My sons have been addicted to smoothies from the time they were toddlers.
I’m not sure if it’s a California thing, or if the rest of the world consumes a ton of smoothies also?
In any case, I’ve increased my own smoothie consumption recently.
Smoothies are great because you can easily vary the ingredients based on what you have on hand.
I thought I’d share a few tips on how I make smoothies for my family, in case you’d like to give them a try.
If you have a good blender, that’s great.
Don’t be discouraged if you can’t afford a fancy one though.
(My college-aged son bought the cheapest blender he could find. He’s quite happy with its smoothie-making capabilities.)
My smoothies always have the following ingredients in them:
• 1/3 cup of a ground oatmeal/seed mixture I make myself. (It consists of regular – not instant – rolled oats mixed with ground chia seeds OR flaxseeds. I use two cups of rolled oats to 1/4 cup seeds, ground together. I keep the mixture in a sealed container and use as needed.) My “famous” oatmeal mixture provides a lot of health benefits, and also helps thicken the smoothies. And no, you can’t even taste it if your smoothie is well blended. (I grind the oatmeal and seeds in my blender.)
• Liquid – About 3/4 cup liquid. Liquid ideas include: water, milk, various types of juice, unsweetened coconut milk/water, unsweetened almond milk, etc.
• Yogurt – I use between 1/4 and 1/3 cup plain (unsweetened) greek yogurt. Some people prefer flavored yogurt, but I don’t like the extra sugar in flavored yogurt.
• Matcha – I add a small (1/4 tsp.) of matcha. Matcha is “green tea powder” and has a lot of health benefits.
• Fruit – The possibilities here are nearly endless, but I frequently include berries and/or a half of an orange for vitamin C. My boys also love to alternate bananas, apples, mango, cherries, papaya, pears, grapes, pineapple, limes, etc. Pumpkin is very healthy, and adding a small scoop of it can make for a great tasting smoothie. Did you know pumpkin is a fruit?
• Vegetables – I always include about half a blender full of greens. I most often use spinach or kale, but I’ll use any type of “greens” I have on hand. If I have vegie leftovers (squash, romaine lettuce, brocolli, celery, cabbage, carrots, cucumber, avocado, etc.) I might toss them in also. Parsley has all sorts of great stuff in it, and my kids don’t even know I include it. When mixed with fruit, the fruit flavors win. My sometimes-picky sons don’t even taste the vegies. In fact, I even sneak in a small tomato sometimes. (Technically, a tomato is also a fruit – but the truth is, my youngest son hates them whatever they are. He has no idea he’s been “drinking” them!)
• Pea Protein – I use two tablespoons. Protein is great for keeping hunger at bay. I like adding a little bit extra to our smoothies. (There’s also protein in the oatmeal, chia seeds, and yogurt.)
• Ice – I throw in a handful of ice just prior to blending my smoothies. It isn’t necessary, but I like drinking them when they’re cold vs. room temperature. If I’m making a batch of smoothies to leave in the fridge for a few hours, I don’t include ice. (I sometimes make them ahead of time so my son(s) can have them if/when I’m not home.
My smoothies sometimes include:
• Spices — Cinnamon, vanilla bean/paste, cocoa, etc.
• Two drops of honey. (I rarely add this – only if I think I’ve thrown in a few too many vegetables and my kids might not like the taste unsweetened.)
An all-fruit smoothie tastes delicious, but it’s high in “natural” sugar. I like to make mine with a lot of vegetables, and add just enough fruit to flavor it.
It’s fun to experiment with different flavor combinations.
Do you have a favorite smoothie?
I’d love to hear suggestions and ideas!