Smoothies for Healthy Nutrition
I want to introduce you to my friend Csilla Bishoff who is a holistic Nutrition Coach. She wrote this great article in her Shining Health Newsletter about Smoothies and I when I read it I knew that I had to share it with you.
Nutrition is one area that I talk about a lot! I’m a firm believer that if you heal the gut you heal the brain – I’ve seen the difference this can make over and over again. Csillia’s site is full of great information and recipes that are wonderful – head on over to Shininghealth.com and check her out!
I like to add Manna 360 powder into my smoothies.
When Csilla talks at live presentations one thing she always talk about is how easy it is to make smoothies and “add good nutrition” to your existing diet. Smoothies are super quick, delicious, nutritious and kids love them!
Smoothies are also a great way to add greens into your diet.
Here are some of Csilla’s tips for making smoothies that rock.
- Add your liquid. As a base you can use clean water,coconut water, coconut milk, unsweetened almond milk, herbal tea. Don’t use much liquid if you want your smoothie to be thick. I do not recommend fruit juice for the base of your smoothie. The reason? Just way too much sugar.
- Add some protein by blending in raw almonds, hemp seeds, and chia seeds. As far as protein powders go I recommend hemp protein powder. Hemp seeds and hemp protein powder can be found at health-food stores or the chain store Vitamin Shoppe. They’re high in healthful omega-3 oils, protein and fiber, and they blend in easily. Hemp seeds are my personal favorites. I also add them to salads.
- Protein powders are usually processed with high heat, which completely manipulates the proteins, making them unrecognizable to our bodies. Most protein powders are actually toxic. Sprouted would be the way only way to go but is difficult to find (SunWarrior sprouted rice protein powder). I personally like to stick with whole foods.
- Go green. Add a handful or two of spinach, or any other mild greens, which will blend easily into a fruit smoothie without really changing the taste of it. (Tell your kids it is Shrek Juice.) Once your taste buds can handle it you can graduate to kale, bok choy, arugula, and collard, Swiss chard. The secret to smoothies with greens is to not use the same greens every day. I will not get into why in this article. Just trust me on this now. Vary the greens.
- Add some super foods. They will boost the nutrition of your smoothie. Here are some of my favorites:raw cacao (for an amazing chocolate smoothie), raw cacao nibs, ground flax seeds, goji berries, coconut products (oil, shreds, flakes, meat), bee pollen, hemp seeds, chia seeds, aloe vera, nut butters, maca (great for endurance and libido), chlorella … etc.
- If you love the flavor of coffee try adding DandyBlend. It is a coffee alternative and you can easily mix it in with your chocolate smoothie for that great coffee/mocha flavor. Add somevanilla liquid stevia (they also have hazelnut flavor, too) and voila you made yourself a coffee style drink that is actually good for you. Move over Starbucks! (Rather than taxing stress hormones and your adrenal glands like coffee would, this nourishes the liver and kidneys, has a gentle cleansing bonus for the cells and is absolutely delicious.)
- Sweeteners: most smoothies include enough sweet fruit to bypass a sweetener to enhance the taste, but if not, here are some good ones I would recommend: grade B maple syrup, dates, honey, stevia. Do avoid agave nectar and here is why.
- Give smoothies a creamy texture by using bananas, almond butter or an avocado. Many people think using milk or yogurt in a smoothie is the only way to achieve creaminess. Not so. Here is another idea for you. Peel ripe bananas and place them in the freezer beforehand so they’re ready as needed. Why do I not recommend milk or yogurt? Though raw sheep or goat milk cheese is generally the dairy product I’ll make an exception for, I avoid the mucous and acidifying affects of dairy. A lot of people are sensitive to dairy without even being aware of it.
- 7. Add spices. Cinnamon is great for blood sugar control. In the colder month add some ginger or cayenne which will warm you up instantly. If you have some extra pumpkin puree on hand you can make a great pumpkin pie smoothie by adding is some cloves, nutmeg and pumpkin spice mix it.
Experimentation is key! Let your imagination go wild. You’ve got to try different variations to find the flavors, textures you like.
As far as the equipment goes … You’ll need a blender. A simple blender will do. Hardcore smoothie aficionados swear by the big guys – Vitamix and Blendtec. They are super powerful but more on the pricier side. Don’t get me wrong. I love my Vitamix. It is the best investment I ever made. But don’t let not having a powerful blender hold you back from making these smoothies.
For a green smoothie that is smooth begin by blending your greens and liquid before adding any fruit or super foods. This will ensure that your greens are completely liquefied because no one likes chunks in their green smoothies.
Have fun and enjoy!