and helps your smoothie stay on the sweet side, if you and your kids like that (who doesn’t?). Frozen bananas are the creamiest workhorses of the bunch. Avocados also add great creamy texture. Basically any fruit that’s headed toward being over-ripe should be frozen in a freezer baggie for your smoothies. I’ve been adding handfuls of greens, rotating between baby spinach, kale, and power greens that come washed, boxed and ready to go. The Green Smoothie Challenge introduced me to chia seeds, goji berries, raw cacao powder and other “super-foods”. It’s a brave new world out there and boy does it taste good!
Because I’m trying to get more greens in my smoothies, many of ours are now, well, green. My son made gagging noises when he first saw mine. My daughter said she likes them and commented that “if all you ever had was green smoothies you would probably think purple smoothies were pretty weird at first too.” Wise eight year old. Up until recently, most of our smoothies were purple from blueberries. So for my son I’ve been easing him in by serving them in a green glass (where you don’t notice the color inside) and stuffing spinach in the blender when he’s not looking. He’s oblivious and the green thing is starting to become normal as he sees the rest of us drinking them.
I often like to add some protein as well, either in the form of yogurt or whey protein powder. I’m partial to teraswhey, as you can see from the photo (I swear there’s no kick-back!). There are many different types or protein powders on the market. I think it’s worth researching what fits your diet best.
Any strong blender will do. If you really get into it nothing beats a Vitamix and it can handle just about anything.
You can freeze leftovers to pop in a future smoothie, or keep them in a mason jar in the fridge to grab later in the day for a snack.
Here’s a favorite in our house. I make this when I’m craving sugar or just want something really creamy and delicious. My son, also a sugar-lover, likes it too.
The Craving Buster
Makes 1-2 servings
Recipe from Rebecca Wheeler
*Note: I’ve also made this with coffee protein powder and it was delicious.
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop raw cacao powder (look for this in the supplement section), I like this brand
1 ½ scoops dark chocolate whey protein powder
1 tablespoon raw almond butter
1 frozen banana, in chunks
2 handfuls baby spinach
For my Vitamix I put the liquid in the bottom, followed by the bananas, powders and almond butter and top it off with the spinach. I start blending at a slow speed and gradually work to a higher speed until it’s all smooth and creamy. Use a spatula to incorporate any powder that sticks to the sides of the blender.
Enjoy the power of a delicious smoothie!