Sunday, September 9, 2012

Smoothie addiction

I've been on a smoothie kick these days and I'm absolutely loving it! So I figured today I'd share with you a few of the smoothies I've made in the past week. No actual recipes, since I don't measure anything. Just some ingredients for inspiration.

Smoothie aftermath (aka: what my glass looks like after I'm all done)

But before I begin, I'm going to share with you my favorite smoothie component: Trader Joe's carrot and orange juice. This stuff is SOOO GOOD I can't even describe it. (Disclaimer: I'm a huge fan of carrot in my fruit juices. More on that later...) Plus it's loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. It's not a vegan juice though, because they use fish oil for the omega-3s. But if you had a TJ nearby you, I highly recommend trying this juice, either on its own or in smoothie form.


OK, it's smoothie time!

Smoothie #1: Berry and spinach smoothie


Yes, I said spinach. I've been reading a lot about it and decided to try it out. Into my blender went:
  • yogurt
  • TJs carrot orange juice 
  • 1/2 banana
  • frozen berries (I have a blackberry, raspberry, blueberry blend)
  • and a handful (or 2) of spinach

Before...

...and after

The verdict: quite delicious! I definitely couldn't taste the spinach. But I'll be honest: adding all those greens dampened and muted the deliciously sweet berry flavor that I so love. And I'm a huge fan of spinach, so I don't need a way to "sneak" it into my diet. If you have kids that don't like spinach this could be a genius way to get them to eat more greens. Personally, I'd just prefer to drink a fruit smoothie and eat a spinach salad.

Smoothie #2: Cherry and carrot smoothie

As much as I wasn't completely sold on the spinach-in-my-smoothie concept, I freaking love carrots in my fruit juice. So I wondered what would happen if I threw in an entire carrot into my drink. I'm glad I tried it out, because carrots are now a regular addition to my smoothies!! (Yes, the carrot does add a bit of "grit" to the smoothie. A tiny bit, nothing so horrible. I like it, you may not. But I'd suggest trying it out if you're interested.)


I had a big bag of cherries that were reaching the end of their life cycle. So into my blender went:
  • cherries
  • a carrot
  • TJs carrot orange juice
  • ice
This was definitely less thick than a traditional smoothie. More of a fruit slushy since I decided to throw some ice into the mix. But still delicious.

Smoothie #3: Pineapple carrot smoothie


Into my blender went:
  • frozen pineapple
  • a carrot
  • TJs carrot orange juice
  • yogurt
  • 1/2 banana, maybe (I can't remember)
This drink was SOOOOOOO good! The creaminess from the yogurt works really well with the sweet carrot and the tart pineapple. This smoothie and smoothie #4 (below) were definitely my favorites.

Smoothie #4: Everything smoothie

I decided today to just throw everything into the mix and see how it would work out. PERFECTION!


Into my blender went:
  • yogurt
  • TJs carrot and orange juice
  • 1 carrot
  • 1/2 banana
  • frozen pineapple
  • frozen berries
I love how pineapple really helps brighten up a somewhat flat berry flavor. And the carrot just adds that *something* that I can't quite explain why I love it so much.

Now that I've spent the past few weeks making all these smoothies, here are some tips in making your own smoothies.
  1. For me, bananas have a very short window of being the perfect ripeness. If you hate multi-weekly trips to the grocery store buy a bunch of bananas and freeze them when they're at the perfect ripeness. (Peel them first, cut in half, and freeze in a plastic bag or container.) Then when you're in a smoothie mood, just grab one from the freezer and pop it in your blender
  2. Since I'm often cooking for 1, a big container of juice can sometimes go to waste. If you're like me and don't drink juice on a regular basis, buy a container and use an ice cube tray to freeze the juice you won't drink. That way, when its smoothie time, you can just grab a few cubes of juice (instead of ice)!
  3. Rinse your blender right away after pouring out your smoothie(s). I don't even wash it with soap half the time, just a quick rinse in hot water. Makes cleanup a breeze!
  4. Use fancy glasses for your smoothies. Why? Because it makes something simple feel oh-so-special.
  5. If you're pressed for time in the mornings but still want a daily smoothie, prepare as much as you can on a weekend. In your freezer, store a container with: 1/2 banana, 1/2 cup+ frozen fruit (berries, pineapple, mango), a few frozen cubes of juice (see #2 above), and a chopped up carrot (optional). In the morning then all you have to do is grab a container, dump all the contents into your blender (adding yogurt if you want), and you're done. Easy peasy!
Buen Provecho!
Jacqueline 

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