Setting up a Smoothie Friendly Kitchen

Setting up a Smoothie Friendly Kitchen
This is an older post of mine which I revamped after moving my blog from Blogger to Word Press. While the transition went of without much of a glitch, I seem to have lost my GFC followers. I am hoping to remedy that soon. The day I got my blog up and running I also got enlisted into “Nutrition Blog Network” and have their button displayed on my sidebar, so that is a double celebration. This is officially my first post on my new blog, so I am blogging about one of my favorite “Food Topic” Smoothies.
Bragging rights: Have gotten my fussy family to crave my smoothies and actually say “Nobody makes smoothies like you”
Liquid nutrition is the “Food Fad” of the future. In this fast paced life, for folks who want to eat healthy with minimum food prep and fuss, a smoothie may be the way to go. Whether it’s a high protein fat blasting drink or a frosty fruity summer cooler you’re craving, you can find it in a smoothie. I do occasionally enjoy store bought smoothies, but am sometimes a little wary of the sweeteners used in them which can turn them into a high calorie monster drink. I am big into ‘making your own smoothies’…. cheaper by the dozen, plus you can control what goes in and get creative too! Not convinced? Here are a few more reasons why I think Smoothies are “The New Black!!”

Convenience Okay, I am big into family eating together ….dinner is our favorite family meal, but weekdays, with the morning rush when you have kids leaving for school at different times between trying to get them to eat and getting out on time, who has time for a full-fledged breakfast? Just the reason that I being a strong believer in” Breakfast being the fuel meal of the day” resorted to smoothies. For almost 8 years now, my staple breakfast smoothie (with a few variations) has been a yogurt/soy milk shake with whey protein, flax oil and frozen fruit. Prep time is 3 minutes and while my youngest is tying her shoes my smoothie is in my travel mug ready to go! Sipping my smoothie and listening to my favorite radio channel on my 20 minute drive to the metro is a great start to my day.

Fat blasting: Seriously – try replacing one of your meals or even two with a fat blasting or power smoothie and you could lose some serious weight. The reason being : these smoothies can be nutrient dense, while being lower in calories and with additives like whey protein, can keep you full for a longer period of time. Flax oil and lecithin are serious fat blasters. On the flip side because they’re not heavy they are ideal for convalescents and people without much of an appetite. With the right healthy additives, they can be a way of gaining weight and strength ‘the healthy way.

A superior Multi-VitaminThis is especially true of fruit and veggie based smoothies where you can get a mega dose of bio-available nutrients and antioxidants, not to mention the fiber and ‘brain fuel’ in the form of fructose.

Strengthen your immune system and your gut with a healthy dose of probiotics as in yogurt/Kefir based smoothies.

Setting up a smoothie friendly kitchen
Some must haves:

A blender that’s on your counter. If you are going to have to pull out, and set up your blender each time you smoothieeeee, it’s going to become a chore, so I highly recommend you find a semi-permanent spot for it. If you’re into space saving, a sleek model like the “Bullet ” which takes up literally no space at all, may work for you. I’ve invested in a high powered Vita Mix blender which can literally crush rocks and all the nutritional junk I throw into my smoothies!
Additives like protein powders, flax oil, lecithin, nutritional yeast, or nut butters for those of you who want those “high powered” smoothies. Sweeteners like Stevia and Agave nectar may be a good alternative to sugar. I use brown sugar or honey occasionally to sweeten my kid’s smoothies.
Freezer full of frozenfruit: work better than fresh…. don’t let anyone con you into thinking fresh is better. While I do think eating fresh produce is great, nutrient wise flash pasteurized frozen fruits and veggies retain nutrients far more than their fresh counterparts. Or, go for a combo of both! Use fruit in season!! Most fruit, veggie based smoothies can be frozen to make delicious pops.
Hundred percent juices can be used to liquefy your smoothies. Juices like apple and white grape can sweeten drinks really well, while the addition of crushed ice gives it a frosty feeling.
Creativitytry out different combos … be adventurous…mix and match. Pair a kiwi with a banana and watermelon with carrot juice and when you hit jackpot and you find a recipe that’s fabulous, please share!!

Just a word of caution … if your’e diabetic … may want to stick with the high protein kind or add a scoop of protein to your fruity smoothies as this will help stabilise sugars. You could also pair a fruity smoothie with a protien snack like cheese or nuts. I do that since I have a strong history, and have had gestational diabetes with both my kids. To be on the safe side check with your physician as to how much fruity stuff you can have.

I am sharing two of my favorite recipes…. a Melon Frosty and a Pina-colada drink. Click on the purple button to see the recipe card in action.  Feel free to “mute” the music if you want.



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