Smoothie Shakedown

Smoothie Shakedown

by Cezanne Colvin

Smoothies have gained a lot of mainstream momentum lately, and with good reason: They’re nutritional powerhouses blitzed up into a chilly, scrumptious breakfast or snack. Stuffed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidant, and fiber, they are easy to digest and are filling, energizing, quick, and can be consumed on-the-go.

They’re basically the superfood of superfoods.

Unfortunately, most smoothies found in stores and restaurants are either laden with sugar or are priced to cut into your retirement plan. I frequently hear friends and co-workers talking about how they wish they knew how to make a good smoothie, but all you really need is a blender and your favorite wholesome ingredients. (Odds are, if you mix up a bunch of tasty ingredients, the end result will be extra tasty.) However, if you’re just getting started with healthy smoothies or are on the hunt for a new recipe to try, give these a whirl.

Beginner’s Green Smoothie
I’ve made this for many reluctant sour-faced sippers, only for their eyes to light up after it hits their lips. It’s guaranteed to convert anyone who has been known to say, “What is that?” at the sight of a green smoothie. If you’re new to green smoothies, start with spinach – the easiest flavor to hide – and keep the ratio tilted in favor of fruit.
• 1 or 2 cups of fresh baby spinach leaves
• 1 banana (peeled, diced and frozen)
• 1 large apple (diced)
• 1 cup diced fruit (Pineapple, mango or strawberries are all great here, but anything goes!)
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
• 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt*

Tropical Turmeric Treat
Turmeric is a spice commonly found in Indian cuisine. Science has touted it for its definite anti-inflammatory properties, and I’m touting it here for the zing it brings to this drink.
• 1 cup mango (diced and frozen)
• 1 cup strawberries
• 1 celery rib (diced)
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
• 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt*
• 1/4 tsp. ground turmeric

Pink Ginger Nourish Bomb
Ginger has long been applauded for its ability to fight nausea and digestive difficulties, and many medical studies have found beets effective at lowering blood pressure. (Bonus: the beet makes this smoothie the prettiest color you’ll see all day, guaranteed!)
• 1 beet (peeled and diced)
• 1 apple (diced)
• 3 carrots (peeled and diced)
• 3/4 to 1 tbsp. fresh ginger (grated)
• 3/4 cup liquid of choice (water, fresh-pressed juice, or nut milk)

 Key Lime Pie Green Smoothie
When you’re craving a slice of pie without the guilt, indulge in this decadent smoothie instead – it’s not quite the same thing, but it’ll quell your sweet tooth while nourishing your body.
• 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
• 1 banana (peeled, diced and frozen)
• 2 tsp. honey
• 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
• 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt*
• 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
• Juice of 1 medium lime

Green Melon
This super refreshing, super-low-calorie smoothie is a great way to start your morning and reset after a night of splurging.
• 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
• 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
• 1 cup honeydew melon (cubed)
• Juice of 1 medium lemon

Elvis’ Smoothie
I can’t verify that Elvis actually had this at any point, but I can venture to guess that he would have liked it. Sweet bananas, salty peanut butter, protein-packed Greek yogurt, and the filling fiber of oats will leave you satisfied until your next meal.
• 1/2 banana (peeled, diced and frozen)
• 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk*
• 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt*
• 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
• 1 tbsp. peanut butter
• 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
* Feel free to substitute your favorite milk and yogurt products.

Smoothie Tips:
Save time: Pre-portion your smoothie the night before so you can toss everything into the blender in the morning and run out the door.

Blend easy: Put the liquid into your blender first and then add the other ingredients on top to help ensure you get a smooth blend. If you’re using any leafy greens, blend them with your liquids first to avoid leafy chunks in the final product.

Bulk up: Fill yourself and your smoothie with a scoop of protein powder, silken tofu, or up to 1/2 a cup of old-fashioned oats to hold you over until your next meal.

A need for seeds: Adding a tablespoon or two of chia, hemp or flax seeds will boost its nutritional value and is a great way to integrate seeds into your daily diet. (Make sure to soak your chia seeds first.)

Sweeten it: If you need it sweeter, try to stick to natural sweeteners like dates, honey, maple syrup or stevia.

Bananas are king: Bananas reign supreme when it comes to smoothies. For the best smoothie, wait until they’re “I-should-have-eaten-this-yesterday ripe” – then peel, dice and freeze for later use. They’ll be super sweet and add a creamy chill to your drink.

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