Smoothies are fun and easy because you can throw almost anything in. Mine change every day based on what’s in the fridge, but there are 10 essentials that make it a nutritional powerhouse.
Here they are:
- KALE. There are many different kinds. They are all healthy.
- PARSLEY. Curly or Italian.
- CARROTS. Baby carrots are actually not baby carrots and are least healthy option. Try to find those with their leaves still on.
- APPLE. There are so many varieties, each with different flavors. My favorite is Honeycrisp but I also love Fuji.
- GINGER. Gives the smoothie an amazing kick.
- NUTS. Any kind. Experiment. Almonds and pecans are good choices.
- TURMERIC. The root is much healthier than the powder. A little goes a long way. Start with just a pinch.
- BERRIES. Alternate between frozen strawberries or blackberries and frozen wild blueberries.
- COCONUT OIL. Virgin and Unrefined.
- FENNEL (fresh). Great for digestion.
Other fantastic ingredients:
BEETS. One of the most potent and underused vegetables.
PURPLE CABBAGE. Sweet and spicy.
BASIL. Great fresh taste.
CUCUMBER. Healthier than you think though it seems like mostly water.
AVOCADO. Gives it a nice creamy texture.
CINNAMON. Grate from a fresh stick if possible.
CHIA SEEDS. Good for endurance. Has anti-aging properties.
COCOA. Use raw, unsweetened nibs. One of the most powerful anti-oxidants on earth.
BANANA. If you need to start sweeter. Or for kids.
YOGURT. Unsweetened whole milk or coconut yogurt
PROTEIN POWDER. Minimal and more protein/fiber. I use Plant Protein from Wheatsville Food Co-op
RAW EGG. Only If you have complete trust in your farm. You must be confident in the quality and processing of the eggs. I use soy-free Jeremiah eggs. Some people would never eat a raw egg under any circumstances and others swear by them. I knew one guy who ate 6 raw eggs a day (no, they do not contribute to high cholesterol). Don’t ever eat a raw egg unless it’s pastured (NOT pasteurized) and local. The sign of a well-raised chicken is an egg with a dark orange yolk.
Other necessary ingredients:
ICE (cold tastes better!)
WATER (most blenders require some)
Ingredients that are too strong for me but more power to you if you like them:
How do you make it?
Heavier, denser items on the bottom where the blade is (like apple, frozen strawberries), then pieces of beet, fennel, ginger, etc. Powders and liquids like coconut oil on top, then fill up with water so that it is covering about 3/4 of ingredients. Last, add ice.
Where is all the fruit?
You’re right, it’s not in here. But feel free to start with more fruits than vegetables and slowly tip the scales as your taste buds become accustomed to something less sweet. For those who believe in food combining, the wisdom is that only berries and apples should be mixed with veggies.
Something else to keep in mind:
too much fruit means too much sugar. Although the fiber is slowing down your body’s absorption of sugar (and the protein and fat help, as well), there’s still a lot of sugar in most fruit. Think about it: you would probably not eat a banana, a quarter melon, a peach, a handful of berries and half an apple in one sitting. But if you did, all that chewing would slow down the absorption of sugar. Not so with a smoothie that is drunk quickly. So aim for a ratio of 2x the veggies as fruit.
For those trying to lose weight, this is the perfect meal. The carbs will give you a quick boost and the fat and protein will keep you satiated for hours.
For those looking for a “starter smoothie” that will appeal to picky little eaters, try this.
I’d love to hear from you. How did it go? What did you like?