breakfast · Snacks · Staples · vegan · vegetable

Smoothies 101

green smoothie.jpg

Ok a confession.  I have a bit of an obsession with smoothies. I recently almost missed a plane because I was absolutely desperate to get a smoothie before boarding.  True story.  Hehe.  They just can’t be beat when you want a tasty, refreshing, healthy treat.  Here are the top 5 reasons why smoothies are the best:

  1. They are a great way to get in your daily dose of fruits and veggies.
  2. Smoothies are great for reducing food waste, since they are the perfect way to use up fruits and veggies that are getting on in age.
  3. They help with digestion, and I can personally say that a daily smoothie has gone a long way toward helping my sensitive tummy feel a lot better.
  4. You can sneak healthy powerhouse ingredients like flax and hemp seed into your diet super easily.  If you follow a plant-based diet (or mostly plant-based like me), a smoothie is the perfect vehicle for a big dose of protein.
  5. Last but not least, they are just so darn delicious and refreshing.

I figured it was about time to share a few tips and tricks, as well as my all-time favorite smoothie recipe with you.  When life gets busy, sometimes our health is the first thing to get neglected, but that doesn’t have to be the case.  Armed with these super simple strategies, you can be a smoothie queen (or king) too!

  1. Stock pile your freezer with cut up fruit.  Frozen fruit is the way to go when it comes to making a delicious smoothie, giving your drink a cold, frothy, slushy texture. It’s handy to keep fruit in the freezer as it will last forever.  I sometimes buy already frozen fruit, but mostly I just cut up old fruit that is almost too ugly to eat anymore, and throw it in a zip-bag in the freezer.  You’ll never throw out a spotted old banana or sorry looking strawberry again! Just don’t use any fruit that is moldy – use your common sense 😛  I do the same with the baby spinach I buy in jumbo packs and never manage to finish – just chuck it in the freezer for some yummy green smoothies.
  2. Get yourself a good blender, with serving-sized blending containers.  I got the Ninja Auto-IQ blender a few months ago and I can’t praise it enough! It is so convenient to whip up a smoothie in the same container you are going to drink it out of.  The blender even comes with lids to crew on to make your smoothie portable.  I swear this isn’t a paid endorsement, I just really love Ninja that much.
  3. Make single-serving zip-bags of smoothie ingredients to keep in the freezer.  Then, when you are ready to make your drink, just empty the contents of a bag into your blender, add liquid, and blend.  Super convenient for on-the-go morning smoothies!
  4. Try adding nut butter and hemp seeds to your smoothie for a natural hit of protein.  I know a ton of protein powders exist for the same purpose, but I don’t have any experience to share on those.  For me, a tbps of nut butter and 2 tbsp of hemp seeds keeps me full for hours (no easy accomplishment) and add a whopping 14 grams of protein!
  5. Try lots of different flavors, fruits, and combos.  Don’t give up if the first smoothie you try doesn’t quite do it for you.  There are so many possibilities!  For me, nothing is better than vibrant green smoothie full of fresh mint and citrus juice.  Dhiren on the other hand, prefers a sweet and creamy berry smoothie with lots of peanut butter.  Just today I tried a smoothie with vanilla and really did not enjoy the experience, but I know a lot of people would strongly disagree with me.  Find what it is that you enjoy most and have fun as you explore new flavors!

To get you started, I am including the recipe for my very favorite green smoothie.  If green is not your thing, try my choco-berry smoothie here.

Ashley’s Favorite Green Smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 cup frozen watermelon
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup spinach (frozen or from the fridge)
  • 1/3 cup mint
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1-1 1/2 cups water as needed

Add all the ingredients to a blender, starting with just 1 cup water.  Blend, adding more water if the mixture is too thick.  Enjoy!

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