I get a LOT of my fruit and vegetable servings from smoothies. I make three batches at a time and fill up a bunch of glass jars to keep in the fridge.
Then I drink two a day–because let’s face it, the gremlins and I are always on the move and if I carry around whole pieces of fruit in my car or purse, they just roll around, forgotten, until we smell them weeks later.
The most awesome thing about smoothies is they are 100% real: You see everything going in, and you know it’s good. Unlike packaged protein shakes and other fruit drinks. Plus you don’t need added vitamins because leafy greens and whole fruit have so many already.
There are a million ways to make smoothies. I’m vegan with mine, because I feel like moderation with animal products is a good idea, and since I will never stop buying butter by the case to fuel my baked goods, or eating bacon, I better look for other ways to get off the sauce.
Very Green Vegan Smoothie
Throw in a blender:
- 1-2 cups loosely packed leafy greens (kale, spinach, chard…go for it! Just take the sinewy stalks off the heartier greens, because they’re hard to grind up.)
- 1 banana
- 6-10 frozen strawberries
- 1/3 can coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger–good for digestion and adds punch
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal–great for Omega 3s
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- honey and/or frozen orange juice concentrate–for sweetness, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional for those who want even more kick)
- Approx. 1.5-2 cups water
Blend on low, and gradually move to your blender’s highest speed. Because of the greens, you’ll need to blend for a long time to get this smoothie really smooth. You Vitamix and Blendtec people will be done blending in about 3 seconds, but for the rest of us peons, it’ll be awhile.
Each month I try to increase the amount of greens I put in, and to lower the amount of honey and/or orange juice concentrate so that there’s less sugar. That’s why I add the vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and cayenne to boost flavor (plus the spices have digestive and other helpful properties).
Gratuitous picture of flaxseed meal.
Other choose-your-own-adventure smoothie add-ins: a whole, peeled orange; sliced apple or pear (unpeeled); and frozen raspberries or mango. Just watch out for blueberries–they tend to build up an agar-like jelly at the top of my smoothies after sitting for a bit.
FEEDBACK FROM READERS:
- Be careful with the cayenne (especially if your family doesn’t do much spice).
- Pineapple and pear are GREAT add-ins for natural sweetness.
- Check out the comment below from Jamie for a great recipe for a vegan “chocolate milkshake” using banana, cocoa powder, and peanut butter.
I want to keep my smoothie recipe fresh, so please tell me what your favorite smoothie add-ins are. Any tricks to get your kids to love smoothies (mine are not into them right now)?