Happy Monday, friends! Once again this weekend wasn’t as productive as I had hoped (big surprise). All I really wanted to do is sleep. For hours. Cuddled up in bed with Aiden. And then I’d think about my master to-do list sitting on my bedside table. Most of the time I feel like I want to do absolutely nothing and everything at the same time. If I do nothing, I feel miserable for my lack of motivation, and if I try to get everything done, I feel like I didn’t even get to enjoy my weekend before jumping full force back into work on Monday. And to be completely honest, getting everything done just doesn’t happen these days. It’s safe to say that half of my to-do list will still be unmarked by Sunday night. Is it sad that I still consider that as being productive though?
Despite my lack of energy, I was able to whip up 5 of my favorite smoothie recipes for you all! I’ve been getting questions about how to make the perfect smoothie, what add-ins I use, what fruits/veggies taste best, etc. Well, my friends, you ask and you shall receive. I am going to do my best in creating a super guide to all things smoothie, broken up into 5 posts. Why 5? Because making more than 5 smoothies in one weekend was just too much. Just kidding. Its more because there are really only 5 recipes I use over and over and over again. Depending on my mood, my time, my cravings, and the season. Each post will feature one recipe, along with a topic around smoothies. Topics will include:
- The basics of creating a perfect smoothie
- The best add-ins for smoothies (and their benefits)
- The benefits of smoothies in general
- How smoothies can aid in reaching your fitness goals
- A smoothie challenge for you!
So, kicking’ it off with Day One of..what shall we call it? The Ultimate Super Smoothie Guide? The Guide to All Things Smoothie? Smoothies Simply Rock? Perfect Smoothie 101? I’ll think of something. For now we will call this Day One of Smoothies, where I’ll be going over the basics to creating a delicious smoothie. But before I just jump into it, the reveal some of the… Most… Delicious… Smoooooothiiiessss! (Drumroll please….)
- Blue-nana Muffin (Minus the Muffin)
- Chunky Monkey meets Fat Elvis
- Berries on top of Berries with Berries
- Orange Cold Buster Concoction
Obviously I need to work on my recipe naming. But I kind of like what I came up with. Anyway, let’s get started…
THE BASICS OF CREATING THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE
Great smoothies are made with great ingredients, and more specifically, real, wholesome, and flavorful ingredients. Think fruits, veggies, healthy fats, herbs and spices. And if you do it right, you’ll get a creamy, delicious, and satisfying smoothie. So how do you get the ratios right? Well let me tell you.
Step 1: Pick your fruits.
The nice thing about fruits is that almost all combinations will taste amazing. I will generally pick two or more fruits, and almost always have a ripe banana as one of them. Bananas, when ripe, help create a creamy and smooth texture while adding flavor. I normally stay away from fruits like apples and oranges because of their skin, and they seem to make very watery smoothies. Fruits I would suggest are bananas, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mango, pineapple, peaches, and kiwi. So, I usually go for a 1/2 banana plus 1-1.5 cups of extra fruit. Fresh fruit or frozen fruit works. I prefer fresh fruit except for bananas, which I will commonly use frozen.
Step 2: Pick your veggies.
If you want to add some extra vitamins and minerals, I highly suggest adding some vegetables to your smoothie! Spinach is always a go-to for many people, however, beets, kale, cucumber and carrots are also great choices. In the Autumn, I usually go for butternut squash or pumpkin too. If you do use vegetables that are a bit tougher, I recommend using a very strong blender if you want a smooth smoothie. None of that clogged straw business. I’d add about 1 (maybe 2) handfuls of veggies.
Step 3: Pick your liquid.
The liquid you choose for your smoothie can greatly affect the outcome and texture. I prefer almond milk 80% of the time, but do use green tea, coconut water, or juice as well. Water can be used but I personally prefer one of the alternatives. If you are making a dessert smoothie or berry smoothies, Ive found almond milk (or milk of choice) to work best. For tropical type smoothies, go for orange juice or coconut water. For green smoothies, and smoothies with more veggies than fruit, I like to use green tea or coconut water. Depending on how much fruit or veggies you use, you’ll need 1/2-1 cup of liquid.
Step 4: Pick your texture.
I like my smoothies thick and creamy. Adding greek yogurt, nut butters, oats, and ice can help give your smoothie some volume. I like to add minimal ice- about 2-3 cubes, unless I use frozen fruit, and in that case I tend to use less or none at all. Ice seems to make the smoothies frothy and airy, and Im just not a fan. Greek yogurt is great for almond all smoothies, however I personally prefer to emit it from my dessert type smoothies. For some reason my Chunky Monkey meets Fat Elvis never turns out right when I use yogurt. But my berry smoothies? Always. I usually go for 1/2 C greek yogurt, 2 Tablespoons nut butters, and/or the 2-3 cubes of ice.
Step 5: Pick your add-ins.
This is my favorite part! Chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseed, honey, dates, vanilla, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, mint, protein powder, the list goes on. After workouts, I will almost always through in at least a half scoop of vanilla protein powder. It is a great way to help repair those muscles, and it adds a lot of fluff to your smoothie! Chia seeds and hemp seeds are also some of my favorite add ins. Tomorrow I will be going over all the different types of add-ins in more details, discussing all their benefits. I usually add 1 Tablespoons of seed add-ins, 1/2-1 teaspoon of the herb and spice add-ins, and 1/2-1 scoop of protein powder.
Step 6: Blend all.
Self explanatory here. Just use a powerful blender. If it seems too thick, add a tad more liquid. If its too thin, I suggest adding more banana, spinach, oats or ice to thicken it up a bit. Just note that if its warm enough out, adding more ice will just melt it and return it to its watery state.
And there you have it. The basics of creating a perfect smoothie. Now I know you’re dying to get the first smoothie recipe so you can run to your fridge, make sure you have all the ingredients, and blend away. Just let me add one more thing. While you want to drink your smoothie within 20-30 minutes so it doesn’t separate and become thin and undesirable, make sure you do enjoy it. So often I make a smoothie and gulp it down before I even process the fact that it was one of the most amazing tasting smoothies ever. I have a problem with straws. Every time a straw is in my drink, its gone in 17 seconds. And honestly, when I think of drinking smoothies, I imagine myself on a resort laying out by the pool on a warm day with a large beach hat on and in a little bikini. With palm trees all around me. So this past weekend when I made these, I made myself enjoy each and every one of them, pretending I was on a resort in the hot sun with a nice tan, instead of in freezing Wisconsin and pale white. I recommend you enjoy it too. Its so much better.
This is my BLUE-NANA MUFFIN (Minus the Muffin) SMOOTHIE…(Blueberry Banana Smoothie in normal terms)!!! Drink up, buttercup!