Sunday, November 8, 2015
Green Smoothie Love
A resource I recommend to everyone for green smoothie recipes and other smoothie inspiration is Tracy Russell's website http://www.incrediblesmoothies.com/
I've used her many recipes and 'ice cream' made with frozen bananas and frozen fruit (amazing treat!). I don't use smoothies for weight loss but love them for nutrition, taste and convenience. Over the past couple years I've pretty much relied on my own standby formula but occasionally go to Tracy's website for some variation when I feel like making something new. Here is my basic recipe:
Tina's Basic Smoothie
1 orange OR 1 pear (core removed)
1 to 2 cups frozen fruit, partially thawed in the microwave
1 large handful of either spinach or kale (2-3 leaves if not chopped) - I alternate my greens
1 T flax seed, ground OR 2 T Chia seeds (ground or soaked) OR 2 T Goji Berries (soaked)
1/2 tsp. vanilla, almond or other flavoring
Cinnamon to taste (I love it so use a lot!)
Almond milk (I make my own) - just enough to make it loose and whirl easily
Add all to a blender just until smooth. Don't over-blend.
Extra smoothie advice:
Sweetness: Using ripe bananas and pears makes for a sweeter smoothie. If you want more sweetness add pineapple or dates.
Frozen Fruit: I buy frozen fruit in big bags from Costco (my favorite store!). They have a wonderful variety and good prices. Purchase bags of blueberries, strawberries, peaches, cherries, mixed berries (love!!), tropical mix, mangos, pineapple and whatever else they come up with. Mix and match! Thawing or partially thawing frozen fruits in the microwave helps bring out their flavor.
Spinach/Kale: I buy pre-washed spinach in big containers. Kale can be purchased in a bunch or chopped in a bag. If you're using a less powerful blender it's best to strip the leafy part off the stalk and use that. Or break it off just below the green. Wash whole kale.
Nutritious Additions: Flax seed, Chia seeds and Goji berries all add a nutritional punch so I alternate them in my smoothies. I own a small inexpensive electric grinder which works perfect for grinding whole flax seeds (don't buy pre-ground) and Chia seeds. Sometimes I soak Chia seeds in approx. 1/4 cup warm water to fluff them up instead of grinding. Soak about 5 minutes. It's hard to push those little buggers into the water so grinding is usually easier. Warning - If you don't soak the Chias they tend to thicken smoothies so add a little more almond milk or water. Goji berries are soaked in just enough water to cover them. Again, about 5 minutes and they also tend to thicken smoothies. Use the water you soak them in as well. If your smoothie thickens on you before you finish simply grab a spoon and 'eat' it.
Almond Milk: Ultimate Smoothies website shows how to make your own almond milk. I have to admit I haven't tried it with a less powerful blender but the Vitamix handles the job easily. I like knowing that the only ingredients in my almond milk are almonds, water and vanilla.
Organic: Use organic whenever possible.
Blender: If using a lower powered blender make sure to cut your ingredients into smaller pieces. You may have to stop the blender occasionally to stir it up so it blends better. Also, using the pulse feature is helpful.
Not all green smoothies are green. If you add dark fruit such as cherries or mixed berries you could end up with dark purple or even a brownish color smoothie. They all taste good :-)