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I Started Making Smoothies and Here's What I Learned

Posted by Molly Williams on

I Started Making Smoothies and Here's What I Learned by  Molly Williams

The growth of our garden this year brought a wave of researching Pinterest recipes, and new ideas for fresh produce. While salad seemed feasible at lunch time, and incorporating rosemary with our dinner was great - I was at a loss for breakfast.

I had tried the smoothie game in the past but always felt skeptical of the actual benefits. I often felt the recipes were too heavy for first thing in the morning or required way too many costly ingredients. I also rarely liked the end product and worried the sugary nut milks could be more unhealthy than my standard greek yogurt and banana breakfast. However, after picking up a book called “The Art of Wellbeing” I started to rework my thoughts on smoothies. I decided to give it a try, and almost a month later - I’m obsessed.

So what is a juice, and what is a smoothie?

That’s something I didn’t completely understand when I first started following different recipes. I thought the “smoothie” element meant incorporating a milk or nut milk but it’s actually an interchangeable term with “blending” which basically means you are leaving the fruit and vegetables skins on. This process also allows for the fiber to stay in the solution you create which is why smoothies are often very filling. Juicing extracts the water and nutrients from the fruit and vegetables while eliminating the fiber for easier digestion but with often a lesser sense of fullness.

What kinds of smoothies are we talking?

After testing a few different recipes, I fell in love with primarily green drinks. Green drinks are often refreshing, and alkalizing for the body. I also found they were great for my sensitive digestive system. After a few weeks I found myself craving The Refresher every morning and making a full blender of it each day to sip on. Here’s the recipe!

The Refresher - My Morning Favorite

1 Cucumber

1 Big Handful of Baby Spinach

1 Cup Pineapple

1 Little Handful of Fresh Mint Leaves

1 ½ Cups Filtered Water

1 Small Handful of Ice

Another recipe I’m obsessed with is The Golden Elixir which is focused around turmeric. Turmeric is having a definite well deserved moment right now with it’s benefits being everything from anti-inflammatory to immune boosting.

The Golden Elixir

1 Cup Pineapple

¼ Chopped Fennel

Juice of ½ Small Lime

1 Small Knob of Ginger

¼ Teaspoon Turmeric

My biggest frustration is when you don’t have everything you need for a recipe, and I’ve tried to get away with a few random concoctions. One of my mistakes ended up being a pretty great blend that I called - The Tropical Farmstand.

The Tropical Farmstand - My Random Blend

Handful of Strawberries

1 Banana

1 Cup Pineapple

Handful of Mint Leaves

1 ½ Cup Filtered Water

1 Small Handful of Ice

I recommend trying what you have, and testing what tastes you like in combination. Cory can't stand The Refresher but he loves anything with strawberry and banana! It's all about what works for you. 

Any blending rules?

A couple of things to be mindful of - try to drink what you make quickly. Not only does it taste better but the open air can actually minimize the nutrients over time. I pour the leftovers of my blend into a glass carafe and store it in the fridge to drink throughout the morning.

Try to use a healthy liquid base like water or unsweetened nut milk and eliminate bases with lots of sugar. Make sure you get a sense of what has fiber (avocados, almonds, raspberries, etc) and what has a lot of sugar (bananas, pineapples, dates, mangos, etc). It’s important to remember moderation and try to lower the sugar content of the drink.

  • I like to incorporate mint as much as possible to help with the taste, but you can add cinnamon or lemon juice too!

What do you think? Are you a fan of smoothies or juicing? Let us know in the comments! 

Recipes provided by "The Art of Wellbeing" by Meredith Gaston 

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