I’ve never posted any smoothie recipes here, mostly because I always thought they were kind of ridiculous. We don’t usually use recipes, but instead opt for the “dump a bunch of stuff into the blender and hit go” method. But now that Cullen is slurping away at smoothies too, we’re paying a bit more attention to what goes in them, and how we can bulk them up with some extra nutrition and good stuff.
I’ve had a lot of emails and comments asking for our “go to” smoothie, so I figured it was high time that we shared. The specifics change somewhat on a daily basis based on what’s in our freezer and what sounds good that day, but here is what we usually drink each morning…
The thing is, I’ve never really been into the whole “green smoothie” thing. But now that I have a picky child to force vegetables into, and I’m finding it harder and harder to squeeze them in myself – smoothies are becoming a staple of our daily diet. Even if we both snack on sunbutter, bread, and oatmeal all day long, as long as we have our smoothies I feel good knowing that we’re drinking some of the good stuff without really even realizing it.
"Eat Your Fruits & Veggies" Smoothie
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: none
Ingredients (4 servings)
- 2 big handfuls fresh spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
- 2 bananas, peeled
- 4 medium carrots, rinsed and trimmed
- 1 cup frozen mango
- 1 12oz bag frozen strawberries
- 2 tablespoons flax oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups unsweetened original almond milk
- 1.5 cups water
Like I mentioned above, this combination often changes. If we’re out of strawberries, we’ll use a bag of frozen mixed berries or blueberries. There is no added sugar, so the fruit is where we get all the good sweetness to balance out the vegetables.
In addition to fruits and vegetables, we also add flax oil for some good healthy fat. Fat is a critical dietary need for babies and toddlers, as it helps their little brains grow and develop. Cullen gets quite a bit through olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nut butters, eggs, and hemp milk, but at this stage he really can’t get too much. And as vegetarians, we want to make sure he’s getting a variety of different types of good fats from different sources. Flax oil is a great source of omega 3’s, omega 6’s, and linoleic acid (source).
Onto the smoothie itself! Smoothies don’t even really need instructions, do they? Combine all ingredients into the blender, and give it a whirl! Casey is the smoothie chef in our family, and he makes a big blender for the whole family each morning.
Blend on high power until totally smooth, pour, and serve. (Smoothie can be stored for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.)
I mean, does that not just scream “drink me?” :)
This “recipe” makes a BIG batch of smoothie – a blender full to the top. If you’re blending for one, you might want to halve the ingredients. We split it between the three of us and drink it all day long in between meals. Casey usually adds protein powder to his after he’s poured some for me and Cullen (I’ve had a major pregnancy aversion to the powdery taste). Side note: for those interested in making their own protein powder blend, check out this post!
I usually drink the bulk of mine in the afternoons while I work during Cullen’s nap. I know the color is off-putting to many, but once you get past that it honestly tastes pretty fantastic. It’s also really filling, and I love knowing I’m getting in some greens each day.
The biggest benefit to our smoothie making is definitely it’s addition to Cullen’s diet. He absolutely loves them, and will drink as many cups as we will give him, often begging for “mooooore” long past the last drop. Despite my best efforts, he’s a pretty picky eater just like most other toddlers, and there is no way I’d get him to eat fresh spinach every day in any other form.
This is also a much more cost effective way to sneak in some extra fruits and veggies without always buying the pre-made pouches (that are like $2 a piece!). It’s worth noting that we only give him smoothies in his Playtex Lil’ Gripper cup, since it has the thickest straw. Smoothies also serve as a healthier and filling replacement for some of his snacks that tend to be “emptier” in calories – like raisins, rice cakes, and crackers.
Happy blending – enjoy!
Since we’re on the topic of food today, I thought I’d let you guys know that Recipage has a brand shiny new look! We’ve been working on a redesign and new features for many months, and finally launched it this morning. If you get a chance, check it out! Thanks for your continued support of our many endeavors.