What you need: blender, juice, hemp milk, frozen banana and assorted frozen fruit.
Eating enough fruits and vegetables is important to us all, especially if you are a vegan, trying to loose weight, or prepare meals for children. Careful planning is necessary to be sure you get enough good fuel into your body each day, and avoid junk food. For those of us who are busy, and don’t always have time to drop everything to eat, a blended drink is a great solution for nourishing your body on the go. It takes about 6 minutes to blend the drink and wash the blender, and then you can sip away at it while you carry on with your day. Straws make it easy to sip, and are fun to use, especially for kids.
There is no one perfect combination of fruits for the ultimate smoothie. So, if there is a fruit you love that is not mentioned here, try adding it! Using frozen fruit adds chill to your beverage without having to add ice. Ice can be hard for some blenders to completely chop, so I just avoid it. I have found using half juice and half hemp milk for my liquid gives a creamy texture that is satisfying. However, using only juice or only hemp milk is fine. Organic fruit is higher in antioxidants and nutrients then non-organic. Organic fruits also support the health of our planet, and if you purchase it at the farmers’ market- it will support your local community.
Makes 1-2 smoothies, depending on serving size. In blender add 1 frozen, diced banana, about 1 ½ cups of frozen fruit, and about 3 cups liquid (half juice, half milk alternative). Blend on high, stopping as needed to push fruit down to be sure it is all getting blended. This may take a few minutes depending on the strength of your blender. Then get a cup and enjoy! After a few smoothies, you will be able to customize your fruit to liquid ratio to your desired consistency. A note here from experience; if your blender is not working properly try adding a little more liquid and see if this alleviates the problem.
A good “starter smoothie:
1 frozen organic banana,
1 ½ cups organic apple juice,
1 ½ cups organic hemp milk,
4 chunks frozen pineapple,
¼ cup frozen organic strawberries,
handful frozen organic melon,
and handful frozen organic fruit of choice.
Always use organic if possible! Juices- apple, peach, pear, pineapple coconut blend, orange, or any other 100% juice you find appealing. Fruit, Melon, and Berries- you may buy fruits that are already frozen, chopped, and in a bag. Another option is to buy whole fresh fruit, and dice and bag your own. I prefer this option, and make an afternoon of going to the farmers market, choosing the best looking fruit, and then come home and get out some freezer zip lock bags. I dice and bag my own fruit combinations so when I go to make a smoothie, I just need to open one bag and pour out the needed amount. You can mix fruit, but store bananas in a separate bag. Melon works really well in smoothies too! Buy a whole one, and dice and freeze, same with a whole pineapple, yum. If you choose to leave the skin on your fruit, your smoothie will be chunkier, but still good. You can freeze berries in the same way you did with fresh fruit- buy them when in season, and create a berry blend to keep handy in the freezer. The essential in any good smoothie is the banana.
Inevitably, a few of the bananas we buy start to go soft and brown. Here is your chance to use them! Peel and dice before you freeze- trust me it is not easy to peel a frozen banana. If you are using regular bananas, 1 per smoothie is good. In Hawaii we have apple bananas, which are smaller, so in that case use 2. The banana adds body and thickness that will separate your smoothie from being just a fruit drink. Milk Alternatives- In the milk alternatives department there are many choices today. I prefer hemp milk, due to its health properties. You may find success using any of these choices: hemp, soy, rice, or almond milk. Most of these will come in vanilla, or chocolate flavored and can add a tasty twist to your drink!
Depending on how you are using your smoothie- as a snack or as a meal, you may want to consider adding a “boost” such as a probiotic, protein powder, or antioxidant. At your local health food store you should consult someone who can recommend the one that is right for your needs if you don’t already take a supplement. I like this idea because it gets disguised in the smoothie as a treat, and it only takes a second to add something like this.