I’m having a love affair with smoothies. It’s been going on since I got my Vitamix, the Rolls-Royce of blenders. It can whirl almost anything into submission. Press the button and voila! you have a quick breakfast or easy snack in a flash. I use it every single day (no joke). And with all my smoothie experimentation, I’ve learned a few tricks of the trade that’ll can help make your next meal-in-a-glass healthier, faster and easier.
1. Freeze your fruit. Rather than tossing those grapes you didn’t get around to eating, or those too-ripe bananas, freeze them! Frozen fruit adds natural sweetness, fiber, antioxidants and thickness. Tip: Peel bananas and cut in half before you freeze. And don’t pile berries in a freezer bag; freeze on trays first for easy pickings.
2. Veggify your smoothie. I used to only drink fruit smoothies… then one day I felt like living dangerously and added kale. That changed everything! Now kale, spinach, parsley and cilantro make regular appearances. The secret is to pair bitter greens up with a squeeze of fresh lime juice or a green apple. Yum!
3. Think outside the milk carton. Unsweetened almond milk adds a nutty taste for half the calories of milk (yummy with bananas and peanut butter). Or try coconut milk for a tropical twist (delish with pineapple).
4. Toss in an avocado. Avocados aren’t just for guac. These green bombs not only add potassium and healthy fats, they give smoothies a creamy texture. Plus they’re a natural appetite suppressant. My favorite Avocombo: Mint, fresh lime juice, kiwi, avocado and coconut water. (Psst: before avocados go bad on the counter, I peel, deseed, cut into chunks and freeze).
5. Don’t forget protein. Protein is especially important post-workout; it helps repair muscles. Plus, in the morning protein promotes satiety so you’re less likely to overeat later in the day. My protein potions of choice: natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt (has the same amount of protein as a chicken breast), and pea protein powder.
BEST GREEN SMOOTHIE RECIPE, EVER!
Drumroll please… Now, for my new favorite smoothie recipe. It’s the LiveWell Green Smoothie from La Costa Resort, a healthy haven in Carlsbad, CA. Don’t be too fooled by the oh-so healthy ingredients; the finished product tastes yum!
- 3 cups orange juice
- 2 bunches Swiss chard
- 5 cups fresh spinach
- 5 sprigs mint
- 10 basil leaves
- 1 green apple, cored
- 2 pears, cored
- 1 crown broccoli
In a blender, pour in orange juice and slowly add the rest of the ingredients. Blend very well. (If it’s too thick for you liking, add a bit more orange juice to thin out). Serves 5-6.