Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Let's Talk About Smoothies

Can we get a bit interactive here? I want to get a smoothie conversation going, I know you all have some favorite smoothies you like to make and I love getting some fresh ideas. In the winter we really lay off the cold foods and drinks so smoothies are just now coming back into rotation with the sun shining longer and brighter in these parts. As I've mentioned before, I am ALWAYS on the lookout for more ways to get additional veggies into my family's meals, and smoothies have long been a great way to sneak in a few extra nutrient boosts. Having had some pretty big flops attempting to tip the scale a little to far to the veg side rather than the fruit, I have come up with some techniques that seem to keep everyone happy. The first one being to stick to a color palate, the army green or murky brown that results from mixing red berries and kale can turn off even the most willing of smoothie drinkers. So, if I am working with peaches I'll toss in a couple carrots, juice from a sweet potato or golden beets, red berries are great to add red beets to, blueberries can hide kale/spinach/chard really well and if I am going with a green smoothie I'll add apple or pear to sweeten. You get the idea, right. I have found that celery and cucumber can hide in nearly any smoothie without being detected and both give off hints of a really nice fresh flavor. Second, I always add either a banana or avocado which adds a really nice creamy but not to creamy texture. I also will add some honey if I feel I might be pushing the veg to fruit tolerances. We typically have oranges or orange juice on hand so that is a standard liquid base to which I will add either coconut milk and/or yogurt. This is also the place I once would sneak extra supplements in before everyone could swallow the mouthful of vitamins I push on my family. If I have cashews or almonds that have soaked I'll add them for a little protein boost. What else do you all like to add to your smoothies? Today I am feasting on this green smoothie which contains a good amount of spinach just picked this morning from my garden, a pear, a couple stalks of celery, a banana, splash of OJ, a big scoop of plain yogurt and a bit of ice.

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