I know what parents go through to get kids to eat vegetables. I was a kid once, and I hated finding vegetables I didn't like hidden in my food. I love pizza, but if a pizza had onions visible on it, I didn't eat it. If beef stew had green beans or peas in it, I plucked them out. Mushrooms in my soup? No way.
But I want to eat fresh veggies and fruits. So last summer I began making smoothies for lunch. Quick to make and quick to eat, and I can get six or seven fruits and vegetables down my gullet. It's a great way to get my fiber and a variety of nutrients.
My recipe for a smoothie is simple and flexible: Look on my counter for apples or bananas; look in my fridge for carrots, celery, lettuce, broccoli or cauliflower; and look in the freezer for frozen blueberries or peaches. Also, pull out apple juice or orange juice or a milk substitute such as almond milk or coconut milk.
I pour a good cup and a half of liquid into the blender and chop the produce into smaller shapes, so my blender can puree everything more easily. The smoothie is usually thick, so I add more liquid. My wife likes her smoothies thinner, so she adds even more liquid.
And that's it. My smoothies are slightly sweet, but not too sweet, and they are rarely the same two days in a row. Sometimes they're white, sometimes orange, sometimes green, and always speckled with bits of apple skin, carrot, blueberry skin or lettuce.
My Big Bad Smoothie has a lot of flavors in it, but I've experimented with smoothies with fewer veggies and fruits. I've included two recipes here.
Ideas for smoothies:
Basic recipe for smoothies: 1 cup liquid, 2 medium fruits, 1/2 cup veggies and 1/2 cup greens. Yields about 16 ounces of smoothie.
- Add 1 teaspoon of protein powder for extra nutrition.
- Add a date for earthy sweetness.
- Add half an avocado for rich creaminess.
- Yogurt adds a creamy taste and protein.
- On hot summer days, I add a handful of ice cubes or frozen fruit.
- Too sweet? Add 1 tablespoon or 2 of plain yogurt, especially Greek-style yogurt.
- Not sweet enough? Add 1 spoonful of berry jam or flavored yogurt.
Chris' Big Bad Smoothie
1/2 to 2 cups fruit juice or milk (see cook's note)
1 medium apple
1 mango, kiwi or peach or 1/4 cup frozen berries
1 medium carrot