I really struggle with what to feed my girls to keep them full and energized. One thing that is always a winner at our house is a smoothie. I’ve been making smoothies for several years, but in the last year I’ve really been experimenting with healthy and filling combinations. I usually send my LSG and her BFF off on their long drive to practice with a smoothie in hand. I know that it’s not as environmentally conscious, but purchasing plastic cups with lids from amazon (like the one in the picture above) has really helped with portability and clean up.
Here’s a few things I like to include in our smoothies to add a nutritional punch…
- Greek Yogurt- Greek yogurt has almost double the amount of protein as regular protein and is thick and creamy. Choose the plain variety to avoid added sugar.
- Spinach- You can add spinach to almost any recipe! Added to a berry recipe not only can you not taste it, but it also isn’t visible. In orange and other light color smoothies it will be more visible- and your kids might object.
- Flax Seed- Sprinkle a bit in any recipe for a great source of fiber and Omega 3s. You can purchase flax seed meal that easily stores in the refrigerator.
- Chia Seed- Sprinkle a bit in any recipe for fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, antioxidants and protein.
- Protein Powder- Adds more protein for longer lasting energy. Make sure you read the label to avoid additional sugar.
- Frozen fruit- Purchase packaged flash frozen fruit at the market or make your own by freezing fruit on a tray and then bagging together
- Coconut water- Great for additional hydration
Until recently I was using a traditional blender which worked fine, but you will need to add additional liquid to these recipes to ensure that everything blends together smoothly. Last month I was very excited to purchase a Vita Mix blender! (Imagine a phone conversation between my husband and me where I say, “Honey, I’m at Costco- is it ok if I buy a new blender? It’s a little on the expensive side…”) A Vita Mix is the gold standard in blenders and I’d been wanting one for a long time. But, you don’t need a Vita Mix to make all these recipes- just experiment with what works with your machine.
Here are a few of our favorites…
Combine 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1 banana, 1 cup frozen berries, 1/2 cup apple juice and 1/2 cup coconut water. You can also add 1 cup of spinach, a sprinkle of flax seed and chia seed and some protein powder. Blend until smooth.
I’ve been obsessed with this one lately since it’s been so hot. When I make it for myself I put a lot of spinach, but when I make it for the kids I tone it down a bit.
Combine two large navel oranges, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 5-6 ice cubes, spoonful of orange juice concentrate and a splash of vanilla extract. If you make this in a regular blender you will need to add some liquid.
BSG loves to experiment with different recipes and adapted this one. It’s not as nutrient packed as the others, but it’s definitely a refreshing drink after soccer practice.
Combine 2 cups frozen strawberries, 2 cups lemonade, 1 cup greek yogurt. Blend until smooth. You may also want to add some ice.
Happy Blending! Do you have any favorite smoothie combinations?