Looking for a quick and easy option to get your daily dose of fruits and veggies but in a yummy way?
Drinking a nutritious fiber rich green smoothie each day is not only easy to make and take on- the- go but is also delicious and very satisfying. Although being a vegetarian I get plenty of fruits and vegetables in my diet, there are days when I want something a little different that is healthy, nutritious yet not high in calories. Most of my smoothie recipes are low in calories, which are perfect for a midday pick me up, but when I want to substitute them as a meal I can add a few more ingredients such as nut butters, powdered peanut butter, dry oatmeal, honey, Greek yogurt or protein powder for a more filling healthy meal replacement.
My key for a thick, cold smoothie that doesn't require ice is to use at least one ingredient that has been frozen. To make the process even quicker I create baggies of everything I'll need minus the liquid and pop them in the freezer to pull out when needed. This way it takes just seconds to make fresh. You can also make your smoothie the night before and freeze or keep overnight in the refrigerator. If you freeze overnight, it will take an hour or so to thaw, if you keep in the refrigerator overnight it will settle a bit with a thinner consistency but will still be delicious.
When market shopping it seems I always buy more than I know I'll be able to use in a week, plus some fresh picked fruits and vegetables just have a short life span. So taking stock of what you have and freezing before they over ripen is a great way to have variety on hand.
Freezing spinach or kale: whether fresh bought, grown in a home garden or bought packed from the grocery store it's easy to freeze a bunch in one large bag or in mini single serving bags allowing me to always have my smoothie base ready.
Freezing fruits such as berries or those with a pit: for peaches, nectarines and pears, I remove the pit and cut each into smaller bit sized pieces, and for berries I do a quick rinse and thoroughly dry before placing each into their own baggie. Freezing bananas or avocado: for bananas I like to cut in half and wrap each half in wax paper/parchment paper before placing into a baggie and with avocados I remove the pit first and then either dice or cut in 1/4's before wrapping and bagging.
Make sure to label and date all of your baggies!
Making a smoothie:
My ratio for a single serving smoothie is below, with some deviation depending on the flavor I want or what I have on hand: 1 C Leafy Greens 1.5 C Fruits (try several combinations or use just your favorite) 1 C liquid
I use a Nutribullet but any mixer will work just fine! If you use a Nutribullet you can combine all of the ingredients, fill your liquid to the line and blend at once, but if using a mixer I suggest blending the greens and liquid first, then add your fruits and blend again until smooth.
Mix and Match:
Leafy Greens: spinach or kale are my favorite bases.