smoothie 101: your guide to blended perfection
The amount of goodness you can pack into a smoothie is limitless! There are so many healthy ingredients you can add to your blended concoction to make it tasty and ultra nutritious. Here are my tips on how to build a perfect smoothie.
Step one: Select your base--add 3/4 c of liquid to your blender.
Don't limit your smoothie liquid to milk! Get creative and try other options like coconut water, aloe water, water with fresh squeezed juice, green tea or my personal favorite, day old coffee!
Step two: Choose your fruit.--add a handful of your favorite fruit.
My produce doesn't always get eaten right away and I used to toss it once eating it raw or cooking with it was out of the question. Then one day it dawned on me that I could freeze it and add to my morning smoothie--duh, where have I been. This is perfect for berries! Add mushy (not rotten, that's just gross) to an ice cube tray, cover with water and freeze. Of course over ripened bananas are more than just brown spotted naners that you used to throw in the trash. Peel and freeze those uglies! If you don't want to make a smoothie out of them then try out this recipe for a yummy froyo treat.
Step 3: Get your green on--add a cup of greens.
Have arugula, celery, spinach, romaine lettuce in the fridge? Good, add it! I know some of those things sound strange but most of the time greens are masked by all of the other delicious ingredients you add to your smoothie. Things like arugula and celery do have a unique taste to them--give it shot! Try out different variations. Another health yeah (equivalent to hell yeah) tip is to blend those almost yucky veggies with water and make ice cubes out of it. Ex: that kale you bought to finally try out those kale chips everyone is talking about somehow was forgotten and is nearly bad. Throw it in a blender with water and freeze!
Step 4: Make it fat--add 1 generous TBS of healthy fat.
This step will make your smoothie people. This is the part that is critical. Healthy fats keep you satiated so don't skimp here! Peanut butter, almond butter, coconut oil, chia seeds, and avocado are all great options. Everything but the chia will also help achieve that creamy desirable texture we expect from a smoothie. Health yeah tip for avocado that is not ripened: don't toss the avo that you sliced thinking it was ready to eat! Slice it up and add it your smoothie for added nutrients and texture--you won't taste the difference.
Step 5: Protein--add one scoop.
For me protein powder is a given when it comes to smoothie making but if it's not your thing skip this step. I typically use vanilla flavored protein (my fave here) as it makes a great base for any smoothie recipe. Of course chocolate is a great option especially if you plan to add peanut butter as your healthy fat or coffee as your liquid of choice. 2 TBS Hemp seeds, 1 oz of almonds, 2 TBS tahini, or 1/2 c of raw oats are great alternatives.
Step 6: Next level additions--a little goes a long way.
Try one or several of the below options. You never know what amazing recipes you can create if you don't try. Cinnamon, vanilla, dates, flax seed, spices, cacao nibs, coffee beans, raw eggs (don't make that ugly face), or matcha green tea powder to name a few.
Step 7: Turn on the motor--blend away!
Now that we've filled that blender to the rim, it's time to smooth it out. Blend until well combined and enjoy! Add more ice to achieve a frozen texture or more liquid if your smoothie is overly thick.
What smoothie recipe will you blend up next? Please share!