Juicing and ready-made smoothies are all the rage these days, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetable blends. And, why not? Many Americans don’t get the required amount of vegetables so adding them to a sweet tasting drink is an easy solution for incorporating those important nutrients while avoiding a particular vegetable you might not like.
A problem is that it can be quite expensive if you opt to purchase ready made juices or smoothies, plus depending on the product, you might also get added preservatives you don’t want. Doing it yourself is a terrific alternative and there are a number of juicers and blenders made specifically for this goal, but you can drop a luxury car payment on one of these kitchen gadgets. This is why I was rather surprised when I was on Facebook shortly after the New Year and saw some photos posted by my cousin Kimberly, showing a freshly made smoothie she had created. After sending her a message, I discovered her New Year’s resolution was to eat healthier and an easy way to do this was by experimenting with a variety of fruits and veggies in smoothies.
Kimberly uses a small blender for her smoothies, not one of those specific “juicer or smoothie” appliances I mentioned before. I asked her to choose a few of her favorite creations and share them with me. In the meantime, I was speaking to my mother about it and it prompted her to experiment as well! She ended up using a hand-held blender and created her own smoothie. My mother’s version used chopped pears, white grapes, kale and she used apple juice as a mixer. One of Kimberly’s favorite versions uses red grapes, blueberries, kale and spinach. She uses orange juice as a mixer. For an all fruit version Kimberly likes to use blueberries, strawberries and banana, again with orange juice as a mixer.
Get creative! You can add some peanut butter and banana, with some low-fat milk as your mixer. For a taste of the tropics, try some mango, pineapple and banana and use orange juice as your mixer. The nice thing about using blenders is that you’re getting the fiber from using the whole fruit or veggie. Just be sure to cut the produce up into small pieces to make it easier to blend. My mom tells me when she made her smoothie and gave it to my dad, she asked him, “What do you think is in here?” (because you can’t taste the kale at all). His response was, “Something green.” He then proceeded to finish off the drink. Enjoy!