Juices and smoothies are all the rage these days, and for good reason. They taste delicious when made right, and, when you use the right ingredients, you feel great afterwards because you know you just did something healthy for your body.
One of the best things about smoothies is that as a mom, they are one of the easiest ways to get veggies into my kids that I would never be able to get into them otherwise. Kale, collards, and spinach are easy to add and the taste is covered up by the sweet fruit. I have to be careful not to add too much of these greens though. Two of my three girls will turn their noses up if they detect too much. So I’ve learned that where the kids are concerned, less is more for awhile.
Here I’ll share a satisfying but light and refreshing smoothie recipe that is one of my go-to recipes when I’m strapped for time but need something that will leave me feeling energized and satisfied until my next meal.
Ingredients (please buy organic whenever possible because children are even more vulnerable than adults to the pesticides sprayed on conventional food):
1 Scoop of Juice Plus+ Complete Vanilla Flavored Whole Food smoothie mix (they have chocolate too, but the vanilla is my favorite!)
½ – 1 small banana
¼ – ½ avocado
½ – ¾ cup of frozen greens (kale, spinach, collards – whichever one you like or have on hand)
½ – ¾ cup of water (almond milk, coconut milk or coconut water if you prefer)
¼ – ¾ cup of ice
Combine all in your blender and go!
I’ve been making smoothies for about 7 years and have tried almost everything, so here are a few things I’ve learned:
1 – The Juice Plus+ Complete smoothie mix is the best. It’s loaded with so many super-healthy ingredients that even if I just put a scoop in a blender with some ice and water, I’d still be walking out the door after having a satisfying, health-fortifying meal. It has ingredients like pea protein, rice protein, chick pea protein, ancient grain blend, broccoli sprouts, alfalfa sprout, amaranth, and quinoa. In other words, a meal. (If I was looking for something more cleansing then I’d just go with a mix of lettuces and all the above ingredients.)
2 – Most recipes are not “perfect” for you. You can see in my recipe I put dashes between my measurements because smoothies are best when they are the consistency that you like. Some days I make mine thicker and eat it with a spoon, so less water and more avocado. Other days I want a drink, so less avocado and more water. Always experiment to find the recipe that’s best for your taste.
3 – My # 1 secret ninja ingredient is avocado. As far as I’m concerned, my smoothie life is measured in time as “b.a.” and “a.a.” – that is, before avocado and after avocado. What a smooth, satisfying, heavenly addition even just a ¼ of an avocado is to a smoothie. When I want something really light and cleansing (almost never), I leave the avocado out.
4 – Never skip the greens! Even if you’re just going with smoothie mix, ice, and water, sneak in some greens. It’s a super easy way to get greens in, and the mix is so yummy, you won’t even taste them. It’s a no-brainer. (Always keep frozen greens in your freezer to throw into smoothies.)
5 – Romaine lettuce and spinach are two of the most mild-tasting yet completely nutritious greens to add to smoothies. Other than turning your smoothie a pretty green color, you’ll never know they’re there.
6 – Lastly, always keep powdered greens in your cabinet. They are sold in health food stores and are the next best alternative to fresh or frozen greens. Packed with nutrients and virtually flavorless, I throw a scoop into every smoothie I make, regardless of the other ingredients. I always have one or two “super-food green powders on hand.” The one I’m using now is a wheatgrass powder by Amazing Grass.
Happy Mother’s Day to all of my fellow, hard working moms out there. Whether you have one or five kids remember – we’re all in this together. 🙂
I had the pleasure of interviewing GIA PETERSON this past April. To learn more about Gia and her company, Wholesome Health, check this out: Five for Friday: Gia Peterson.
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