Monday, January 14, 2013

Smoothies, Remixed and Rethought

I'm a bad vegan, or a weird vegan, or something.  I just have never been a huge smoothie fan.  I like to chew my food.  I like the taste of greens, so when I hear people talk about "hiding" delicious leafy greens in a sweet smoothie it turns me off.  I don't want to hide delicious tastes.

Still, I'm a mom of two wild toddlers, so I like the quick and easy aspect of a smoothie and make them from time to time.

I always thought that a smoothie needed something creamy, like yogurt or milk (soy/rice/coconut), a protein source like powder or nuts, and of course greens.  Those things are all good.  I'm not saying you shouldn't make a smoothie that is a complete meal, but I'm learning that a fruit and vegetable puree is just as good, even if it's not a complete meal.

I've been making "smoothies" that are just fruits and vegetables with water or coconut water, and I love them.  They don't have a weird chalky flavor from some powder, they don't taste overly sweet because I'm not adding dates or syrup or even, again, the sweetened powder.  They don't taste odd because I'm keeping it simple with just a few ingredients.

Here are a few of what I'm talking about from this week.  Each serves 2 or more.

Tropical Orange
3 kiwis
2 cups loose spinach
1 orange
1/2 cup frozen mango
1 frozen banana
about 2 cups coconut water

Sweet Berry
2 pears
2 cups spinach
1/2-3/4 cup frozen black cherries
1/4 cup goji berries
1 frozen banana
1 1/2- 2 cups water

Carrot Orange
5 carrots
3 oranges
2-3 leaves of kale
1/4 cup goji berries
1 cup water
1 frozen banana

Sometimes, for something more filling, I add chia seeds, or I eat some leftover quinoa or nuts with my smoothie, or eat something else.  I find that thinking of a smoothie as a way to highlight the flavors of fruits, incorporate a bit of greens, even though I like a salad too, and get healthy fiber/sugar/nutrients, makes it so I don't have to make something that is a complete meal (even if in many cases it is), and then I can just enjoy it.
A great trip I picked up for making smoothies is to blend everything except the frozen ingredients until smooth, then add frozen stuff to cool it down.

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