Monday, August 24, 2015

My Unorthodox Smoothie Ingredient

OK, I realize that there are a bajillion smoothie recipes out there, and "do we really need another one", you say? Well, I've become a big fan of smoothies for a few reasons:

- You get several servings of fruit in one glass (and I'm a person who doesn't love eating raw fruits, so this way they go down easily.)

- So much nutrition...vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, name it, it's in there!

- You can include veggies, liquid vitamins, flax/chia/hemp, etc.

- They're a good way to get an important serving of calcium (again, for women who don't love dairy and struggle to get their daily dose.)

- One word...hydration. (For people like me who thrive on Starbucks and diet soda.)

So...have you figured out what my unorthodox ingredient is? I use a sugar-free, carbonated beverage! I realize it's not as healthy as almond milk, coconut water, etc. But here's the thing...I need to reduce my processed-sugar intake, and this gives a good, sweet taste to the smoothie with no added sugar (or calories, if you are concerned about those.) This method may not be for you, but I love the tad bit of effervescence that the carbonation adds. It's barely noticeable, but I personally recommend it for jazzing up an ordinary smoothie! These drinks can be found in different varieties and brands at most grocery stores and Target.

To make my smoothies I use frozen fruit, which I keep in Ziploc bags in my freezer. Berries can be frozen whole, mango, papaya, pineapple, peaches, pears, etc. can be diced, and sliced bananas make your drinks extra smooth. Other fruits and certain veggies could certainly work as well.

There is no method to my madness when putting a smoothie together. I start with enough liquid in the blender to mix the other ingredients. Then I toss in the frozen fruit (broken up if stuck together) and some fresh spinach leaves (kale works, too.) Blend all of this enough to break up large chunks. Next, I add Greek yogurt with as little added sugar as possible. Let me tell you, some brands have a boatload of it! The yogurt doesn't have to be Greek, but I find that it helps make a thicker smoothie that doesn't melt as quickly. Finally, I toss in about a teaspoonful of flax meal (other choices would be chia or hemp seeds.)

Then, just blend it up and enjoy the healthful benefits in a delicious treat! I actually use this as a "dangling carrot" to drink after I complete my workouts at the gym...obviously the "thrill" of the workout alone does not get me there. Hmmmm...

Sharing with: Cozy Little House, Domestically Speaking, A Stroll Thru Life, Elizabeth & Co, Ivy & Elephants, I Gotta Create

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