Saturday, May 2, 2009
Making up a blended batch of smooth and creamy goodness is just the absolute simplest and best way to get whole food nutrition in, extremely fast!
Creating a daily smoothie is an amazing first step in taking charge of your health. It is an easy way to digest a whole slew of vitamins and minerals - along with complex carbohydrates, protein and essential fats all in one shot! Especially if you are pressed for time in the morning, a smoothie to take with you on the go is the best thing you can do for your body and your energy. Just make sure you don't add too many ingredients or you will be left with a stomach ache and a really high calorie drink!
Smoothies are also a great way to sneak in some green veggies or powders that you may not be inclined to take with water alone - at least with a smoothie you can mask the earthy or bitter flavour (which I happen to like!). This means you can even add a bunch of spinach, collards or kale into your blueberry banana morning smoothie. Go figure! It really is that easy. That way you can at least say that you got your dose of greens in for the day!
So let me help you out and get your started with a few ideas and recipes to get some liquid nutrition running through your body.
It is important to make a smoothie that compliments what you are looking for or what your body needs - if it is a breakfast smoothie you may want just fruits, or maybe add some sheep's yogurt, soy yogurt or coconut oil, rice milk and honey/agave or if it's a post workout smoothie - you want a higher protein content from a plant based protein powder such as Vega, Hemp or Sun Warrior (my newly discovered RAW and VEGAN brown rice based powder that is incredibly high in protein - easy to absorb and delicious!).
Or maybe your smoothie is just for a snack in the middle of the afternoon in which case you can use some cacao or carob powder, banana, almond butter, coconut oil and cinnamon to hit that sweet craving and replenish your energy for the rest of the day!
Other than that here are some more ideas to get you started...
All you need is a good blender or if you want to take it to the next level...a Vita Mix - which is the goddess of all blenders. It is a high powered machine that will emulsify all of your ingredients into the perfect blend of whatever you put into it!
So let's start simple.
First off - make sure you are using high quality organic fruits and vegetables. You can pick anything under the sun that makes you feel good.
Fruits: Banana, Blueberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Mango, Pineapple, Coconut, Kiwi, Peaches, Apple, Pear, Grapes, Acai
Vegetables (sometimes it is better to juice your veggies first and use the juice as the base of a smoothie): Carrots, Celery, Kale, Collards, Beets, Spinach - if you want all green you can just use a veggie juice base and add green vegetables, an avocado and spirulina ( I call this the liquid lunch smoothie!)
Green Supplements: Kelp, Spirulina, Barley Grass, Wheat Grass, Smoothie Infusion (Vega), Vitamineral Green, Nu Greens, Progressive Greens
Protein: Vega, Hemp, Rice Protein , Sun Warrior, Hemp Seeds, Almonds or Almond Butter, Sheep's Milk Yogurt
Liquid: Filtered water, 100% Fruit juice, Rice milk, Almond milk, Hemp milk, Coconut milk
Sweeteners: Agave nectar, Honey, Maple syrup, Stevia, Dates or Figs
Healthy Fats: Flax oil, Flaxseeds, Coconut oil, Coconut shreds, Chia seeds, Avocado
Other: Carob powder, Cocoa powder, Cinnamon, Non GMO soy- lecithin, maca root, Green or red tea powder, Activated barley and the list goes on....
So here is a sample recipe to get you started....
Scrumptious Coco Shake (a perfect midday snack shake!)
2 Cups almond milk
2 scoops sun warrior chocolate protein powder + 1 tsp raw cacao powder (for extra chocolate)
1 tablespoon soy lecithin
1 tablespoon almond butter
1 tsp agave nectar (optional)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (optional)
1 tsp cinnamon
Place all ingredients in blend and blend on high speed for 1 minute. Pour into two glasses and drink immediately!
And this is my typical Breakfast:
Berry Blast Smoothie
1 1/2 cup rice milk
1/2 cup frozen blueberries or 1 packet of Acai Pulp
1/2 frozen banana
1 teaspoon raw honey
1 tablespoon soy lecithin
1 scoop of vega's smoothie infusion
1 tablespoon sprouted chia/flax
dash of cinnamon
Place all ingredients in blend and blend on high speed for 1-2 minutes. Pour into one or two glasses and drink immediately with a glass straw if preferred!