The title is sort of an oxymoron – as there isn’t much art or technique or finesse to making smoothies. Its fun. You can put in anything you feel like. But, most importantly, its an incredibly easy way to eat healthy, raw, natural food.
Smoothies are like fine salads, blended up and poured in a cup. In a recent post, Calories Don’t Matter, I mentioned the “big-ass salad”. This is the term for the salad where you just throw in anything that’s healthy and works together. Well a smoothie is the same concept, except in a blender. This makes it easy to prepare; easy to eat, mobile-friendly, and easy to digest.
The smoothie can be a total meal. It is not only a snack or a dessert, or a substitute for a real meal. The term “meal replacement” is thrown around for certain foods like smoothies, but I think we should try to move the smoothie into the realm of a regular meal, not just as some sub-par substitute. A meal does not have to be served on a plate. I’m happy to take mine in a big glass.
Of course if you mix milk, sugary yogurt, and a few strawberries together; that is not a meal. That’s basically a milkshake.
A smoothie can be a lot of things, but to me, ideally, it should be healthy, and as loaded as possible with beneficial nutrients.
They’re great for any meal. For breakfast, its an obvious choice. You can make them quickly, and take it in the car if you need to. For lunch, sure. And for dinner, why not? I had a dinner smoothie a few days ago. We eat big salads for dinner. Why not big smoothies.
Here are some key principles to make good whole meal smoothies. Focus on the veggies. Ideally, you want the smoothie to be mostly vegetables. If you add something with a strong flavor, be sure to balance it out with other ingredients. Try not to add ingredients with added sugar. You will get enough sweetness from the fruit you add. I always add a few frozen ingredients (like berries, spinach, kale, etc.), so the end result will have that nice cold smoothie feel. Whether I add the frozen ingredients or not, I’ve now gotten into the habit of always adding ice. I think it makes a huge difference to have that crisp, cool feel; makes it much more palatable, especially if it doesn’t come out that sweet. Experiment with interesting or challenging ingredients. Have you been reading about some amazing healthy food, but haven’t found a way to incorporate it into your cooking. Well here’s your opportunity. Chances are you can find a place for it in a smoothie.
This is the smoothie I made for breakfast/lunch a couple days ago, and below is the ingredient list. This will give you an idea of how much you can pack in.
- Frozen Blueberries
- Frozen Blackberries
- Frozen Spinach
- Green Leaf Lettuce
- Fresh Spinach
- Vanilla Yogurt
- Hemp oil
- Almond/Coconut Milk
- Chia seeds
- Vanilla Whey Protein Powder
In one glass I’ve got carbs, fats, and proteins; and all from healthy sources. There’s no wheat; no pasteurized skim milk, no added sugar, nothing heavily processed. With a smoothie like this you get several different vegetables and fruits, healthy fats from the avocado, chia seeds, hemp oil, and nuts; probiotics from the yogurt, and extra benefits from things like the turmeric, ginger, and spirulina.
Trying to lose weight? Gain more energy? Fight off a chronic illness? This is a good way to start; real, raw food in an easily digestible format. Ditch the grains, the sugar, the additives, the diet drinks, and just eat real food. That’s the best health advise anyone will give you. Forget the specific branded diet – just remember – eat real food. Your body will love you for it.
The standard modern diet is heavily based upon grains, unhealthy oils, and sugars. Most people’s bodies are used to converting those types of nutrients into energy (and developing illness and gaining weight in the process) Eating real, healthy food – you will start to thrive and gain your energy from healthy fats instead, instead of overeating on grains and sugar to get the energy. In addition to what was listed above, try some coconut oil and grass-fed butter in your diet.
And finally, this is an affordable way to eat healthy food. The same smoothie I described above would probably cost $12 at a smoothie shop. Taking your health into your own hands has multiple benefits!
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Have a healthy day!
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