I have always enjoyed smoothies. They are a wonderful, tasty, smooth, and yummy drink that you can bring pretty much anywhere. It is also incredibly easy to convince a child to drink one (they taste awesome!). They are an easy way to sneak some extra nutrition into both my child’s and my diet. Smoothies even work great as baby food, allowing me to introduce all kinds of great flavors to my baby!
- Because you really can’t taste it, I love adding greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.) into my smoothies. The key part is to blend this up first with whatever liquid you have before adding all the frozen fruit. That way you don’t have chunky pieces leftover. My 3-year-old loves drinking his “green smoothie!”
- You don’t need a fancy blender (though I am sure it is quicker with one). I still have the same 17-year-old, $25 blender. It doesn’t work great for blending citrus (I still get chunks of the webbing), but other than that, it works just fine!
- You can always add protein powder to make it a full meal.
- Involve your kids in making it. Have them add the ingredients into the blender and push the buttons (when you are ready!) to get them more interested in drinking it.
- Mix it up! No recipe is a “you must do this.” If you like milk instead of water, do it! If you hate bananas, add something else. If you are vegan, use agave instead of honey. It’s a great excuse to experiment.
Some of my favorite smoothies recipes:
Green Machine Smoothie:
This is an amazing recipe (and likely my favorite of all) that I learned about from a recipe book I bought from Sunshine Mountain Lodge (which I highly recommend as a wonderful, kid-friendly get-away, where you can add-on delicious home cooked meals by the owners! We have loved this cookbook and their lodge!):
3 cups packed baby spinach
8 ounces water or fresh coconut water
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen pineapple (incidentally: you could add this to almost any smoothie and it would be amazing!)
2 Tabs honey (you could leave this out if you want, but I really like it)
Blend the spinach with the water. Once blended, add in remaining ingredients and mix until smooth and creamy. Then, enjoy these great smoothies.
Cat’s Favorite Green Smoothie:
This one is also from the same recipe book from Sunshine Mountain Lodge. These smoothies taste like a pear Jelly Belly, but even better (and no additional sugar needed)!
1 ripe pear
1 frozen banana
Large handful of kale (I usually just use extra spinach, since that’s what I have)
Large handful of spinach
Blend until smooth (if you have a good blender). If you have a “not-as-good” blender, like mine, put the pear and kiwi at the bottom, mush it down, then add the spinach and press down. Blend (and continue to turn off the blender and mush down and blend again). Once smooth, add the frozen banana.
Blueberry Avocado Smoothie:
Avocados make smoothies amazingly creamy and delicious! I found this recipe online and was not disappointed.
1 cup water
1 cup fresh blueberries (or use frozen, which is what I do)
1/2 ripe avocado
2 heaping cups spinach
1 Tab agave (I personally prefer honey)
1 cup ice (the recipe says to skip if you use frozen blueberries, but I add some ice anyway, just not a full cup)
Add it all into a blender until smooth (again, I add the water and spinach first until blended and then add the rest).
Pineapple Avocado Green Smoothie:
Did I mention that avocado and pineapple could pretty much be added to any smoothie and be amazing? This one includes both. Yum!
1 cup water
1/2 ripe avocado
2 cups spinach
2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 to 2 Tabs honey or agave (which this smoothie likely doesn’t need since the pineapple is so sweet)
The linked recipe has an order to add them all in, but I typically do the water and spinach blended together until smooth and then add the rest and blend again.