Smoothies: They Are Not All Created Equal
When you think about smoothies, what adjectives come to mind? Healthy? Fresh? Fruity and delicious? For me, these are ones that instantly are thought of. My mornings last summer usually began with a stop at my favorite breakfast place to get my regular “Real-Fruit Smoothie.” I was shocked to learn that what I thought was a healthy, low-calorie way to start my day was actually setting me back 730 calories, 160 grams of sugar, and barely contained any fresh fruit at all. Yikes! I had to wonder if all smoothies were secretly like this. Thankfully, two North Atlantic books have kept my fears at bay.
Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert, authors of The Art of Raw Food, share with readers a variety of smoothies with nothing secretive about them. They use normal fruit smoothie staples such as strawberries, blueberries, oranges and bananas, but they also incorporate ingredients such as coconut, honey, and raw cacao for extra health benefits. In fact, all three are well known superfoods. Coconuts improve digestion, honey can be used topically to heal wounds, and raw cacao contains the highest concentration of antioxidants of any food in the world. Now this was the type of smoothie I had envisioned starting my day with!
But, as we’ve seen, not all smoothies are created equal. In Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko, smoothie lovers are educated in the benefits of using greens in their favorite morning snacks. Why the intense focus on greens? “Greens contain all the essential minerals, vitamins, and even amino acids that humans need for optimal health,” Boutenko explains. All of the book’s recipes are kept simple in order to maximize nutritional benefit; the only ingredients that these smoothies contain are fruits, greens, and water, so that nothing slows down the break down of smoothies in the digestive tract. But just because they’re simple, doesn’t mean they skimp on flavor. Children are food’s toughest critics, and hers can’t get enough of these green creations!
Intrigued? These delicious recipes can be made easily at home.
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Yummy Blueberry-Strawberry Shake from The Art of Raw Food by Jens Casupei and Vibeke Kaupert
1 1/4- 1 3/4 cups nut milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 handful frozen strawberries
3/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 small ripe bananas or 1 large banana
1/2 tablespoon raw cacao
1/2 teaspoon vanilla or cardamom
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
Mix all the ingredients in a blender until you have the most delicious, soft smoothie.
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Lovely Green Goodness from Green Smoothie Revolution by Victoria Boutenko
1 Fuji apple
1 Bosc pear
1 cup kale
1/4 cup water
Blend well and enjoy!
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What fruits and greens do you use to make your favorite smoothie? Share your experiences with us!