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Smoothie operator...


Tuesday, February 05, 2013

We have a new toy in the house. This happens a lot when you have a husband who sells small kitchen appliances, and it's dangerous when you have a microscopic kitchen... but that's another issue for another day. A couple weeks ago, we picked up a smoothie maker to replace my horrible cheap blender. The main reason for this is because I'm looking for ways to get a quick dose of good quality calories, and so far it's been doing the trick.

The problem with smoothies and juicing is that a lot of the information out there comes with a good side of woo. And I don't really want woo. I'm not looking for magic foods or Dr. Oz's Miracle Cure of the Week or detoxes or super combos. Even the machine we bought has a guidebook with some decent recipes but some questionable dietary advice. I tend to stay away from anything faddish, and there are a lot of liquid diet fads out there right now.

Basically, I just want to put some good stuff in a cup, mash the hell out of it for a few seconds, and drink it while I'm running around in a sports bra with one shoe on. I've mostly been using this for pre-runs on clinic days. I get home from work shortly after 5, which leaves me with 15-20 minutes to change and be out the door for my evening run. Since our runs are edging into 10k plus territory as of this week, I need a substantial snack/mini-meal at that time. Smoothies have been a great solution, especially if I get everything ready at lunch so I just have to stick it on the base and go.

So! I'm looking for ideas - especially green smoothies. I tend to be bad about getting in my leafy greens because salads take more effort than I'm willing to do unless I specifically set out to make a salad. For comparison, I have cut raw veggies all over the place that I can grab for a quick lunch or snack, so there's no shortage of carrot sticks and peppers in my diet. I have some taste and texture issues that are mostly visual, so I'm looking for a green smoothie that's on the sweet side (or at least not bitter) so my brain can get over the 'This is WRONG' hump of drinking green sludge (maybe a pretty strawberry on the side of the cup will help). I've had some tasty juices with greens before (I like Jugo Juice's Kale King), but I want something to try at home that I can't screw up. Either that, or something that's a familiar veggie juice mixture (like a V8 type thing).

My usual mix so far has been about 150-200g of fresh fruit (in some combo of banana, blueberries, strawberries and mango), almond milk and vanilla greek yogurt. I haven't tried adding any veggies or nuts yet.

Any thoughts or personal favourites?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KAPELAKIN 2/7/2013 8:22PM

    I wrote up a whole thing on this the other day and my internet connection went poof and I lost the whole thing, so this will be quick:
Refreshing and light: 1 peeled red grapefruit, generous handful of parsley, plenty of ice, some stevia if needed
Meal replacement: scoop of protein powder, banana, handful of spinach, flax or shredded coconut, almond milk, ice, blueberries (they hide the green color), stevia and/or vanilla if needed
Pumpkin pie: unsweetened canned pumpkin, pie spice and cinnamon, vanilla, protein powder, banana, almond milk, spinach if you want

For pre-run, I'd probably go with something that is mostly fruit and not too heavy on fiber, maybe peanut butter banana or something like that.

Smoothies are fun to play with. I like to keep unsweetened cocoa powder, vanilla, orange and lemon extract and stevia on hand to flavor them. If I put in too much spinach, a little lemon or orange extract will mask the flavor. If you don't like protein powder, Greek yogurt would be a good alternative, just use less liquid in the mix. Have fun!

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IBSHAUN 2/6/2013 1:47PM

    Your description of one shoe/sports bra had me chuckling - proud of your dedication though! I have no amazing recipes to share (I think I will add mango to mine now, though) but I do have a suggestions about the spinach. I also have trouble with my greens. I make pretty basic smoothies, using either nonfat yogurt or fat-free milk/almond milk (depends on what I have) and frozen fruits (strawberries, mixed berries, blueberries). I usually add a banana and some ice if I need it and will also include a scoop of protein powder. For veggies, I was using fresh spinach but it can be a problem in my house-- storage, or gone so quickly and I cannot go to the store every other day. My step-mom had the same issue so she takes her spinach, puts it in a blender, adds a touch of nonfat milk and chops it up. She then pours it into ice-trays and freezes it into little cubes. It makes it so easy to grab a few cubes of frozen spinach when I need it from the freezer.

Comment edited on: 2/6/2013 4:17:11 PM

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RUNNINGWILD 2/6/2013 12:45AM

    Sadly, I can really relate to that one shoe/sports bra thing. I cannot help you with smoothies. I just found an unopened jar(?) of whey protein that I got when I was pregnant that I should use before it expires.
I'd be interested in any recipes you get ...

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