We know that it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to feeding our families. When you are contending with picky eaters, time constraints, and sleep deprivation, meal planning and food prep can often feel overwhelming. The BVTMB team along with our sponsor, Healthy Living, is here to provide some fresh perspective and inspiration in the kitchen! From meal ideas to how to feed those picky eaters, we are excited to talk about all things food these next few weeks in our “Growing Up Gourmet, Beyond the PB&J” series.
Tips For a Successful Smoothie
It’s deception at the core, I’m sure. Nevertheless, I subscribe wholeheartedly to the practice as young lives are at stake and nothing short of unconscious intravenous measures would get my five year old to eat spinach. Or anything green, red, yellow, or generally colorful, for that matter. So while I do all the things I should to introduce new healthy foods to him, I shamelessly hide things in the food he does eat with the hope that one day he will be both convinced of and nourished by their merits.
Of course, the smoothie is an ideal place to hide good healthy veggies among good healthy fruit. Here are some tips to make great tasting smoothies that everyone will enjoy.
1. Use something frozen. Duh. But really, try and have about 2/3 of your ingredients frozen ahead of time. Maybe you keep a bag of frozen strawberries and use them as the base. In my experience this gives the smoothie a better consistency than adding ice.
2. Choose a healthy sweetener. I learned this gem at Costco during a demonstration of a blender: use one date to give your smoothie a sweet and caramely flavor. Ripe bananas are also a great way to add sweetness. If you’re plum out of dates, a little honey never hurt anybody. Unless you’re allergic. Then it will hurt you.
3. Use mild greens. If you aren’t actually trying to create the much touted Green Smoothie (ghastly!), but still want some green nutrients, use mild greens such as spinach, kale, or chard. Don’t use broccoli. Just don’t.
4. Choose your liquid. Water is perfectly acceptable, especially if you can keep it to a minimum, or use it in part with something else. Yogurt, various milks, or even coffee can taste great depending on your ingredients.
5. Add some texture. My husband puts oatmeal and cashew butter in his smoothies, which is absurd, but also a great energy boost. I like to put half an avocado in my son’s smoothie, which gives it a great smooth texture (he doesn’t even know!!) Flax seeds and almonds are also a great way to boost nutrition.
6. Lemon. This maybe shouldn’t necessitate an entire number, but I will not even make a smoothie for myself if I don’t have half a lemon to squeeze into it. Unless you are using soy or milk as a liquid, this always sharpens the flavors and adds a little zing.