Building the Ultimate Super Smoothie

Dessert... healthy beverage... could it actually be the same? Smoothie's are all the rage these days – a quick and easy option to get the nutrients the body needs while actually enjoying it! You do have to be careful though, because overloading these frosty beverages with sugar is all too common and not very beneficial. The best idea is to learn how to create a super smoothie and to stick with the formula to create consistently healthy and delicious drinks.

Choose Your Produce

Nobody really forgets about the fruit, it's where all the sugar comes from. People do tend to forget to add a veggie. This is a vital mistake. For your super smoothie, you'll want to add 1-2 fruits (depending on how sweet you want it), and 1-2 veggies. Keep in mind that most veggies won't alter over power the sweet taste from the fruit. Great options for both? Bananas will give you great taste and are a great source of fiber; berries will add a tart flavor and are great sources of antioxidants. Spinach and kale are great leafy green options that will boost immunity and aid provide dozens of added nutritional value.

Building the Ultimate Super Smoothie

Choose Your Base

You're not eating ice cream, and you're not drinking a juice; you'll need to add the right base to get it to a creamy texture that's just how you like it. Do this with items that add value, not take it away. Almond milk, coconut milk and water are great options to thin it out. You'll also want to add to the creaminess (and thicken it up) by adding things like your favorite nut butter, greek yogurt, ice cubes, and chia seeds.

Choose Some Added Flavor

If fruit alone doesn't quite cut it for you, you're welcome to add some flavor for your smoothie. Honey, maple syrup, cinnamon, figs and vanilla extract are all wonderful options for flavor, where just a little goes a long way. Be careful not to overload your smoothie, as these options all contain vast amounts of sugar. In small quantities, they're fine. In larger amounts, they negate the health benefits of your smoothie.

Choose Your Boost

To take your smoothie from healthy to super healthy, you'll need to add some highly nutritious super foods. Different foods will provide different benefits, so figure out what your motive is. Are you recovering after a tough workout? Are you wanting to boost your immune system? Looking for an extra source of omega-3 fatty acids, or trying to calm inflammation? Try protein powder, goji berries, fish oil or flax seeds, respectively. These items are huge health boosts for your body, and can be sneaked right into a smoothie without any detection in taste. Why not?

Creating super smoothies has never been easier, healthier or more delicious when you follow the simple formula of picking your produce, a base, a flavor and a boost.

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Quick Energizing Breakfast Recipes

mango smoothie

If you just woke up hangovered (sic), woke up at dawn to hit the gym, are currently recuperating or want to jump-start your day, the only way of making this possible is by having an energizing breakfast. Basically, such a breakfast encompasses foods that contain high amounts of healthy carbohydrates, fats and proteins. To get the best out of them, here are 5 quick energizing breakfast recipes that you should give a try:

Sunny-Side Up Eggs

When making sunny-side up eggs for four, you'll need fours slices of bread, four anchovies, four eggs, Parmesan cheese shavings, olive oil, lemon, capers, black pepper, coarse sea salt and kale. To make the eggs, start by sprinkling cheese over the bread and heating in the toaster till it melts. Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil, add anchovies and mash till a paste forms. Add kale, season with salt and pepper and wait till the leaves become soft and bright green and stems tender. When done, remove and serve beside the toast. In another skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, heat over medium high heat and crack the eggs directly over the pan. Let them cook for 2-5 minutes. When done, serve your eggs with the greens and have them topped with cheese and capers. Also, add a squeeze of olive oil and lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Yogurt Parfait

Other than being an energizing breakfast food, yogurt parfait makes breakfasts less boring. To prepare a cupful, you'll need low fat plain yogurt, two tablespoons of dried fruit and flaxseed meal, unsalted raw almonds or walnuts, sugar and ground cinnamon. Start by stirring flaxseed meal, nuts and dried fruit into the yogurt and finish off by sprinkling sugar and cinnamon at the top. Alternatively, you can choose to create a layered parfait; flaxseed meal at the bottom followed by a later of yogurt, dried fruit and then another layer of yogurt and finally nuts followed by a more yogurt.

Almonds Butter and Bacon Sandwich

To make this delicacy, you'll need three pieces of whole grain bread, natural almond butter, bacon, olive oil, tart apple and coarse sea salt. When making the sandwich, you'll be required to first toast two slices of bread before spreading them with butter. Next, lay the apple over the butter and top each piece with crisp bacon. Finish off by drizzling some olive oil and sea salt on the bacon and assembling your sandwich - with the plain slice in the middle.

Fancy Fresh Toast

To make fancy French toast, you'll need two slices of whole grain bread, an egg, low fat milk, canola oil, canola margarine, low calorie syrup and cinnamon. While the pan heats with margarine and canola oil, beat and combine the egg with milk and cinnamon. Dip the bread into the egg mix and toast over a pan till it turns golden on both sides. When done, top with syrup and serve.

