Hi all, Happy New Year! We made it through the holidays. Some of you may be rejoicing, some of you may be looking for ways to stretch the festivities. For me, I love this time of year, I am happy the holidays have come to pass. Lots of fantastic memories made, amazing meals shared, and now it's my time to enjoy the peace of winter, be cozy and focus on eating clean food and getting plenty of rest. Secretly counting the days till spring, but enjoying winter while she's here. Breakfast can be a tough one, but once you master the art of Superfood Smoothies, I think it becomes fun. You can make something, delicious and be creative, it can be light or it can be super dense and hearty and it takes less than 5 minutes and produces almost zero clean up. The only downside can be that it's cold out and then drinking something cold isn't always the best combo. If that's the case you can make your smoothies less by using less ice or blending longer, but make sure you have the flavor down perfect, because for me a cold smoothie always has the best taste and it makes the flavors shine. You can also make smoothies ahead of time, so you have a big batch in the refrigerator. If you do this I suggest skipping the ice and when the ice melts it can cause more separation. This recipes uses spinach, if you haven't tried spinach in your smoothies, please give it a shoot. You can start with juts a tiny bit, but I think you will be surprised how much you like it. This post is more of a how-to, than one simple recipe. So make adjustments, experiment and enjoy. Here you go.
The Entry-Level Spinach Smoothie
- 1 cup Almond Milk OR 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter and 1 cup Water
- 1/2 cup Fresh Spinach
- 1 small Frozen Banana (fresh is ok, but frozen gives the best taste and texture) or 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Ice Cubes
- tiny pinch of salt
- Protein powder of your choice
- 1 teaspoon Maca
- 1 tablespoon Cacao Nibs (add after partially blending so you have cacao 'chips')
- 1-3 teaspoons Green Powder (I like green vibrance or vitamineral green)
- 1 tablespoon Goji Berries
- 1 tablespoon Coconut Oil or Butter
- 1 teaspoon Lacuma
- 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon (helps balance blood sugar)
- Raw eggs (remember there is danger consuming raw eggs)
- 1/6-1/4 of a small avocado (add extra liquid or reduce the banana)
- 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds soaked overnight in 1/2-1 cup water (can be blended or stirred in, depending on desired texture)
- So many other superfoods out there, if you can blend it, you can add it
- Place all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend so there are no chunks. (if you add several extras, raise the liquid amount so it's not too thick)
- Serve as is OR sprinkle with Toasted Coconut, Bee Pollen, Hemp Seeds or Grain-Free Granola!
Here are Some Tips to Save You Time:
- You need way less than you think! The avocado whips up and creates volume like magic, this is great, unless you add to much. It's easy to end up with something that resembles guac gone wrong.
- If you are making a 16 oz smoothie with no fruit, 1/4 of an avocado and 4-5 ice cubes will create a light and creamy, low glycemic smoothie.
- Wait, no sugar. How is it sweet? That's another important key. If you are not using any fruit there are many options for sweeteners. I personally like stevia. You can use: dates, coconut sugar or nectar, maple syrup, honey, yacon, lacuma or any sweetener of your choice.
- Or just a scoop of your favorite protein powder, again my favorite protein powders are low sugar but have a sweet taste, it's a perfect way to boost the flavor and nutrition of your smoothie.
- Honestly you can use ANY nut butter, coconut butter or a couple tablespoons of soaked nuts. Nuts that do not need to be soaked are: cashews, macadamia nuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts. Or you can use soaked almonds, walnuts, pecans, sunflower or pumpkin seeds. (These will work best with a high speed blender)
- Make sure you use enough ice. You will be amazed by how temperature affects the taste of your smoothie. Cold is always better... unless you are in the snow. :) Then save the super cold smoothies for summer.
- A tiny pinch of salt will brighten flavors, including the sweetness.
- As you start making smoothies more often don't be afraid to add more spinach! You can also try Kale but make sure you are using a high speed blender- chunky kale is never a good idea.
- To balance creaminess and sweetness I like to use 1/5 of an avocado, 1/4 cup of blueberries or 1/4 of a frozen banana. That gets just the right amount of creaminess and some light sweetness from the fruit. Like I said, practice, if it not right the first time. Taste it, see what you think it needs, liquid, ice, sweet, body, fat? and after a little practice I think you'll be amazed by your smoothie fixing skills.
Let's Review! Here is Your Formula:
- Liquid. Water can be used especially if you are adding nut butter, coconut butter or nuts.
- Body. Fruit, avocado, greens. A mixture is usually best.
- Sweetener of your choice. Try to keep the sugar down and use nutrient dense sources, like berries, a date or two or protein powder, maybe stevia and go light on concentrated sweeteners like coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup.
- Fat. This may already be in there, but make sure you have a good amount so you feel balanced, energize and it'll taste delicious.
- Ice. Don't skimp
- Blend. Long enough but not to the point where it gets warm- with a Vitamix this can happen.
- Taste and adjust. Before pouring in your cup.
- Top. It with something crunchy, you'll thank me.
Feel free to ask questions on my blog, the link is below. Experiment away and enjoy, the possibilities are endless.