|Banana Mango Smoothie: water, apple juice, greens, ice, mango, banana, lime juice, and chia seeds.|
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed that I make a lot of green smoothies. I try to have one everyday, and a protein packed one on the days I kill it at the gym. Plus, Evie loves them, and I love getting her to eat vegetables. Sometimes I find smoothie inspiration from recipes on Pinterest, but usually I just improvise. And lately, they've been turning out really well.
It is pretty easy to keep your cupboard stocked with smoothie making ingredients. Some of them you probably already have in stock.
- Dark leafy greens
- Frozen Berries
With these basics, you can make a pretty good smoothie. Add a cup of liquid to your blender (water, orange juice, almond milk, etc.), two handfuls of greens, a cup of frozen berries, and a banana, and voila! A delicious smoothie. Spinach is a great choice for greens. It is the most mild in flavor, and easy to use up in salads and other dishes. As I've said before, I like the Costco mix with baby spinach, chard, and kale. For berries, I alternate between a mix of blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries from Costco, and plain blueberries. And of course, the riper the banana, the better, as banana adds sweetness. If you can't eat bananas, ripe mango is a good substitution (also adds sweetness and creaminess).
|Blueberry Protein Smoothie: OJ, yogurt, greens, blueberries, mango, lime juice, flax, and chia seeds.|
The Next Level.
- Protein Powder: I like vanilla. It goes with any smoothie, and this is what I use on the days I go to Body Pump and Total Body Conditioning. When I use protein powder, I use water as my liquid.
- Add-ins like Flax and Chia Seeds: I put ground flax in pretty much every smoothie I make, and stir chia seeds in at the end. I've found that if the chia seeds are blended into the smoothie, it gets a bit gelatinous, which I don't like, but I really like them stirred in.
- Fat-Free Greek Yogurt: this is a great way to add protein to a smoothie, as an alternative to protein powder.
- Orange Juice: great sweetener if you've run out of bananas. I especially love making an orange julius knock off with OJ, a fresh orange, greens, vanilla, yogurt, and mango.
- Peanut or Almond Butter: another good protein addition, and extra decadent with banana and protein powder (and greens, of course). Make it chunky monkey by using chocolate protein powder, or add a tablespoon of cocoa powder if using vanilla.
- Fresh Fruit (mango, grapes, apple, strawberries, oranges): use in place of frozen berries, then add 4-6 ice cubes to chill and thicken the smoothie.
- Cinnamon: I love a "cinnamon roll" smoothie. Combine vanilla protein powder, a cup of water, ice cubes, banana, two handfuls of greens, and a generous dash of cinnamon. Pumpkin pie spice is also delicious.
- Carrots: carrots are so sweet that they blend into a green smoothie really well.
- Beets: while they have a stronger flavor, beets are also quite sweet. Try making a pink smoothie with beets and strawberries. You can find pre-cooked beets at Costco.
- Oatmeal: if you're making a breakfast smoothie, add a cup of dry oats. Not only do you get the benefits of the oats, but your smoothie will be much more filling as well.
|Green Orange Julius: fresh orange, mango, oj, water, ice, greens, vanilla, yogurt, chia seeds, and flax.|
Keep it simple. Try sticking to just a few flavors (fruits). I've found that the more variety I put in the smoothie, the less I enjoy it. I like it to have an identifiable flavor: strawberry and banana, mango and orange, blueberry, etc.
Get some good straws. I like to sip my smoothies from jumbo straws like these.
Rinse your blender and smoothie cup immediately. The smoothie residue will turn into cement if left to dry.
Store extra smoothie in a mason jar in the fridge. Smoothies stay good for about 48 hours after they are made.
That's all the green smoothie wisdom for today. What are your favorite smoothie ingredients?