Smoothie Operator

It's no secret that I love my smoothies. What's not to like? Slushy, smooth, creamy, fruity, tangy fresh and healthy. It's a win, win, win..! The hardest part about making a smoothie should be choosing which flavor to drink today.  It's a cinch to meet your "eat the rainbow" goals by incorporating a few smoothies into your meal regime weekly. For athletes, it's an easy way to meet your after- workout- protein-goals. Parents, you can sneak in those extra veggies for the kids. If you put a plate of spinach in front of them and they make that, I wouldn't eat that for a million dollars face, try adding greens to a frozen banana smoothie and tell them this is what all the astronauts drink to battle the green Martians in space. 

So, how do you achieve perfect smoothie consistency? That depends on your ratio of frozen to liquid and raw components.  Also consider the type of frozen fruit you are using. If your fruits are more water based like watermelon and pineapple or cantaloupe than try adding yogurt or some avocado to give it that silky texture. There really isn't any way to screw up frozen fruit and milk in a blender. You would need to be trying really hard to make this a disaster, and then it could happen, say if you left the top off the blender and hit the mix button. But don't do that, I don't need any hate comments like Jessi, you gave me the smoothie recipe but didn't mention to put the top on the mixer before blending.

 
 

Add-ons: What's in your smoothie? I haven't found too many off-limits ingredients yet. Obviously, meat and cheese may not be desirable fixings, but common sense should tell you that. Don't be afraid to go out of the box and experiment with some non-traditional elements. Like tomato. Surprisingly, tomato, lime, watermelon (frozen) pineapple make a delicious combination and also packed full of antioxidants like lycopene. I love watermelon and pineapple together after a workout. Listen up Food Athletes,  watermelon has unique benefits like soothing achy muscles and pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is known to act as an aid for digesting protein and can reduce inflammation. It's a perfect duo to drink pre or post to prevent injuries. Of course, the addition of tomato adds more of the antioxidant lycopene, and this magical free radical fighter is also famous for its cancer battling effects. Wanna go all green? Love it! Throw together spinach, avocado, kiwi, lime and this amazing green powder, spirulina to create the most super of super food smoothies! Say that three times fast, "spirulina, super, super food".  Just one tablespoon of this blue-green microalgae is insanely powerful.  It's a complete protein, actually, fun fact: it has between "55-70% more than beef, chicken, and soybeans." It's also an energy booster, and when I am teaching my 5 a.m. fitness classes I love a green smoothie for breakfast, the spirulina also improves endurance and reduces fatigue. I need all the help I can get at that hour of the day, so I drink that stuff up quick, trust me. There are more superfoods that make yummy and delightfully bright in color smoothies. Acai and pitaya aka dragon fruit. It turns any icy beverage this electric pink hue, it's almost too pretty to consume, probably why I have so many pictures of pink smoothies on my Instagram. It's health properties are as colorful as its appearance, it helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises the good (HDL), it's super high in fiber and it's known as the "anti-inflammatory fruit." All good news here friends.

I am not scared of new flavors and the other day I was craving a more savory blend. Just go with me on this one, your going to need an open mind. Carrots or carrot juice,  frozen cantaloupe , greek yogurt, cardamom, ginger, mint, lemon and I sweetened with dates and coconut milk. Kinda amazing! When I'm feeling like I want to get in touch with some of my roots I go Mediterranean with beets, banana, ginger, mango and almond milk.  Another fun one for grown-ups and the mini-mes is a P B and J Smoothie.  Frozen strawberries, blueberries, almond milk, protein powder and a little fresh ground peanut butter, or just toss raw peanuts in there, and I swear it's just like eating the sandwich you enjoyed as a kid. Top with cereal and you will be parent-of-the-year!! Speaking of bowls of cereal. Another route to go is in with a spoon. Smoothie bowl is on trend these days, and again another fun kid-friendly way to sneak in vitamins.  You can easily blend in spinach to any of these below and the color won't change much, maybe a deeper purple, but the little one won't even know it's in there. I haven't mentioned the obvious, but maybe it isn't so obvi. and that protein powder. I 99% of the time add it in, usually a plant based one but you can put your fave of choice. Whey, soy. It all works, I found that the pea/plant protein blends best when I add a little avocado but again it may be a little trial and error to get your desired texture.  Besides being obsessed with smoothies I also happen to have a slight granola addiction. I make my own so the sugar content is controlled and then add on top of the smoothie bowl. If you're needing a heartier meal it's perfect with the addition of some oats.

 

 

If your not a chef like I am, and you feel out of your comfort zone in the kitchen, concocting smoothies may be your ticket to ease into the culinary world. For one, it's fast. Start by chopping  up fruits and veggies in bulk and store them in the freezer and fridge. A little prep can go a long way, especially if you're on a tight schedule. And the second reason, it's easy. No measuring involved, it's just a preference thing, do you want your drink slushier? Then add more ice. Creamier? Add almond milk and banana. Is that easy enough? Need it sweeter? Add another date. Most fruit has natural sugar so there's no need to load up on artificial flavors. Veggies and fruit contain so many vitamins and minerals that you may even meet your RDA's for the day just by adding a smoothie into your feeding plan. When you eat more whole real foods, taking extra supplements aren't necessary and might even save you a few pennies. Isn't it worth it to spend some extra cash on fresh produce to get all that good nourishment rather than popping pills? My answer will be yes, duh. But that's me, I love food and I love to eat! And drink. My smoothies that it. 

I will be posting a smoothie recipes on my page Let's Cook Together so be sure to take a peek over there to get the full scoop.

I've got my comments button working now, yay, so I'd love to hear from you. What are some of your favorite foods that you'd like to make into a smoothie? Do you have one you can share with me? Or try one of my suggestions and let me know how it turns out.  Happy Hump Day! 

Cheers!

Be Happy Be Healthy Love Your Body, 

xx Jessi (your Food Athlete) xx