Big thanks to my friend Elspeth of eMarketing Copywriter for taking over the blog today! It’s L’s 4th birthday and we will be partying all day 4yo style… you know, pancakes, building forts, a little snow play (awesome timing!), going out to dinner and birthday treats.
Elspeth is sharing all her vegan smoothie tips and 5 delicious recipes! She’s also a talented writer and if you’ve ever thought about turning blog posts into an e-book, she can help. 🙂
If just the words, “I’m a vegan,” make you cringe, trust me, I get it. Nothing instills fear more than the idea of having to feed a finicky eater. Whether it’s your Celiac sister-in-law or your best friend’s lactose intolerant toddler, special diets can be stressful.
And that’s exactly how most of my friends used to feel about my no-meat regimen … until I started making them smoothies. Sweet, delicious, 100% nutritious vegan smoothies.
Every morning, these start my day with a punch of nutrients. I usually add a side of whole grain toast. Yum! Ready to learn?
I am very fortunate to own a Kitchen Aide blender. This thing chops up inch thick cubes and big chunk fruit; it’s a very efficient machine.
If you need to buy one, choose a model that has some serious grinding power, preferably a name brand. If you plan to really immerse yourself in veganism, a commercial blender is a must-have, like the Vitamix or Blendtech.
Only the commercial models have the ability to pulverize tough kale leaves (and, believe it or not, berry seeds) into drinkable foam. (They can also create a quick, healthy fruit cream since they let you blend hard-frozen fruit into sorbet.)
I prefer to keep several frozen fruits on-hand at all times. Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods both carry reasonably priced options. Pick up some pineapple, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and mango next time you’re out.
Then, you’ll want to grab a few bananas. I’ve tried several variations of smoothies and the creaminess of this potassium and fiber packed natural snack just makes them even better. If you like, peel and chunk them before adding to your freezer stash.
Why don’t I juice? To me, it seems wasteful to throw out all the nutritious, delicious pulp. Instead, peel an orange, chop it up, and throw it in your smoothie whole.
You can do the same with apples (which I peel slightly). I’ve also tried pears, grapes, mangoes and berries. I find that adding ice makes the smoothie more palatable when I’m using fresh fruit.
Fruit can be fickle. A mid-summer strawberry tastes like candy, but grab one that’s a little too green and boy is it bitter. Adding just a touch of sweetness will get your family on board with all things smoothie. Add:
· Maple syrup
· Agave nectar
· Brown rice syrup
· Jam (fruity bonus)
· Fruit juice (to replace water)
Frozen fruit gives you that thick, luxurious mouth feel. But so do a few other secret weapons. (Remember, these are secret. Shh.)
If you want to sneak in a bit of nutrition, add some oatmeal or high-fiber cereal to your smoothie. You can throw in grits or granola, too, depending on the quality of your blender.
I have done a bit of experimenting with cooked sweet potato, as well. While I didn’t personally enjoy it, maybe you will.
To make your own smoothie recipe, use this as a guideline:
2 c frozen fruit (or fresh plus ice)
Sweetener to taste
Water or juice (about ¾ of the way up the ingredients)
And now, a few of my most amazing smoothie recipes so far:
1 c ice
¾ c fresh spinach
2- 4 Tbs honey
1 Tbs lime juice
Leftover Cranberry and Strawberry Surprise
¼ to ½ c whole berry cranberry sauce
½ c orange juice
1 ½ cups frozen strawberries
*add agave if your berries are tart
Tropical Breeze Smoothie
1 c frozen pineapple
1 c frozen mango
1 c strawberries
1 c raspberries
2 – 3 Tbs raspberry jam
Replenishing Almond Smoothie
¼ c almonds (a handful)
¼ c strong coffee
2 Tbs cocoa powder
Nut milk (Almond)
The whole point of a smoothie is not to stress about the ingredients. If your berries are bitter, add a little jam or some juice and reblend it.
The key is to grab a quick sip to taste the mix before you pour it out of the blender. Then, adjust your recipe to taste. Before you know it, you’ll be a vegan smoothie ninja in the kitchen. What’s cooler than that?
Elspeth Misiaszek uses her writing and online marketing skills to help vegans, coaches and entrepreneurs increase sales on their websites and blogs. Email today for a free consultation on turning your blogs into ebooks, ecourses and marketable material.
What are your go-to smoothie combinations?
And just because I’m curious, how much snow did everyone get last night?