5 Easy Steps To The Smoothie Of Your Dreams
Oh smoothies. They make life so easy. They really do.
Here at Maplerose HQ I make smoothies at least twice a week. Kids love them (most of the time) and I love that I know they’re getting a boost of all the good things in one cup. And smoothie leftovers are in the fridge for when I’m starving and need a boost!
Cooking together is something we’ve always done. I was a chef for years and love to cook and this is something of “mine” I want to share with my kids.
Involving the kids in the kitchen with me teaches them so much. And while the learning opportunities abound it’s also a chance for us to do something fun together. Connecting through cooking is so delicious.
SMOOTHIES FOR THE WIN
You can make smoothies for breakfast, lunch, snack time or even dinner. Why not?
We love local and organic ingredients and it’s even better when they come from our own garden.Frozen berries from our garden are not only delicious, they remind us on, chilly winter mornings, the fun we have growing things in the summer.
And if you’re homeschooling like us, smoothies make a great lesson!
If you’re making smoothies for children I encourage you to involve them, too. Or if you need a little time out, go make a smoothie for yourself and get lost in the noise that drowns out all the other noises in the house. Om!
INVITE THE CHILDREN INTO THE KITCHEN
You know your kids better than anyone so give them as much autonomy as you’re comfortable with. Consider their age, interest and skill set and set them up for success.
Know there will be a bit more of a mess, but know you’re also making memories + teaching valuable skills. Chances are they love to be with you no matter what they’re doing. Or they’re hungry. Either way it’s a win.
Let them choose their own ingredients and turn the blender on and off. Have a special cup for smoothies or purchase reusable straws. We love our stainless steel straws. And we haven’t lost any after 3 years. A miracle, I know! And well worth the investment.
Make a “group smoothie” where everyone chooses the ingredients together. Co-operation, team building, or perhaps a lot of squabbling.
Make it a game where you write the ingredients down and pull them out of a hat and THAT’s the smoothie you make. I don’t want that one.
Turn smoothie-making into a homeschooling lesson all about flavours (social studies) or states of matter (science), where ingredients come from (geography) or measuring (math) or creating recipes (career education). And if they wrote down the ingredients for the previous suggestion that’s writing + spelling!
You can even freeze your leftovers and have more smoothies (more science!)for when you don’t want to mess up the blender or you’re in a hurry and heading out the door and OOPS forgot to eat.
Eating is important.
THE PERFECT SMOOTHIE EQUATION
You can follow this simple equation to create a power-packed smoothie for just about anyone.
The flavour is completely customizable to what you like and what you have. Before long you’ll have a go-to favourite recipe of your own to create whether you’re heading out the door or sitting down to read.
You always have time for something nourishing + delicious.
- 2-3 fruits + veggies
- 1 fabulous fat
- 1 powerful protein
- Something sweet + special.
A NOTE ON BLENDERS: We are lucky enough to have a Vitamix. We’ve had it for 15 years and it’s one of my essential kitchen appliances. I’ve fixed it twice and replaced some parts and it continues. It’s a high powered blender that can even create nut butter, and it’s how I make my smoothies. Nothing is left to the power of this blender and all is liquified which makes adding dates, ground flax seeds, leftover oatmeal, greens, no problem. The smoothie is SMOOTH. A high-powered blender, like Vitamix, may be essential when creating a smoothie for those with a more sensitive and discerning palate (children!) or anyone who doesn’t like to drink chunky things.
If you don’t have one of these blenders, yummy smoothies are still possible. Just be more careful when choosing ingredients. Stick to those you know will pulverize under the pressure or your own blender
STEP 1 FRUITS + VEGGIES
The more colours the more variety of vitamins and nutrients which is a good thing to consider but really this is where I love to choose the flavour profile.
Do I want something classic (chocolate + banana), simple (strawberry), green (spinach kale cucumber), zingy (ginger peach spinach), creamy (banana honey cinnamon) or cozy (roasted pumpkin, cinnamon, maple)
This is also when you open the fridge and check out the fruit bowl to see what needs to be used up and what is in great abundance this season.
You can also sneak some veggies into the smoothie for that extra boost that won’t effect the flavour too much but the nutrient profile will go off the charts. Hello, spinach and roasted pumpkin!
CHOOSE 2-3 fruits + veggies total. I find more than that creates a muddled flavour and too many things on the counter. Keep it simple. 1 cup of berries or chunks of fruit (peaches, pears, pineapple) or 1 banana or 1 big handful of spinach are the approximate measures to use for these ingredients.
Fats are for energy and healthy cell formation. They keep you warm in the winter and make sure some nutrients are absorbed and important hormones are produced.
2 Tbsp nut butter, ½ cup coconut milk, 2 TBsp flax seeds
Protein helps to build muscle, bone, hair, skin and keep it healthy and vibrant. Protein helps cells repair, oxygenate the blood and gives us energy. Bring on the protein!
Nuts and seeds are my favs. I love that I can forage walnuts and hazelnuts in our neighbourhood and that hemp seeds and sunflower seed are grown right here in Canada. Yogurt can be made at home or sourced from organic and local farms close by to almost everyone.
2-3 Tbsp nut butter, ½ cup soft tofu, ½ - 1 cup plain or flavoured yogurt
To begin with, I pour enough liquid to cover the solids and give an initial blend. Then I taste and decide what and how much more liquid to add.
Water and oat milk are the liquids I use most often. If I’m already using lots of creamy fruits (like banana and avocado) or have yogurt in there I use water, but most often it’s oat milk or a combo of oat milk and water.
Juice adds a lot of sugar to your smoothie but also a lot of flavour. (OJ, banana, strawberry - YES! Or how about apple juice, spinach, cucumber, romaine, blueberry) Just use it in moderation or to pull out a very extra special smoothie every so often.
After you’ve zinged up the initial mix you may need something sweet or something a little special. I’m talking about maple syrup, vanilla, ginger, mushroom powders or cacao, to name a few..
I often add a little something sweet to our smoothies in the form of maple syrup. Just 1-2 Tbsp but you could also add another banana, 1-2 soft dates (if your blender can handle it), or that sweetened yogurt may do the trick.
I add 1-2 Tbsp of maple syrup and 2 Tbsp of cacao to make a smoothie chocolate-y. Peanut butter, banana, avocado, cacao maple syrup = dessert-like decadence
I peel and roughly cut up a 1-inch (or more) piece of ginger for warming spiciness. Perfect with peaches and mangoes.
Vanilla is such a lovely flavour. It really elevates a strawberry-banana smoothie.
I encourage you to write down your favourite smoothie recipes. Sometimes we forget even the most brilliant things we come up with and I guarantee you’re gonna find the smoothie recipe of your dreams.
Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org