Nina’s Tips and Techniques: Smoothies

I don’t really get the smoothie craze…what am I missing?

A smoothie is a great way to incorporate a number of fresh and nutrient-dense foods in a convenient package. Smoothies are quick to make and you can bring them with you anywhere! Smoothies can be fruit, veggies, or both. They can incorporate yogurt, nut milks – or other non-dairy milks like pea protein (very trendy right now); you can add protein powder, flax meal, chia seeds, or hemp hearts for omega fatty acids and fiber…there are endless possibilities!

My smoothies are always too thick – help!

You’ll need a little bit of liquid if your smoothie contains mostly thick ingredients. Take Bananas, they are a common smoothie ingredient, but they bind liquid so you’ll need to add milk, almond milk etc to thin it. I always try to find a balance of ingredients that are thick with things that will loosen the mixture. Berries tend to get watery, so I like to mix them with yogurt or banana. Peanut butter, banana, avocado are thick so I will add ¼ cup of almond milk. I tend to blend my smoothie with less liquid at first and add it as needed, otherwise you risk making it too loose.

My smoothies are always warm and not at all refreshing—gross!

The blending process does create a small amount of heat, so even if all your ingredients start in the fridge the smoothie might come out room temp. Best smoothie practice is half of your ingredients should be frozen. I prep cut banana pieces and berries ahead and keep them in bags in my freezer. If this isn’t possible try adding a few ice cubes to the mix. A cold smoothie is definitely more enjoyable.

Recipe – Eli’s Power Smoothie

In a 12 oz magic bullet or other blender:
1 banana
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen mangos or strawberries or mix of both
3 tablespoons hemp hearts
1 tablespoon flax seed
As much fresh ginger (peeled) as you can handle
3/4 cup almond milk
Blend until smooth. Enjoy!