by Elise Schwartz | June 8, 2011 4:20 PM
1.) PERFECT PROCEDURE The perfect smoothie blending procedure is: liquid, frozen fruit/veggies, powders/supplements/add-ins, ice, fresh fruit/veggies. Always add the ice cubes at the end, otherwise it could lead to over blending resulting in a watery smoothie. Blend all of the other smoothie ingredients first until smooth, then add in your ice for a frosty texture. If you don’t have a high power blender (like a VitaMix), you can crush your ice separately, then blend into the smoothie ingredients. This will aid in preventing ice chunks.
2.) COCONUT WATER ICE CUBES I use this trick especially in the summer. On super hot days that we’re outside a lot or just finished a workout, I like to replace water ice cubes with coconut water ice cubes. Simply pour coconut water into an ice cube tray and freeze! I like to fill a couple ice cube trays with coconut water and when set, store in a bowl in the freezer so I always have some on hand! Coconut water is fairly neutral in flavor and goes well in any smoothie. It naturally contains about 15 times more potassium than conventional (and toxic) “sports drinks,” while providing manganese and magnesium as well. A great option for hot summer days in the sun when we all could use some electrolyte replenishing!
3.) FREEZE YOUR FRUIT & VEGGIES A few notes on this. 1 - If you have fruit/veggies that are starting to spoil but you don’t want to or can’t use them before its time to toss, wash, dice and store in the freezer for future smoothies. 2 - Bananas: be sure to peel and dice before freezing. 3 - Purchase large quantities of fresh organic berries, kale, spinach, avocados, etc, during their peak months or when on sale to save money in the long run. When you get home, immediately wash and shake dry, dice if needed, and store in freezer for future smoothies thru the year.
4.) BOOST TASTE I encourage you to experiment with flavor layering your smoothies. The most common smoothie ingredients are berries, kale and spinach. While these are all incredibly healthy and taste great when combined, they lack much acid in their flavor. Boost the taste of your smoothies by adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange juice or a tablespoon of citrus zest. You’ll be wowed by the results!
5.) FIZZ IT UP Incorporating your homemade Kombucha into your smoothies is great as it’s an easy way to get your good probiotics and boost your immune system all in one glass. Kombucha will add fizz to your blend, a great experience and taste for kids or picky eaters.
6.) NO SUGAR HERE Forgo the use of sugar in smoothies. Stevia is a simple, natural alternative to sugar that won’t spike your blood sugar (I recommend using a few drops of liquid stevia per serving). Especially if you are looking to heal from disease, lose weight, or are enjoying your smoothie for breakfast, avoid sugar at all costs for maximum results. And if you’re on the Core Plan, be aware of the fruits you can have that pack a sweeter bang to the bite (like mangoes, pears, and bananas) and instead of adding refined sugar to your drink, go ahead and blend in sweeter fruits.
7.) LESS LIQUID It’s better to start out with too little liquid than too much. Start with 1/2 cup liquid total per serving, then see how thick your smoothie ends up after all fruits, veggies and ice are incorporated. You can always add more almond milk, coconut water, or ice. Better to play it on the safe side.
8.) BEST ENJOYED Your smoothie will be best enjoyed immediately after blending. You’ll also get the maximum health benefits from the ingredients by drinking it right away. If you make too much smoothie, freeze the rest in a container with some extra room at the top as the smoothie will expand as it freezes. Remove from freezer and re-blend/stir briefly before enjoying.
9.) MAKE AHEAD SMOOTHIES Similar to tip #8 above, you can blend up batches of smoothie in advance, freeze immediately to lock in the nutrients, then thaw slightly and re-blend just before you walk out the door. Great for families on the go. I will be doing this in preparation for the birth of my baby and the weeks to follow, so everything I need for breakfast is all ready to go and I can focus on my newborn.
10.) COMPLETE THE MEAL A common point that is often overlooked when it comes to smoothies is that it’s not a complete meal without protein and good fat. Sure, it may taste delicious with your berries blended up with water and ice. But, to ensure your blood sugar levels stay stable and that you’ll feel full for longer, make your smoothie a complete meal by adding protein (grass fed whey/pea/hemp/etc powder, raw nuts, almond butter, hemp seeds) and good fat (avocado, coconut milk, flax meal, raw nuts, fish oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds) to the blend. Your body will thank you!
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