Smoothies: My New Obsession

SmoothiesI am a cyclical kind of eater, I suppose. Breakfast generally operates in two-week spurts: bagels, then yogurt with flax meal, then graham crackers with peanut butter, then scones, glorious scones. I’m the same way with snacks. It’s all almonds and yogurt and granola bars, until I decide I hate them all and never want to see any of them again (not to worry, dear almonds, the feeling passes). Somehow, I can always manage to keep things interesting enough for lunch and dinner, but I get bored so frequently with my breakfasts and snacks. I got the idea to make some healthy smoothies after seeing this post on Daily Garnish. Emily offers tons of great vegetarian recipes (and cute pictures of her son!), and I’ve been reading her blog for years. I found myself staring at her recipe and thinking, “Hey…that might work for me.” And it did!

SmoothieWhat I really love about the smoothie is that it’s so easy to incorporate things that are really great for you. I use fruits, veggies, seeds, and grains, but no one flavor overpowers another. And you would never know you were drinking a hefty bunch of spinach or five carrots. Another thing I *really* love is that the fruit is a natural sweetener; I don’t add any sugar at all.

SmoothieThese are wonderfully filling, for breakfast or for snacks. I make a whole blender full and then keep it in a pitcher in the fridge. I drink some most afternoons, and sometimes when we’re running out the door for dinner, and I’m too hungry to personably get through all that waiting for the eating part of dinner (to all those who have experienced this with me in my pre-smoothie days…sorry).

SmoothieSmoothies are, of course, endlessly customizable. I usually start with two veggies and then add three fruits and a good handful of ground nuts, seeds, and grains. It makes me feel super virtuous, and boy do I love that. I also love the texture that the nuts and grains give it. I can really taste almonds and pistachios when I use them, and I like crunching down on the little pieces that escape the food processor.

SmoothieEric (affectionately?) refers to my smoothies as sludge, but I can see in his eyes that he knows they are delicious. Because they are. I’m including a rough recipe for one of my favorites here, but you should definitely add in whatever you like and/or whatever you have. Happy sludging!

Fruit, Veggie, Nut and Grain Smoothie

4 c spinach/kale mix
1/4 head of red cabbage
2 c milk
1 mango, chopped
1 c strawberries
2 c mixed berries
1/2 c ground oats
1/4 c ground almonds
2 tsp chia seeds, pre-soaked (they form a gel when soaked that aids in digestion)
2 Tbsp flax meal
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/4 tsp orange blossom water

-Grind the nuts and grains in a food processor.
-Add the milk and veggies to the blender and combine. Then add the fruits and seeds, one by one, followed by the vanilla and orange blossom water. Voila!

*A few notes*
-I often use frozen fruits in smoothies, but you might consider thawing them before blending them. Our blender is a beast, designed to crush ice, but it still got kind of mad at me when I put in too many frozen berries.
-We ordered orange blossom water from Amazon for Turkish cooking (along with pekmez and pomegranate molasses), and it is heavenly in smoothies. It’s very potent, though, so just a few drops will be enough to give your smoothie a delicious fragrance and flavor.
-Other ingredients I have tried/plan to try: pistachios, carrots, cashews, greens of all kinds, coconut, cucumbers, avocado. Bananas are a common smoothie ingredient, but I haven’t used them yet because bananas are the imperialists of the fruit world: put them in, and they take over everything. However, I will give them a chance someday. Even imperialists can reform. Here are some further delicious-looking ideas.

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