Friday, June 21, 2013

Shake, Shake, Shake

Shake your bootay! Just kidding guys, this will be a serious post shakes and smoothies though. While smoothies are often times seen as quick snacks or desserts, when done properly they can become a meal in a glass that is packed with nutrients, antioxidants, protein, and healthy fats. You can use them to replace a meal such as breakfast or as a post-workout supplement. Best thing is, you can change it any way you can! Let's get started:

First off, you don't have to go to a smoothie guru or fancy shop to get quality shakes and smoothies. You don't even have to spend vast amounts of money to do so. The most expensive thing you will buy is the blend er, but you can find a really good one at Bed, Bath, and Beyond for only 16 bucks.

The List - Here is a list of some basics base ingredients that most smoothies require
Fruit/Vegetables- whether they are fresh or frozen, produce is both a delicious and nutritious way to liven up a smoothie
Here, I previously blended frozen blueberries, raspberries,
strawberries, flax seed, and natural yogurt. Once that was done
to my desired consistency, I filled in the remaining half of the
blender with fresh spinach leaves. Continue to blend until smooth

  • Bananas- probably the cheapest and most trusted one fruit of them all. This fruit is found in basically every smoothie recipe
  • Berries- although they are expensive, they provide a substantial amount of antioxidants and Vitamin C
  • Watermelons, apples, kiwi, pineapple- these 'juicy' fruits are used better when the liquid base is a juice
  • Mangoes, guava, papaya- I love how these fleshy fruits add a sweet and tropical taste to anything. Their versatility allows them to be used with a variety of bases and even to sweeten up the taste of protein shakes
  • Spinach, kale, avocado- make it lean and green!

Liquid Base - add 1-2 cups of liquid, however the more juice your selected produce has, the less liquid you will need
  • Milk/soy milk/ almond milk- of course for the calcium, Vitamin D, and protein
  • Juice- if you are feeling tropical or looking for a day time snack- be careful. Combing fruit AND fruit juice will sure put you in a sugar overload so use this combo sparingly 
Thickeners - Now, I LOVE a thick shake so often times I will use 2,3 or even more in one smoothie. Here are some good ways to get the right consistency of creaminess while still maintaining its nutritious content
  • Nut butter- whether it's peanut or almond butter, nut butters are packed with healthy fatsit 
  • Yogurt/cottage cheese
  • Frozen yogurt- mix this with berries and mangoes and you you have a delicious, low fat, natural summer dessert 
  • Ice
  • Oats
Enhancements - boost the flavor or nutrient density with sweeteners, spices, herbs, and dried fruits
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon- adds a layer of earthy sweetness without adding extra calories
  • Nutmeg- makes it taste like cake, if done right Martha Stewart's Banana Nutmeg Smoothie
  • Figs and Dates
  • Protein Powder
  • Flax Seed
  • Fish Oil
  • Vitamin Powder
  • Cocoa Powder
-Eating Clean in College

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