Each day, someone in the house is blending some concoction of fruits to create a cool, refreshing breakfast or post-workout snack. Smoothies are quick to make and are a flexible ways to enjoy a variety of whole foods to fuel your busy lifestyle.
Energizing smoothie staples to keep in your kitchen:
We keep the following staples in our house to create a variety of delectable, energizing drinks:
Bananas – Bananas add a creamy texture and mouth feel to smoothies as well as natural sweetness. If you are not a fan of bananas, avocados are a nice substitute.
Frozen fruit – I love adding in frozen fruit to help create a cool, frozen treat texture [without adding ice cubes. I am not a huge fan of adding in ingredients that do not contribute flavour]. You can find inexpensive frozen fruit at various grocery chains (Walmart, Superstore, Costco).
Juice – Most often, we use apple juice to help thin out the smoothie, but juice also adds in natural sweetness. However, we have used the juice from canned fruit, berry juice and other tropical juice blends with great results. If you are looking for a way to thin out your smoothie while adding in fewer calories, coconut water is a nice option as well.
Yogurt – We use plain unsweetened Greek yogurt in our smoothies. It contributes protein to the drink, and therefore satiating staying power.
Vegetables – The idea of adding raw vegetables to a blender drink may seem counter-intuitive. Many vegetables have a slightly bitter taste – who wants to drink that? But, with the right balance of sweeter ingredients like fruit, adding vegetables creates a drink that is refreshing, leaving you feeling cleansed from the inside out. My favourite vegetable choices for smoothies include kale and cucumber.
Herbs – Ever thought of adding in fresh mint or basil to your smoothie? As the saying goes, don’t knock it till you try it! Fresh mint will give a burst of freshness to your smoothie. I have also added in fresh basil and parsley to my blender concoctions.
When making smoothies, I prefer to not measure my ingredients as it creates extra dishes, and takes more time. Rather, I like the opportunity be more intuitive and creative with the foods I have on hand.
If you are just venturing into making smoothies, you may want to use a recipe to guide your ingredient amounts. Then, with practice, use your intuition to adjust the ingredients based on your flavour preferences.
To try the Mango Kale Smoothie shown in the image below, click here.