50 Shades of Smoothies
Everyone is doing it. The ubiquitous smoothie. The quickest way to get in a healthy meal before work or working out, or after working out, for that matter. Have kids that eschew all things green? Throw in some mild greens along with the fruit and they will be none the wiser. All you need is a blender and you can whip up countless variations to suit even the pickiest eaters.
Smoothies are the ultimate build your own creation, that can change every day with your mood.
Start with the basics (amounts indicated are to make one serving; can easily be doubled or tripled, depending on the size of your blender).
1 cup of milk, almond milk or other milk alternative (sometimes I even go for canned coconut milk for a truly decadent treat)
OR 1 cup coconut water
OR 1 cup filtered water
1 tablespoon coconut oil (for good fats)
Personally, I tend to use almond milk in the morning, when I want a burst of good fats, and use water other times of day, but it is all in your personal taste.
Now, choose one fruit and ideally at least one vegetable.
Examples are 1 medium size banana, apple, pear, or handful of grapes. I love to incorporate berries into my morning smoothie as they don’t impact the blood sugar as much- I may use 1/2 cup each of blueberries and cherries.
For greens- baby spinach works especially well because it has a mild flavor. I like to use kale and romaine, as well.
Dry Ingredients: pick and choose from the list, or use them all
If I know I will be short on time in the morning, I will make up a container of dry ingredients the night before and store in the fridge. It saves a few crucial minutes in the morning when all I have to do is open the container and empty it into the blender.
1 scoop protein powder (there are lots to choose from, I like the Vega brand)
1-2 tablespoons fiber (did you know that women should get between 35-45 grams of fiber a day? And men should get 40-50 grams? Adding some extra fiber to your smoothie helps regulate your digestive system, as well as your hormones.) Acacia fiber is easy to find and easy on the tummy.
1 serving of chia seeds, about 2 1/2 tablespoons
1 serving of hemp seeds, about 3 tablespoons
2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
The Goodies: Here’s where it gets fun: decide on your flavor of smoothie and take it from there. Wanting something rich and decadent? You might opt for banana with cacao powder and peanut or almond butter. In the mood for something tropical? Try mango and ginger root. Or make use of your herb garden and toss in some mint with those summer blackberries.
1 tablespoon Cacao powder
1 tablespoon nut butter
1 tablespoon coconut butter (thicker than coconut oil)
nuts- almonds, or walnuts
Spices: cinnamon, ginger powder or fresh ginger root, turmeric, nutmeg, cardamom
Herbs: Fresh mint, basil, or cilantro gives your smoothie an extra dose of green and a jolt of flavor.
Optional:You might choose to add other Superfoods to your smoothie, but they are entirely optional. Some examples would be-
Reishi mushroom powder
Spirulina or Chlorella powder
Sample Smoothie Ideas:
Blueberries and cherries
All the dry basics
Optional: handful of spinach
That’s bananas, y’all:
peanut butter or almond butter
Dry basics (important in this one to give it thickness)
Green Apple juice
1 cup water
1 handful spinach
(this is a thinner smoothie, but you can always add the dry ingredients to bump up the thickness and nutritional worth)
1 cup fresh or frozen mango
several Romaine leaves
All the dry basics
Fresh ginger root, peeled, about an inch
several leaves of kale, de-stemmed
fresh ginger root, peeled, about an inch
Banana Coconut Chia Pudding
Chia Seed Pudding is simple, fast, and keeps a couple of days in the refrigerator. Mild and subtle, they easily absorb the flavors you choose to use in the pudding. For this one, I like to use full fat organic coconut milk out of the can. The more liquid you use, the more pudding there will be as the seeds soak up the liquid.
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup or more coconut milk
Tablespoon dried, unsweetened, shredded coconut
Tablespoon honey or other sweetener
1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional)
Sliced banana, additional shredded coconut, cacao nibs to top
Stir the milk into the chia seeds and decide if you want more liquid, based on how thick the pudding is. Then add
in coconut, sweetener, and any spices. Top with fruit and any other toppings.