Friday, January 9, 2009

Smoothies: Our Favorite Power Drink!

I am working on posting our first "Weekly Report" of this entire year!!!

In the meantime I thought I would share how I make smoothies for my boys. Since I've started my nutrition posts I have had several people ask me (with all we've cut from our diet), "So what do you feed your boys?" One of my favorite things to make them is blueberry smoothies. They love them and have no idea I pack them with so many goodies.

This is definitely more art than science so if you don't already make smoothies, use these ideas and come up with your own favorites! Basically I fill up the blender about 2/3 of the way with organic frozen blueberries (a superfood all by themself!) , throw in a handful of fresh strawberries, fill it up with orange juice and let 'er rip!

Now here's what makes them so fantastic: I add ground flax seed (read about the health benefits of flax here), a plant source of healthy Omega-3 oil that most of us Americans don't get nearly enough of in our diet. Don't use whole flax because our bodies cannot process it and it will just pass through your system. You can also use flax seed oil but it is a little bitter and we prefer the ground seeds.

I add frozen veggie cubes as well. I keep my eye on fresh organic spinach at my grocery each week. When it's within a day or two of its expiration they sell it cheap! I bring it home, steam it with just a drop of water, put it in the blender, pour it into ice cube trays, pop the frozen cubes into a gallon-size baggie and they're ready anytime I want to make smoothies. I usually add three cubes in each batch of smoothies. The blueberries are dark enough that the green color of the spinach doesn't show nor does the flavor come through.

Still, just to be on the safe side, the first time you make these, just add a drop of the flax seed and one cube of spinach. Increase the amount each time until you get where you want.

We are not big "dairy in our smoothies" people but if you are then add some organic vanilla yogurt and you'll add a fourth superfood off Web MD's list (I count the flax as a superfood because they have salmon on the list due to the fact it is high in omega-3's but fish wouldn't be an appetizing addition to our afternoon snack, huh?! As a side note, read this article on the pros and cons of using flax over fish for your omega-3 source).

You can try different combinations as well. My boys also like strawberry smoothies and in those I use frozen carrot cubes. Just like with the spinach in the blueberries, you cannot taste them at all! :) We also make Mango/Orange smoothies with frozen mango, a can of mandarin oranges (to add orange color so they don't suspect the hidden fruit ;) and the carrot cubes as well.

Happy drinking.


Tracy said...

We love smoothies and great idea on the ice cubes!

rural momma said...

Those sound yummy!!! :0)

Emmy said...

My boys love smoothies! We are also huge blueberry fans and I do add flax. I typically include some vanilla soymilk and sometimes banana. The spinach is a great idea.

I can't wait to see how your first CM inspired week went! :)

argsmommy said...

We love blueberry smoothies! We usually add banana too, but I will have to try some of your extras. Would frozen OG spinach work too?


Sheryl said...

A note to self, Next trip to walmart buy icecube trays.