A friend refers to me as the Smoothie Queen. Indeed, I do make a lot of smoothies. They are easy, delicious ways to get a lot of nutrients, including a good deal of protein, and there are so many delicious flavor combinations that they never get boring. This morning’s dominant flavor was banana/almond/strawberry. I made it with frozen organic bananas and strawberries, almond butter, almond milk, a splash of OJ and a little coconut.
I keep certain ingredients on hand at all times to make the smoothie-making process faster and easier.
Bananas are the main staple of all of my smoothies. I buy fresh organic ones and toss them into the freezer. Frozen bananas are used instead of ice cubes, because ice cubes can water down the flavor of the smoothie. Frozen bananas whip up smooth and creamy and because they are frozen, they chill the drink. Adding bananas makes it unnecessary to add any other kind of sweeteners, too. Yum. Oh, and if you can’t get your child to eat green veggies? Throw some of those in the mix. A couple of stalks of broccoli cannot even be detected and the child will, most likely, gulp the whole thing down with great enthusiasm!
I use almond milk in all of my smoothies. Almond milk contains ground almonds and water. It’s a healthy alternative to high-fat, mucous-producing cow’s milk, and contains more vitamins and minerals than soy and rice milks. Many people who’ve tried almond milk prefer the flavor of almond milk to that of soy and rice milk. I know I do. While soy milk contains a lot of protein, it doesn’t contain the high levels of vitamins and minerals found in almond milk, so it’s often fortified with calcium and vitamin D to bring is nutritional quality more on a level with fortified cow’s milk. Rice milk doesn’t contain much nutrition at all, so it’s usually also fortified with vitamin D, calcium and other nutrients. Because almonds are naturally very nutritious, almond milk doesn’t need to be fortified. You can make almond milk yourself at home, and it will have the same nutritional value as the almond milk available commercially.
Whey. I use French Vanilla Designer Whey that I pick up at Trader Joe’s. It contains 100 calories and 18 grams of protein. Adding whey to a smoothie increases the amount of energy that the smoothie imparts and makes it more nutritionally satisfying. After you’ve had a smoothie containing whey, you feel great….unlike the feeling you get after drinking a milkshake or malt. This stuff is packed with nutrients!
Frozen fruit is another frequent addition to my smoothies, be it stone fruit, such as cherries or peaches, or frozen berries. Why frozen? Freezing foods helps maintain their nutrients and, like the bananas, serves as a great substitute for ice in a smoothie. When berries are in season, I will sometimes use fresh, organic ones that are not frozen, just because they have such a wonderful flavor, but most of the time, I use frozen ones. You can get a great deal on organic frozen strawberries at Trader Joe’s. I used those in my smoothie this morning.
Here are some recipes for my favorite smoothies. I am not going to put amounts of ingredients. Just add the amounts that you like. If you want a stronger flavor, add more stuff. Easy rule to follow, yes? 🙂
Peanut Butter Smoothie
Crunchy, salted peanut butter
Tahitian vanilla or fresh vanilla bean (split the bean and scrape out the insides. Add THAT to the smoothie, but not the outer pod.)
Coconut Almond Smoothie
Dried, unsweetened coconut
Raw almonds or almond butter
Dash of vanilla
Optional: Make it taste like an Almond Joy by adding a tablespoon of high quality dark cocoa. No sugar!
The inside of a few kiwis…discard skin
Pina Colada Smoothie
The different flavor and ingredient combinations are endless!
Enjoy your smoothies! (Kate enjoys hers!) 🙂