Monday, May 23, 2011

The Hidden Awesomeness of Smoothies!

Ok, so that's not my greatest title, really ever, but it seems my son struck me down with his strep as I now have an insane fever and the inability to swallow without feeling like water is akin to broken glass.  Moving on, let's talk about my hidden weapon to get more fruits (and veggies) into the whole family.  That would be smoothies.

Don't let my husband read this- I'm fairly certain he thinks I make his smoothies with ice cream and butter and a titch of fruit, instead of making them as nutrient dense as I've been trying to.  I like to think of smoothies as energy bombs.  I try to get every bit out of them as I put into them.  That being said, there are a few rules I adhere to:

-I almost NEVER use ice cubes, unless I took the time and energy to freeze pure fruit juices into cubes. That rarely happens.
-If my smoothies are too thick, I will add a bit of 100% juice, but in general- my smoothies are thick and practically like a meal.
-Instead of ice, I do utilize frozen fruit.  I think I actually keep our grocers selection of frozen fruits going, quite honestly.  What's in my freezer? POUNDS of frozen fruits and veggies, some ice cream, and an abnormal quantity of freezer cold packs for the cooler that rarely gets used. Oh and large amount of coffee.  (In my world, the more coffee, the better.)
-Do not be leery of veggies in smoothies!  I'm serious!  You rarely can taste them, and the amount of nutrients and fiber gets upped tremendously.
-I AM picky about frozen fruit.  Unless it's been frozen in its own juices, water, or fresh- I never use frozen fruit with corn syrup or artificial flavorings and coloring.

I make the smoothies a bit differently for every person in the house, so you get quite a few recipes here.  Note that I use plain or vanilla, non-fat, low sugar Greek yogurt.  Some people don't really like smoothies with yogurt, so I say sub juice instead.  It's totally up to you.  They are seriously one of the greatest ways to start your day.

Liebert Smoothies

Eva's Berry Fabulous Smoothie (I was given the specific order that this smoothie needed to be as pink as possible, short of adding hot pink gel food coloring.  I do my best.)
-1/2 Cup Greek yogurt (usually Vanilla)
-1 Cup of frozen strawberries, raspberries, cherries
-1/2 of a banana
-2 Tbs (or so) of cherry juice

Whir it all together in the blender and serve in a hot pink cup to add to the pink factor.  Yes.

Nolan's I Hate Healthy Stuff Smoothie (I can rarely get fruit into this man, which is shocking that I've gotten him into our new vegetarian diet.  But, he doesn't know it until he reads it, he gets 3 servings of fruit in his smoothies! Tee hee!)
-1 Cup Greek yogurt (also usually vanilla- I reserve plain for Owen and I)
-1 Cup EACH of frozen blueberries and blackberries
-1 banana
-2 Tbs of cranberry juice
(Note- this smoothie is the weirdest color but he loves it, so I don't complain)

Whir it all together until a bit chunky, as he prefers.

Owen's Every.Single.Day.Or.DIE.Mama Strawberry-Banana Smoothie (Owen's favorite fruit combo- strawberry and banana anything, the end. He LOVES Greek yogurt, which I initially didn't think he'd go for.  Surprise, surprise with my boy.)
-1/2 Cup plain Greek Yogurt
-1/2 Cup frozen strawberries and cherries (been able to sneak that one by him so far)
-1/2 banana

Whir in the blender until very smooth and chill a few minutes.  I imagine, due to his never ending teething, that this is why he prefers his smoothies REALLY cold. Teeth stingingly, jaw chatteringly cold.

The Triple Threat- Sara Rose's Alternating Smoothies  (I drink one of these 3 smoothies nearly daily.  The first two are adaptations from Everyday Food and the last, my own design.)
The Green Machine
-1 cup packed spinach or kale leaves
-1 cup frozen white grapes
-1/2 an avocado
-About 1 full granny smith apple (chunks that are frozen)
-1 Cup of plain Greek yogurt

I prefer my smoothies almost as chunky as Nolan does, so I don't blend mine as long, but this is a pretty 'smooth' smoothie- surprisingly.

Cucumber and Berry Smoothie
-1 medium cucumber, seeded, and chopped into inch pieces (if I remember to- I freeze the chunks the night before)
-1 Cup each of frozen blueberries and blackberries
-1/2 Cup of white grape or pear juice
-1/2 Cup of plain Greek yogurt

Since, there is juice in this one, it would probably be one of the 'smoother' smoothies I make.  Whir until it's the consistency you prefer and serve right away!

The Berry Power Smoothie (Ok, I might need to stop with titles- clearly strep and my brain aren't agreeable)
-1 Cup of plain Greek Yogurt
-1 1/2 Cups of frozen berry medley (cherries, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.)
-1 Banana
-2 Tbs pomegranate or cranberry juice

Again, whir away in the blender until the smoothie is your preference of texture.  Clearly, this is one of the 'tarter' smoothies I've made.

Do you make smoothies for the family or yourself?  Care to share some recipes?

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