Re-hydration Ginger-Mango Smoothie

This quick energizing breakfast recipe demands that you use low fat vanilla yogurt (gives a creamy and thick texture), peeled and chopped mango (adds a sweet flavor), soft tofu, chopped crystallized ginger, flaxseed oil, ground flaxseed and cardamom. To make the smoothie, put all of these ingredients in the blender and puree till smooth.

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Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe

Other than boiling an egg - which is the world's easiest kitchen task, nothing else comes close to making a smoothie. After all, all that one needs to do is gather the necessary ingredients, put them in the blender and blend them till everything is smooth. But is that really what it takes to make a good, no, a perfect pumpkin spice smoothie? Before jumping into the recipe, here are a few things that will help improve the quality of your smoothies.

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

Tips and tricks

  1. a) Always use fresh and organic ingredients: This is because fresh ingredients give birth to a smoothie that's both nutritional and better tasting.
  2. b) Use natural sweeteners: Instead of using sugar to sweeten your smoothie, use the likes of stevia, honey, maple syrup or dates.
  3. c) Spice it up: Use of spices helps in enhancing the smoothie's flavor. Examples of spices that you can use include cayenne pepper, nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon.
  4. d) Include seeds: Seeds such as hemp, chia and flax seeds play a key role in not only boosting the overall nutritional value of the smoothie but also giving it texture.
  5. e) Last but not least, remember that it's never about what you're blending but how you are blending. As such, you ought to use a high quality blender and, blend according; from the lowest to highest speed setting.

Going by this guide, here's a pumpkin spice smoothie recipe that will ensure that you get more than satisfactory results.

Ingredients

  1. a) Two tablespoon of pure maple syrup or honey
  2. b) One fresh banana
  3. c) A cup of ice cubes
  4. d) Two thirds cups of fresh pumpkin puree
  5. e) Half a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt
  6. f) Half a cup of almond or skim milk
  7. g) A quarter teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  8. h) A quarter teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

Start by adding the almond milk into the blender. Only add the recommended amount as too much of it can make your smoothie runnier cum watery. Next, add the main base - a banana. This is what ends up giving texture to your smoothie. Then, add the fresh pumpkin puree and Greek yogurt. Following the pumpkin puree and yogurt should be other additional add-ons like sweeteners - maple syrup and spices - ground cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice.

Once all the ingredients have been put in the blender, blend them up. The best way of blending a smoothie is by starting on a low setting before going up to the highest blending speed.

Just in case the smoothie ends up being too thick, add a little bit of milk and if too watery, add ice cubes. While milk makes the smoothie less thick, ice makes it thicker and frothier. All the same, too much ice can easily water down the smoothie.

Serving your smoothie:

Pumpkin spice smoothies are best enjoyed as soon as they are out of the blender. The reason behind all this is, if let to sit for a couple of more minutes, they may end up separating or thickening. And as earlier mentioned, fresh smoothies are a lot tastier than refrigerated ones.

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Smoothies…for Now and Later

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For working mothers, it can be difficult to find the time to prepare healthy meals with enough variety to keep the family happy. However, you can make ahead smoothies that have endless combinations. They are a quick way to provide a nutritious breakfast for the family. The following recipes are for one serving. However, the amount of ingredients can be increased for a larger batch. Make sure to store and freeze the rest of the batch until next time. Here are two starter recipes, one with a milk base and one with water.

First, prepare half a cup of blackberries. Both frozen and fresh blackberries work for this recipe. Also, prepare two ripe peaches and make sure to clean out the pit in the center. You'll need half a cup of low fat milk. Use nonfat for a low calorie count or 2% for full flavor. If you would like some extra sweetness, you can also use a teaspoon of honey. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.

The second recipe is a strawberry non-dairy drink that is water-based. Prepare one cup of strawberries, a quarter cup of water, four ice cubes and a tablespoon of honey. Add the water and strawberries in the blender first with the honey and ice cubes added last. Start off blending the mixture slowly while increasing the speed of the blender gradually to high until the mixture is a red, smooth liquid. Continue to blend on high for an additional 30 seconds.

You may also add 4 to 5 ice cubes to chill the drink if you want to serve it immediately. Using chilled or frozen ingredients usually eliminates the need for ice cubes, though. Freeze the rest of the batch, but it would be best not to add ice cubes to the rest as it will water down the flavor of the drink. When the rest of the frozen smoothie batch is ready to be served, just defrost it until it can be put into a blender. Then you can blend the frozen mixture until it is smooth.

You can experiment with different types of fruit according to your family's tastes, and even sneak in a few spinach leaves they'll never know are in there. Or even try an apple and spinach smoothie. 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt are great additions to most smoothies, and boost the calcium. Avocado will also add creaminess with some good vitamins. Blueberries add great color, flavor and antioxidants. Also, if you break a banana into a few chunks and freeze it, it makes a great thickener and can replace ice. Because busy mothers can make them ahead of time, these healthy beverages are a great way to ensure that the kids are getting their fair share of daily fruit.