For about three years now, I’ve been wading in the shallow end of the raw food diet pool. In 2011, I watched a documentary titled, “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” on a whim, and was clued in to the healing power of natural foods that were un-fooled around with. In the documentary, Joe Cross triumphs over weight and autoimmune issues through juicing fruits and vegetables for his sole source of nutrition. I was inspired watching him put down prescription drugs and fight medical symptoms with raw fruits and vegetables alone. I was also inspired.
As I get older, mine and my family’s health becomes more and more of a priority for me. I am closely controlling everything that my baby girl eats, which in turn keeps me more accountable for what I feed to my husband and myself. With a recommended seven servings of fruits and vegetables a day, blending makes it easy for me to fortify our diet with vital nutrients and vitamins without much hassle with prep and eating.
I do not have a juicer, but in my eyes, blending is just as beneficial as juicing. I took a similar approach to what I saw Joe Cross do, and through research and sampling, I’ve figured out which smoothie configurations I like. I’m enthusiastic about sharing this practice with my family, friends, and colleagues.
A few months ago, I brought some ingredients and my blender in to my classroom and blended a smoothie for my class and I to share. One student has requested that I provide the recipe, so I’m including it here along with some of my others.
I read somewhere that combining fruits and vegetables is not a good idea when making smoothies. I have no idea why anyone would publish that; it seems that combining vegetables with fruits is a nice way to mask the strong taste of leafy greens like chard or kale under the sweetness of berries and citrus.
My favorite smoothie ingredients include:
Fresh squeezed or 100% juice for base*
I enjoy packing protein, vitamin C, antioxidants, and lots of fiber into my smoothies. Don’t underestimate the potential of avocados when making smoothies; they add a light, sweet taste and a creamy, cool texture. Chia seeds are flavorless, and one tablespoon packs loads of protein and fiber.
I also emphasize the need to use 100% or fresh squeezed juice for base (if you choose to use a base) to avoid adding unnecessary sugar to your smoothie.
My most common smoothie recipe looks something like this:
1 cup blueberries
1 cup strawberries, diced
2 cups kale, cut with stems included
1 5.3oz greek yogurt cup (flavor of your choosing – try pineapple!)
2 tbsp chia seeds
2 1/2 cups fresh orange juice
Placing your greens at the bottom of the blender tends to produce better results, but blend your ingredients until you get a smooth and cream-like consistency. Enjoy the appearance of your creation, too – blending allows you to take in the benefits of the fiber contained in fruit pulp, which will give a freckled appearance to your smoothie. Things such as apple peels, strawberry seeds, and leafy green bits all increase the nutritional value of your smoothie.
Experiment with different flavors and items to find smoothies that please your palette and dietary needs. Happy blending!