Guest Author - Jason Hodge
We may have all been to the shopping centers or to the occasional Jamba Juice where there's a whole selection of smoothies to choose from; but do you know how to make your own? I'm talking massive flavor AND incredible nutrition. Here's one that'll knock your socks off.
In my house smoothies are the standard. They're quick, convenient and loaded with nutrients. When we make our smoothies, we make them to be complete meals in a blender. I'm going to give you one of my many smoothies recipes, but first I want to map out the fundamentals of how and why we make them. This will give you a blueprint of how to make your own without being chained to a given recipe.
There are three things we look at when we started making our smoothies; and although they are memories that silently play in the background of our subconscious now, they were principles that became a part of our process and considerations at the beginning of our smoothie making days.
Here's what they are:
When setting out to make anything that is supposed to be good for you, start out with this question in mind:
What's it's purpose? What's this for? What do I want to get out of this? or Why am I doing this?
When you start with the end in mind it always makes mapping out your process much easier; mainly because, if you have an end goal in mind you can eliminate all of the things that won't help you accomplish your objective.
A good example is that you may want your smoothie to be a meal replacement, a quick pick-me-up, an appetite suppressant, a tasty colon cleanser, a sweet treat or a number of other things, including a combination of the aforementioned.
Whatever it is that's where you always begin, at the purpose before you go any further. Trust me... it gets real easy once you get into the swing of it all.
Now that you have it's purpose defined, what do you want it to taste, smell, feel and look like? All of these things matter when you're going for the aesthetics. For some, they wouldn't care about any of these things. Their resolve to just get something in their systems that delivers their end results is all they need. Armed with that, they'd swallow any number of things. For others, that's simply not the case. They need the smoothies to, not only deliver on their desires, but also have the right taste and texture, etc. So for them,characteristic are extremely important.
To get over this hurdle, you'll need to educate yourself on your alternatives to make up the balance. Prime example... I am not a lover of celery or cherries. I'll eat them, but they are toward the end of my list of things I would eat. So if a recipe has celery or cherries in it and I have the option of substituting things for them to get the same or similar nutritional and or flavor results, I will. As you play with ingredients and begin to learn their idiosyncrasies, you'll be able to lock in on a desired characteristic and substitute galore to mimic their qualities! So start figuring out what you like, what you don't like and locate the things that fit into your criteria.
That brings us to:
This is the fun part! After you've defined your purpose and zeroed in on the characteristics, you want to create your ingredients list. Here's how that looks.
Let's say that I wanted to make a smoothie that's a meal replacement, is on the buttery sweet side, has a lot of fibre and is thick, rich, filling and sustains for hours?
I would start with looking at what a complete meal consists of: fats, carbs, proteins, enzymes, vitamins, minerals, fibre, etc. I would then start pulling in things on my ingredients list that will fill in those blanks. For my fats, fibre and proteins I would use fresh or frozen peas, pumpkin and salba seeds. For my carbs I would use bananas and dried apricots or figs. For my vitamins and minerals I would use a great liquid supplement, if the other ingredients don't have enough in them [which is usually not the case in my house]. For the enzymes I would use sprouts, soaked seeds or a good enzyme supplement... You get the point. I would go down my list and pull what I needed to get my desired results. That would be my base and so long as I had those things, or similar things in my smoothie, everything else I put in them would be gravy [not literal gravy].
This would ensure that I had what I needed to get the nutrition I was looking for.
Now here's my
Pumpkin Seed Smoothie Recipe
1/3 cup organic pumpkin seeds
2 tbsp salba seeds
2 tbsp golden flax seeds
1 cup green peas
1 teaspoon of probiotics
1/3 cup soaked dried Turkish apricots [with soaking water]
1 tsp blue green algae
enough nut, soy, grain or other non-dairy milk to cover by 2-3 inches [depending on desired thickness]
[optional] all natural sweetener [to taste]
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend on high until everything is incorporated and smooth. If you want it chilled leave a little room for ice to go in at the end of the blending process to bring the temperature back down and serve immediately. Bon apetite!
As always, it's been my pleasure sharing with you. Until next time...