by Christine Hunt
My last post was all about juicing recipes and I hope you were able to try some of them and enjoy them as much as I do.
My final installment of this series is to give you some recipes for delicious smoothies!!
If you haven’t read the other 5 parts of this series you may do so at these links:
When I think of a smoothie it usually consists of fruit. To me it is a sweet treat that is packed full of fiber and high quality nutrition. However, making them primarily out of vegetables is just as nutritious and can be just as delicious.
The great thing about smoothies is that you can make a meal out of them. If you don’t have the time to cut up fresh produce for a salad, just throw them into the blender and drink it down. Because you are ingesting all of the bulky fiber as well as the nutrition you will feel satiated longer and your body will love you for feeding it so well which could lead to losing those extra pounds before bathing suit season arrives. The produce in smoothies also helps to alkalize your body and reduce inflammation that is a factor in so many chronic diseases.
More than just vegetables and fruits can be added to smoothies. I usually begin with a liquid base such as almond or coconut milk. (I used to use a small container of yogurt but eliminated it due to the high sugar content.) DO NOT use soy milk as soy products that are not fermented have *goitrogens that block thyroid hormone production. You could even just use water.
I then add my fruit or vegetables a little bit at a time. The size and amount will depend on the power of your blender. Sometimes I add a scoop of a protein powder, Maca powder, **ground flax seeds and/or chia seeds to thicken it up. If you are using refrigerated or room temperature produce and want it colder then add some ice cubes to chill it down. For fruit smoothies I tend to use organic frozen fruits which keep it cool rather than watering it down with ice cubes.
Making smoothies entirely out of vegetables may be too bitter so always plan to include some form of fruit to sweeten them up. Apples, oranges and berries are ideal for this but you can also add lemon, lime or melons.
I have not included green smoothies in the recipe list for the reasons cited in the footnote on *goitrogens below. In short, substitute lettuce or chard for spinach and kale in those recipes.
For quick reference your ingredients can be:
Liquid base: water, almond milk, coconut milk, coconut water, juice
Fruits: strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, banana, mango, pineapple, lime etc.
Vegetables: chard, Romaine lettuce, peppers, parsley, cilantro, carrots, tomatoes, (kale and spinach in limited quantities)
Nut butters: almond, peanut, cashew
Ground flax seed
Below are some recipes to give you some ideas of the types of vegetables and fruits that can be used in smoothies but the sky is the limit. You can throw just about anything into the blender with enough liquid to blend it and it will most likely turn out tasting great.
Some smoothie recipes to try:
Drink your vegetables!
1 cup Romaine lettuce
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped
2 large tomatoes
1/4 fresh jalapeno, stemmed and seeded (optional)
1 large red bell pepper, cut into eighths
2 large stalks celery, trimmed
1 medium carrot
ice cubes (optional)
Combine the ingredients a little at a time and blend until smooth.
This is actually a juicing recipe but could be made into a smoothie. As a juice it serves 2 so cut or multiply the ingredients according to how many servings you may want.
Source Eating Well
The Raw “V-Gr8”
1 mango, peeled and pitted
2 medium tomatoes, quartered
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
2 oz. water
Combine ingredients a little at a time and blend until it reaches your desired consistency.
Source: Incredible Smoothies
Spiced Carrot Smoothie
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup cooked, chopped carrots
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 in. gingerroot, peeled
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Combine apple juice, carrots, applesauce, gingerroot and cinnamon and blend from low to high until creamy smoothie. Season with salt and cayenne pepper to your taste.
Source: Path For Life
Sweet, cold and delicious fruit smoothies!
Ruby Red Grapefruit Smoothie
1 red grapefruit, (peeled and deseeded)
1 Tbs ground flax seed
2 bananas, peeled
2 cups fresh chard (or baby spinach)
2 tsp stevia (optional)
1/2 cup water
Combine the ingredients a little at a time into the blender and blend until your desired consistency is reached.
Adding the stevia for sweetness is optional because the kiwi and bananas provide their own sweet flavor to counter the tart flavor of the grapefruit.
Source: Smoothie Web
2 cups frozen mixed berries
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 medium banana
1/2 cup plain coconut yogurt
1/2 cup water
Combine mixed berries, pomegranate juice, banana, cottage cheese and water in a blender; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
This recipe originally called for 1/2 cup cottage cheese in place of the yogurt I have included. So, if you are staying away from dairy, the coconut milk yogurt is a good option.
Source: Eating Well
Hunt for Hope Basic Fruit Smoothie
This is my go-to smoothie for a quick lunch or meal and usually serves 2 depending on how much fruit I use.
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup frozen fruit (berries, cherries, mango, pineapple, peaches any combination is great.)
1 scoop protein powder
1 Tbs chia seeds
Combine the coconut milk and banana together and blend. Gradually add frozen fruit and protein powder. Add chia seeds after most of the fruit has been pulverized as they will really thicken up the smoothie to the point that you may need a spoon to eat it rather than drinking it. But the chia seeds help keep you feeling full longer.
With the busy summer time schedules just around the corner, smoothies are an excellent, delicious, nutrient dense way to make a quick meal or to serve a cool drink to your family and friends.
* Goitrogens are contained in cruciferous vegetables such as kale, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and other vegetables in their raw form. The goitrogens are neutralized by cooking. There are a lot of smoothie and juice recipes that contain these vegetables in raw form and ingesting them daily may lead to problems with the thyroid. Therefore, consume cruciferous vegetables raw in limited quantities but eat as much as you want in cooked forms. Swiss Chard or Romaine lettuce are good substitute greens to use in place of them.
** Flax seeds should be ground fresh since their beneficial Omega 3 fatty acid properties quickly oxidize after grinding, leaving them lacking in nutritional value. It is best to use a small coffee bean grinder to pulverize the seeds just before adding them to your smoothie. The bean grinders are small, compact, inexpensive and don’t take up much room on your counter or in your cabinets. DO NOT add whole flax seeds to your smoothies as they have extremely hard shells and will ” pass right through you” eliminating any possibility of your body benefiting from their Omega 3 fatty acids.
To your health!