I was talking about smoothies last night with friends in Second Life while I was deejaying. I’m not talking the smoothies that you’d get from those fancy schmancy places that just do smoothies. I’m talking the ones you make with whole foods right in your own blender. I used to make them with yogurt, fruit, whey powder, and milk.
My smoothies have since evolved thanks in part to Silly Sissy and what I’ve learned about food the last 7 months. They are now more nutrient dense which also makes them more filling. I started off using the recipe that Silly Sissy gave me which is a mix of almond butter, kale, frozen mango or pineapple, and almond milk. I would sit at work and crave these during the day. So, I’d get home and they’d end up as a snack. Yes, it was a hearty snack, but it would be mid-afternoon when I’d have it and then dinner was usually a veggie sandwich several hours later. Turns out the almond milk I had was sweetened, which explained the cravings. Yes, I didn’t read the label before I bought it. I was on auto-pilot that day in the grocery store like I usually am. Get what I need and get the hell out as fast as I can.
I was hesitant to try the unsweetened almond milk because of some of the ingredients. But, I did anyway. Along with hemp milk and rice milk. They were all okay, but I didn’t like the long list of ingredients. I decided I could make my own almond milk, but that didn’t work out so well. I did find an unsweetened coconut milk with just one ingredient. YES! It’s called So Delicious. I use that for everything now that I would normally have used milk for. I even froze it in ice cube trays to give the smoothie a more frozen feel because I was using all fresh fruit and greens.
I rotate the nuts, greens, and fruit I use in the smoothies to help prevent creating a food sensitivity. I use almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, and peanut butter (even though peanuts are a legume, not a nut). For the greens, I’ve used kale, spinach, beet, radish, turnip, dandelion, mustard. Pretty much any green I can get my hands on. I use strawberries or blueberries, or the frozen mixed berries blend from Whole Foods. I use another fruit, either banana or mango. I’ll use the bananas fresh and then I’ll freeze them as they are getting ripe to continue to be able to use them. I sometimes forget to take it out of the freezer a few minutes ahead of time to let the skin thaw out and make it easier to peel. Then my add-ins are: cacao beans, ground flax seed, hemp protein, raw sunflower seeds, and raw pumpkin seeds. I don’t add them all in at the same time. I usually add up to 3 of those. Say, 6-8 cacao beans, heaping spoon of ground flax, and heaping spoon of hemp protein. Or heaping spoon of hemp protein and a handful of raw sunflower seeds.
Make It A Meal Smoothie
a few frozen cranberries
1 frozen banana (or fresh)
8 cacao beans
spoonful of peanut butter (or other nut butter)
unsweetened coconut milk
Blend all ingredients in a blender and drink immediately after blending.
It was so good. I know some people are leery of putting greens in smoothies. If you get the ratio right, you don’t know it’s there. There are some people who add honey to their smoothies to give it a little more sweetness. I don’t. When I started, I was using a date to give it a little sweet taste because the frozen mango and pineapple didn’t have much taste, which is why I switched to the berries as the base fruit. Not to mention all the wonderful antioxidants in them.
So, go ahead, get out that blender that is just sitting in the cabinet feeling neglected and make yourself a smoothie. Play around with the ingredients and come up with a combination you like best. Just remember the protein-fat-carb trinity while you’re doing it!
This post is linked to Seasonal Sunday at Real Sustenance.