Thursday, May 20, 2010

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

I am a smoothie freak. I'll admit it. I make smoothies for breakfast, snacks, lunch, desserts, and yep - even for dinner. Most days, smoothies make up 80 percent of my smoothies, raw cocoa nut-milk smoothies, vanilla almond date smoothies, peanut butter banana smoothies, fruit smoothies.... that's how much I love 'em. And I'm not the only one. My kids (and their friends) love them just as much. Then again, who wouldn't love a smoothie? You don't believe me? I challenge you. Come on over and I'll make you one. I am serious. Just do it before June 30 2010, or you'll have to try my smoothies in Bulgaria. Or I guess you can just go to Jessie's, I can't take her with me ;(

Anyhow, the great thing about these smoothies is that you don't have to use sugar, frozen yogurt or ice cream to make them taste good. There has not been a time that I have made a smoothie for my kiddos and their friends without them remarking about how delicious it was...and always, always, without fail, asking what is in it. The reply to my ingredients disclosure? THAT'S IT?????? Needless to say, they are always surprised.

Well, it's time to stop being shocked that natural can taste so good. It does. No ice cream, no yogurt, no sugar. You want it sweeter? Make sure you use ripe fruit. Add some honey. Try dates. We don't need sugar. You want it creamier? Throw in the frozen bananas. Add some cashews. We don't need dairy.

The smoothie pictured above is one of my latest favourites.

What you'll need:
Fresh oranges (whole or juiced)
combo of fresh and frozen bananas(to make it nice, cold and creamy without diluting the flavour with ice)
teaspoon of vanilla
Nice big glass, or jar.... your breakfast is served.

Add a handful of greens (usually spinach, collard greens, or kale) -and your taste buds will never know (shhh), but...your body will thank you. It's nice knowing something you love so much actually loves you back! Unlike that milkshake you had last night. Yeah, I saw you.

I know it sounds odd, but trust me....if you can get past the whole 'greens in a smoothie?' thing, and start out with 80% fruit and 20% greens, you won't even be able to taste the greens. That's the beauty of a green smoothie. They are super nutritious and even more delicious!

If you've got issues with drinking something green, suck it up. Literally. Ok, you caught me being sarcastic, I meant it figuratively too. ;)

Put your smoothie in a ceramic cup and use a colored straw (you big baby). This typically works for kids too. Fortunately, I started mine out young, so they never had a chance to think green smoothies were 'gross'.

Remember, your kids will follow your lead. If they are older, then it may take a while. In any event, don't force the issue. Let them come to you. Your job is to just start enjoying your own green smoothies in front of your kids. Laugh with them and at their jokes, agree with them that it's weird, and eventually they'll come around. Yes, these are the tricks I've used over the years, only for different raw food recipes. So I know what I'm talking about. I've tried to make my family eat healthier with some other methods (fascist, cough cough). Let's just say, it wasn't fun. For anyone. Sorry guys....yeah, you. Ok, and you too. But I'm better now, promise. Yeah, yeah, I'm a food fascist..... in recovery.

Hold on a minute. Before you get all excited to make your own super vitamin in a glass, I have another disclaimer. Yeah, you guessed it....this is another recipe for the Vita-mix (or other industrial type blender).
Green smoothies require an extra powerful blender or your smoothie won't be a smoothie, it'll be more like a sweet, chunky salady type thing. You won't like it (unless you're odd girl you).

If you don't have one of those babies, or at least access to one (seriously, I had to make my friends batches of green smoothie periodically...until they finally broke down and got their own Vita -mix.) maybe you have a juicer and a ordinary blender that will handle some frozen bananas....?

If this is the case, just juice the greens and the oranges, and add the juices to your blender. You will be missing out on the fiber that comes with those things, but hey, when your ready to invest in a Vita-mix, you'll make up for lost fiber then, seriously, just ask Jessie. Or, go eat a salad. Kind of like carbon offsets....take a plane, plant a tree. Juice your greens, eat a salad. Really though. We need fiber. From raw fruits and veggies. No, taking a pill or mixing a powder into your drinks is not good enough.

If you do have a best friend in your kitchen (no, not a Jessie, a Vita-mix), then shame on you, you should already know this! Na, just joking, we're glad you're learning! Throw about two whole oranges in with some fresh and frozen bananas, a handful of greens (or more) and zip it all up until nice and smooth. Drink, then smile. Be proud.

NO, we're not getting paid to promote Vita -mix, although we should be.... ;)