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The how-to on homemade Smoothies

Smoothies are one of my all-time favorite things to not only drink, but to make; throw a bunch of stuff in a blender and voila! While all that sound magically easy, there is a bit more to it when it comes to making the most of your (and your kids') smoothies.

Here are some guidelines to making a smoothie in a snap:

1 serving (12-16oz smoothie)

Base-

  • 1 cup frozen fruit of choice

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/2-1 cup liquid of choice

Now that you've got the basics, let's dive in:

Choosing your fruit-

  • While I'm a big fan of frozen berries and bananas,
  • Pineapple and mango are a great combination for a tropical flair.

Choosing your liquid-

  • If you want to use juice, try and stick to non-concentrate types or if you're one of those with a juicer, make your own. OR
  • Milk, almond, coconut or other alternative milks

Add ins-

  • A handful of spinach to up your nutritional game
  • Scoop of whey protein for muscle recovery after a workout
  • 2 tablespoons peanut/nut butter for healthy fat and protein
  • 1/2 an avocado to add texture and healthy fat
  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder to add that chocolate kick
  • 1/2 tablespoon milled flax seed to up your omega 3s
  • 1 tablespoon honey (preferably raw, which is antimicrobial) or real maple syrup to add sweetness

Let your likes and creativity be your guide. Here are some of our favorite combinations:

PBJ Smoothie- frozen strawberries, 1/2 banana, peanut butter, honey to taste, flax seed, almond milk

Berry Good Smoothie- OJ, frozen berries, handful of spinach, scoop of vanilla whey protein

Now you're probably thinking, smoothies are what you drink - in a cup with a straw, BUT you could take things a step further! Using your smoothie mixture to make popsicles or try it as a smoothie bowl. Smoothie bowls have been around at least 15 years - well since I've been in high school, at least, and are a great alternative to your typical cup and straw method. Smoothie bowls are a great opportunity to add on some goodness by topping with granola, fresh fruit or shredded coconut. Below is one of my favorite smoothie bowl recipes.

Acai bowl-

Ingredients-

  • 1/2 cup frozen acai juice (I like Sambazon)
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 cup almond/coconut milk

Blend ingredients, pour into bowl, top with granola and sliced banana

NOTE: I buy a bottle of acai juice, portion it out in 1/2 and 1 cup individual serving sizes into Ziploc baggies and freeze to be smoothie ready any time!

Featured photo by Derek Bruff via Flickr