Smoothies and homemade juices are an excellent way to get your fruits, veggies and nutrition. They are easy to make and ingredients can be prepared ahead of time to make preparation convenient. Smoothie blends and juices can be made to address different health issues. Examples include blood sugar regulation, inflammation reduction and weight loss. The other benefit of making your own smoothies is that there is no added sugar or hidden ingredients. I learned the hard way that supposedly healthy, naturally sweetened smoothies from some smoothie shops can be full of “natural” sugars and can result in an increased blood sugar if you are diabetic and unnecessary calories.
To create great smoothies, you will need some type of blender or extractor. There are many options available. Personally, I use a Nutribullet extractor for juices and smoothies. It is easy to use and easy to clean up and I like that the fiber remains in the juice. You will need to develop a good system for your ingredients to make it really easy create smoothies and juices. I recommend experimenting with different recipes. Once you find several that you like, put the ingredients for the smoothies into individual serving freeze bags, label and freeze. In this way, you can freeze your fruits, veggies, fresh herbs and greens. When you want a smoothie, pull out the pack of your choice, add the extras such as almond milk, yogurt, nuts and seeds and blend away. These will last about a month in your freezer. I also like to freeze my ingredients so I don’t have to add ice to the smoothie.
Here are a couple of my favorite recipes to get your started.
Spinach or Kale- should make up about 1/3 of the smoothie indgredients
Several slices of peeled ginger root
½ banana – optional (adds a nice texture)
½ cup of Greek yogurt
Almond or soy milk- enough to get the texture that you like
Spinach or Kale
1 stalk celery
4 or 5 thick slices of cucumber
½ of a small granny smith apple
Several slices of peeled fresh ginger.
Enough cold water to cover if you are using an extractor.
This juice is great with fresh or frozen ingredients. It can be made in an extractor or a juicer.
Peeled orange- half a big orange or two small mandarin oranges
Frozen mixed berries
½ cup Greek yogurt
Almond milk to achieve the texture you desire
I hope you enjoy these smoothies!