Hello sweet friends! I am really excited to announce that for the month of April I’m going to be doing a series on smoothies called Blended! Now I’m sure some of you may be thinking that it sounds kind of lame. An entire month dedicated to smoothie recipes? Really? YES REALLY.
If you haven’t been following along lately on my social media channels you might have missed some not-so-subtle hints about the fact that we, as a family, are aiming to eat better. To eat more whole foods. More locally-grown produce. Things that are substantially healthful for our bodies. It’s a big, bold and somewhat vague goal, and one of the best ways I can think of to get more whole foods in our diet is to have more smoothies as breakfasts and snacks and less of the other stuff (other stuff = highly processed foods).
I believe that during this beginning phase of eating cleaner that smoothies are going to be a big base of my personal food intake. Besides that, as a mom-on-the-go, there really couldn’t be a more convenient food for me. So while a month of smoothies may sound a little monotonous, trust me when I say that this foodie-mom isn’t going to just sit back and drink the same old thing over and over again. And it’s my goal to show y’all that with a few basic steps and ingredients a great smoothie, filled with great food, doesn’t have to be blah!
A really great smoothie has to have several elements on point for me: texture, flavor, temperature and thickness. I figure for today we’ll hit on those a little bit, and then put them into practice over the next month. Now keep in mind that this is all about perspective, right? You may really like thinner smoothies; I don’t, but the great thing is that you can easily tweak little parts of recipes to get what you want!
A high-speed blender is going to be the best bet for creating consistently consistent (like what I did there?) smoothies. You will have to play with the settings and know the capabilities of your specific model to really get every smoothie exactly how you like, but the basic thing here is making sure the blender is strong enough to pulverize the ingredients and mix them well.
Another thing to consider is adding things like oatmeal, chia seeds or flax to your smoothies. These things WILL change the texture, and I love the additional chew they add!
Admittedly I am still not one who only has to rely on the pure, unadulterated sweetness of food in its natural form. I want to consume as little sugar as possible though, so when it comes to sweetening my smoothies (should I choose to do so) I use either stevia or local honey. The local honey thing is new to me, but studies have shown that increased consumption of local honey can decrease allergies. I never had allergies til I moved to Arkansas and WHOA – I’ll do just about anything to keep from suffering this year! Honey it is, right? I will admit though that I’m slowly decreasing the amount of sweetness that I add because ideally it would be great to enjoy everything au natural.
Another factor in taste is considering what (if any) greens you add to the smoothie. I am a huge fan of spinach because it’s SUPER mild in flavor, blends easily, and lends a really pretty green color. Kale is another great addition, but the flavor is certainly much more, ahem, earthy than spinach. Check out this post I did about making a kale smoothie that doesn’t taste like dirt – we’ll be using that trick this month too!
This is a pretty basic one – I really only love drinking cold smoothies. Frozen and refrigerated ingredients make all the difference in the world! A lot of times in baking people will say every ingredient needs to be at room temperature for evenly mixing, and the same goes for smoothies, but backwards. Everything should be super cold to keep the temperature consistent and for even blending.
I am not a thin-smoothie girl, nor am I one who likes to eat them with a spoon. Finding that middle ground is key for me, that perfect in-between of smoothie goodness. I like to use a combination of frozen and fresh ingredients when I’m making my smoothies so that I can get that consistency down pat. If you like a thinner smoothie then use minimal frozen ingredients or increase the liquid; if you like it thicker then either decrease the liquid amount or increase the frozen ingredients. This is all about customizing it to your preferences because we want you to LOVE drinking those fresh smoothies!
While I don’t know what may or may not constitute a smoothie expert, I will say that I’ve been making these for over a decade; maybe several hundred smoothies a year? But what I’ve come to find out is that at the end of the day I want to make something I enjoy drinking. That’s what it’s all about right? The first official recipe is posting on Friday and I’m so excited to share with you guys – but if you just can’t keep that smoothie craving at bay, below are a few of my favorites!