I love a good smoothie. There’s nothing like drinking something sweet and creamy and smooth that is also secretly packed with vegetables and nutrients. And there’s nothing like being able to throw anything-from-the-fridge into a blender and know your toddlers will drink it…and ask for more.
Last week, my friend let me borrow her Vitamix blender so I could see if the machine was all that it was cracked up to be. I will gladly spill my love of this machine if Vitamix promises to send me a blender in return. (*ehem*)
The machine-of-my-dreams aside, we’ve been making a lot of smoothies recently. One rule for my smoothies is that I have to add something green – kale, spinach, chard, peas, whatever I have on hand. These greens are packed with nutrients and when your smoothie is packed with fruit, the bitterness of the greens is hidden. But how do I do that, you ask? Let me count the ways.
1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy beverage, such as almond, rice or soy
2 dried apricots or 4 pitted dates
1 cup chopped kale leaves
1 cup spinach leaves
1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
Combine non-dairy beverage, apricots, banana, kale, spinach and berries in a blender and blend until smooth.
Another trick I use for any smoothie I am making is to blend the greens first with liquid (unless you’re using the blender-of-my-dreams, then you can throw everything in at once and it all gets blended up smoothly). For regular-speed blenders, this allows the greens a great opportunity to break down and less of a chance to take a bite out of kale when you’re drinking your smoothie.
I love blending my greens with unfiltered, organic apple juice. The juice adds a nice sweetness to counteract the greens’ bitterness. But if I don’t have that on hand, I might blend it with a little non-dairy milk or even just plain water.
Then I add frozen fruit, bananas, sometimes a carrot or a stalk of celery, yogurt if I have it, flax meal and/or flax oil, cherry juice concentrate and whatever else I have on hand.
Blend and serve.
My girls love to drink with a straw because it’s more fun. Either way, a smoothie is an excellent way to pack more nutrients into your diet in a pleasing and delicious (and fun-with-a-straw!) way.
(Photo from wholefoodsmarket.com)