Wednesdays with Whitney: Blending Up Nutrients!
What kinds of fruits and vegetables can you put into smoothies?
ALL! No, but really—you can pretty much put anything in your smoothie! So, let us talk all things smoothies today.
Often people get excited about making smoothies but struggle with feeling like they need to follow a recipe. I, on the other hand, always wing it! Basically, you need some liquid and some solid. If you are going for a thicker, colder, more traditional smoothie I recommend some frozen too. Smoothies are a fabulous way to get some protein, fiber and fruit/veggies into a meal or snack. We want our smoothie to be filling and not loaded with added sugar (key word there is added, more on that later).
Here is my go-to smoothie: frozen berry and mango mixture (about 1 cup), all-natural peanut butter or peanut butter powder (a tablespoon or two), plain soy milk (enough to barely cover the fruit and sometimes I need to add more for it to mix well), plain, whole-fat Greek yogurt (about 1-2 heaping tablespoonful’s). Sometimes I might throw in some spinach or kale if I have it or some ground flax seed, avocado is another frequent flier.
You do not need any or all the above, that is just one way to whip up a smoothie. Use just fruit and veggies with liquid and skip the yogurt; if you do not have frozen options you can add ice; if you do not like milk, use water.
Make too much or like to make things in batches? You can freeze them and drink them later. You can use mason jars or any other freezable container.
Back to the added sugar piece. A smoothie can be a trap for loads of added sugar if you are not careful. I recommend using plain milks and yogurts (plain soy or almond milk or cow’s milk and plain Greek or regular yogurt over flavored options), limiting juice (for liquids try water or milks instead), and you can typically get enough sweetness from the fruit.
Smoothies can be a good tactic to limit food waste. That wilting spinach, the mushy banana or browning avocado—throw them in! Many people will freeze ripe bananas and use them in smoothies. There is no reason not to get creative and use shredded apples, carrots, or beets too.
You honestly do not need a super-fancy blender either. Lots of people like the individual serve smoothie makers that you can get for twenty dollars or less. Some of the oldest blenders work the best. A food processor would work too.
As intimidating as some people find smoothie making, it is really a fun way to get in those fruits and veggies, to get a boost of protein and use up foods you might otherwise throw out. There is no one way to make them and often experimenting gets you the tastiest smoothie.
Basis Smoothie Recipe:
2 cups frozen fruit (any kind)
1 cup liquid
Optional Add-Ins: ½ cup Greek yogurt, ½ tablespoon ground seeds, ¼ cup protein powder, handful greens.
Place it all in the blender and blend on high until smooth. Add more liquid depending on how think you like your smoothie.
For 100 more smoothie recipes check out: https://fitfoodiefinds.com/100-healthy-smoothie-recipes/