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  • Nutritious Smoothie Hacks

    We love our smoothies! Quick and convenient, smoothies represent a nutritious, delicious, and often eye-appealing way to consume a meal. Usually, we think of smoothies as an economical choice as well, but that isn't necessarily always the case.

     

 

Quick history of smoothies:

Before acquiring the name "smoothie", people enjoyed "pureed fruit drinks" in the Mediterranean hundreds of years ago.

The smoothie started making a splash in the United States after 1930 when the blender made its first appearance. People figured out besides concocting margaritas and pina coladas, they could also skip the spirits and create nutritional drinks.

The popularity of smoothies enthusiastically grew in the 1960s and 1970s with the emergence of the health food craze. In 1973, Steve Kuhman started the first smoothie shop, Smoothie King, inspired by his lactose intolerance condition.

Now, of course, recipe books, videos, smoothie bars and restaurants all contribute to the smoothie scene. 

Boutique smoothies:

In addition to ordering a smoothie at a restaurant or creating your own, other choices exist to ensure a quick, healthy, and delicious meal in a glass. You may purchase premade smoothie kits at the grocery store, then, you only need to add your liquid such as milk, milk substitute, or juice. Throw it all in the blender, and voile, its smoothie time.

If going to the grocery store represents an inconvenient task, another option exists. Now you can order premade smoothies online. These companies boast the best and most nutritious ingredients, but not without a hefty price tag. Of course, the more you purchase, the less expensive the cost. But, make sure your freezer holds a lot. Even if you buy three dozen smoothies, you will pay close to seven dollars for each one, and that doesn't include your almond milk!

Do your own assembly line:

By putting in a bit of time and effort, you'll find yourself enjoying a custom-made delicious smoothie at a fraction of the cost. Once you pick up your smoothie ingredients at the grocery store, set up your assembly line to prepare smoothies for the next two weeks. You will need to gather the following items:

- Smoothie ingredients including fruits, veggies, nuts, and other supplements 

- Frozen yogurt cubes*

- Sandwich size storage bags

- A cutting bag

- Knives for cutting or chopping

Making one type of smoothie at a time makes the process easier. You may want to make three or four of your favorites to keep things interesting.

* Make frozen yogurt cubes by freezing plain Greek yogurt in ice cube trays. Making the frozen cubes helps to avoid sugar and additives and gives you the blending consistency of ice with more nutrition.

If you're wondering whether to use fresh or frozen fruit, either will work just fine. If using fresh fruit, process your smoothies as soon as possible. Fresh fruit loses its nutrients quickly, and freezing it helps retain the vitamins and minerals. 

If you're using veggies in your smoothies; however, it's best to start with fresh. Frozen vegetables such as carrots and spinach lose some of their nutrient value due to blanching in the freezing process.

Put the smoothie ingredients in a sandwich bag for freezing. You may add two frozen yogurt cubes to each bag as well or wait and add those when you blend the smoothie. You may want to put the individual smoothie bags in a larger freezer bag to avoid freezer burn.

Recipes for delicious smoothies:

Before you create the shopping list for your smoothie ingredients, you'll want to find some recipes or come up with a few of your own. Check out these suggestions to get you started:

Raspberry oatmeal banana

- ½ cup of frozen raspberries

- One package of instant oatmeal

- ½ banana dices

Carrot ginger with dates, walnuts, and banana

- ½ of a large carrot sliced or two or three baby carrots sliced

- ½ to one teaspoon of chopped raw ginger

- Three to four pitted dates

- ¼ cup walnuts

- ½ banana sliced

Avocado chocolate banana 

- ½ diced and peeled avocado

- One ounce of dark chocolate

- ½ sliced banana

Blueberry pineapple banana

- ½ cup blueberries

- ½ cup pineapple

- ½ sliced banana

Other ingredients you may want to add to your smoothie include the following:

- Protein powder

- Wheat germ

- Hemp seeds

- Bran

When it comes time to enjoy one of your favorite smoothies follow these procedures:

  1. Put four to six ounces of your preferred liquid in the blender. You may use skim milk, almond or coconut milk, juice such as pineapple juice or blueberry water, or even water for your base liquid.

  2. Add the contents of the smoothie bag into the blender.

  3. If you didn't include your frozen yogurt cubes in the smoothie bags, add two yogurt cubes as well.

  4. Blend until you obtain the desired consistency.

  5. Pour into a glass and garnish with whipped topping or fresh fruit.

  6. Enjoy!

Making your smoothies ahead of time will save you time when you need to grab a quick smoothie before work. If you cost it out, you will also find you save between three and six dollars a smoothie from those fancy online brands. 

Creating your smoothies also represents a fun activity to do with the kids. It allows you to teach them about nutrition and economics at the same time.

Making up your smoothie bags and freezing them also means a lot less food spoilage. Who likes to spend money on fresh produce just to throw it away?! And, when you prepare your own smoothies, you most likely won't add sugar, artificial sweetener, or any harmful additives that you may find in some of the bottled smoothies at the supermarket.

So, enjoy creating, making, and drinking a delicious and nutritious smoothie to start your day!

 

*Please consult with a medical professional if you have any medical issues that may be affected by the suggested activities.

 

 

Article provided by Mueller Sports Medicine Blog http://blog.muellersportsmed.com/sports-medicine-blog