Never, in a million years, did I think I would give in to the smoothie craze. The truth is, it’s not so much a CRAZE, as simply a great way to get a NO EXCUSES balanced breakfast. Now I’m not talking about the cans of diet shakes, I’m talking about the kind of smoothie that would make Dr. Oz proud! I’m really not a smoothie person (its the texture… I need my food to pick a side, you’re either team SOLID or team LIQUID, just pick a side and stay there!) but my parents have had their breakfast smoothies every morning since long before Dr Oz made millions. This summer we decided that we really needed to make sure that KB ate a good breakfast before going to school, since this was her first time going to school everyday, all day. She isn’t a breakfast foods kind of person and goes through phases of liking cereal and oatmeal, and every so often she’ll eat a piece of toast. When my parents were visiting in August, though, we discovered something amazing. KB LOVES smoothies for breakfast!!! It doesn’t matter how early we get her up, she will quite happily guzzle down any smoothie we put in front of her 🙂 So, I guess, I concede that smoothies really do have their place in this world (I still wish they would just decide which team they are on).
So what makes a healthy, clean, balanced smoothie? Well, every KB-approved smoothie begins with fruit. Now that it’s winter we prefer to buy frozen fruit which is cheaper but with all the same nutrients. In the summer I will start to buy fresh fruit and will freeze some to put away for the winter again next year. Right now her favorite smoothie fruit is strawberries and blueberries… chocked full of fiber and antioxidants 🙂 We follow that up with some banana, great for potassium and giving her some early morning energy. A scoop of high protein Greek yogurt, some flax and chia round out the smoothie. If the smoothie is too thick just add some water, or a splash of your favorite 100% real fruit juice. My parents add a scoop of protein powder to theirs as well, but KB prefers to get her extra dose of protein from a hard boiled egg to eat with her smoothie. We always make our smoothies the night before so they are ready to go in the morning, with no excuses to leave the house without a breakfast!
Not a berry fan? Why not try a scoop of natural peanut butter and a banana instead? Pineapple, mango, melons, whatever your favorite may be. You can also substitute keffir for the Greek yogurt, or even some non-fat, low cal Balkan-styled yogurt. And don’t forget about your veggies, they are fair game to! Why not try adding spinach and cinnamon to your peanut butter and banana smoothie, carrots and ginger to your cantelope smoothie, even beet juice to your berry smoothie!!! Kale, swiss chard, mint, pumpkin, avocado, the list goes on! Just think of all the yummy possibilities and all of the health benefits you’ll be getting from these, nutrient rich, antioxidant, cancer-fighting, skin beautifying, energy giving foods 🙂 Hmmm, suddenly, I’m really craving a smoothie 😉
There is one thing to keep in mind as you create your irresistable creations, PORTION CONTROL. There are some foods that you can eat to your hearts content, like spinach, so load up your smoothie with as much as it can take, but others, like the yogurt and any juice you might use need to be measured (or at least eye-balled pretty closely) so that you don’t over do it on the fat and sugar. Pay attention to what a serving size is and only use that much. Same goes for the fruit. Yes, it’s really good for you, but its loaded with sugar so don’t go too crazy, after all, we’re aiming for balance here. If you are adding alot of fruit, you might want to thin your smoothie with water instead of juice. Here are some recipes from Girl Get Strong that sound great! Are you already a smoothie drinker? Whats your favorite combination?
Tonight I am starting a nutrition class!!! I’m hoping to have lots of new information to share with you next week so stay tuned!
Until then, take care everyone 🙂
I’m Happy, I’m Healthy, I’m Fertile, ttfn, xo