Continuing where I left off last week on “uncomplicating” your menu, smoothies come to mind! They are a great addition to your day, whether for a breakfast on the go or a nutritious snack after a great workout. I mean this quite literally–take a look at this little video clip where I make my strawberry banana power smoothie the minute I get back from my zumba class!
Smoothies are easy and quick to make once you have the right ingredients in the fridge or freezer. Fresh fruit and vegetables are an important staple of a healthy diet and every excuse to eat a great variety of them in any combination is always a wonderful idea! Of course, you don’t need a bunch of fancy recipes to do just that! You can eat them fresh, raw, plain and simple! So by all means please do, but another wonderful way to incorporate them into your day is in a refreshing delicious smoothie.
Smoothies are also very filling and satiating for the same reasons that soups are (I am referring to Barbara Rolls’ work on volumetrics, which I discussed last week in reference to soups): High volume foods spread the same calories and nutrients out into a larger volume of food, and reduce the calories it takes to feel full, and satisfied.
So if you are working to lose weight or keep your weight in check, smoothies are also great to add to your repertoire.
This week, I recommend you commit to making one smoothie each day--Smoothies are very filling and satisfying and making it a habit to have one once a day will keep your appetite in check and help you stay away from those quick nutrition-dilute snacks that always keep you reaching for more, and get you in trouble. I plan to elaborate on the topic of snacks next week, so stay tuned…I have lots to say!!
Are you with me?
All you need is a blender, fresh cut fruit and/ or veggies, some liquid, be it water, 100% juice, skim milk, dairy or otherwise for great vegan options (unsweetened almond, soy, rice, or cashew milk are nice options) and lots of ice. You can also add yogurt or tofu, whole grains, nuts, fresh herbs and spices; the options are limitless!
There are so many recipes for smoothies out there and I do not claim, by any means, to offer the best nor even the most creative ones. In fact, I have been particularly impressed with greenblender.com that not only has a wide selection of healthy smoothie recipes but even delivers the ingredients right to your door!
Really, you could also just use your imagination and create your own. As long as you don’t add unnecessary sugar and keep it fresh, you can’t go wrong!
That’s exactly what I have done in my Cuisinicity kitchen, and this week, I am just offering a few to get you started!
I prefer to use organic, local produce, mostly because it is gentler and kinder to the planet! It’s a topic dear to my husband as well (read on!). In fact, we have our home grown little garden in our own backyard that we enjoy in the summer months. But, having said that, if you cannot find organic produce in your area, or cannot afford it, please, do not make perfect the enemy of good (my husband addressed this topic here): Best to eat lots of fruit and veggies, even if grown conventionally, than omit them from your diet all together-so no excuses!
Let’s get started–here are my own Cuisinicity smoothie creations!
Banana Date Almond Shake (vegan): YUMMY in your tummy! It’s naturally sweet and creamy and is just so satisfying!
Pineapple Coconut Smoothie: The makings of a virgin piña colada for a healthy breakfast or mid afternoon snack. How delicious is that?!
Spinach Pear Smoothie (vegan): So refreshing and satisfying, just slightly sweet and surprisingly, not overly “spinachy” (!) I love it–It’s just perfect after my favorite Zumba workout!
Berry Nutty Fig Smoothie (vegan): Delightful fresh-fig-and-berries-meet-nuts concoction! The result is an outburst of dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and anti-oxidants! Not too sweet, creamy and just delicious!
Almond Banana Smoothie (vegan) or Carrot Banana Almond Smoothie (vegan): What a creamy sweet combination! Either one is filled with nutrients: I didn’t have the room to add the words “rolled oats” or “oat bran” in the title, but, yep, there are there too!
Pumpkin Allspice Smoothie: This creamy smoothie has a delicious blend of flavor. It tastes like pumpkin pie! Not too sweet, and so satisfying after a great workout on a fall morning!
Then there are my power milkshakes: Chocolate Banana milkshake (with vegan option), Strawberry Banana Milkshake (with vegan option), that hide lentils for protein–you’d never know they are there– In one fell swoop, I have fruit, whole grains, legumes, dairy and nuts all in one shake. It’s absolutely power nutrition!
Whether you use my recipes, or create your own, I hope these will inspire you to make a luscious smoothie for a light start to your day, a sweet refreshing treat in the summer, or an energy boost filled with nutrition!