I have been making a fruit smoothie for breakfast almost every day for over ten years, so I guess you could say that I'm at least an "old hand", if not an expert. Yes, I make one of these each morning because they're healthy and balanced nutrition, but if they didn't taste delicious, you can bet I wouldn't still be making them.
From time to time people ask me for the recipe I use, and I'm only too happy to share it with them. But I must tell you that as important as the ingredients are, the appliance I use to make them is essential. You see, I put a lot more than just fruit into my fruit smoothies, including nuts and seeds.
Recently I stopped at a local health food store to replenish my supply of chia and flax seeds. My friend, the store's owner, warned me that I should get ground flax seeds, since a blender would not be capable of puréeing the whole seeds. I assured him that my "blender", a Vitamix, easily and finely chops the whole flax seeds.
This little detail is very important, since the treasure of flax oil in those little seeds is kept fresh and pure until it's time to consume them. Flax oil, once removed from the flax seeds is volatile, and will become rancid in a relatively short period of time, even if refrigerated. Having a powerful Vitamix machine allows me to mix everything into my fruit smoothie resulting a fresh, creamy, delicious, healthy meal.
I can't help but say a little more about this amazing machine that has become such an important part of my life! When I take a vacation (on an airplane), I can't take my Vitamix, so I have to use a normal blender, and the results just aren't the same. The ice is grainy, the seeds sink to the bottom, and the fruit smoothie is just not as creamy. I endure it, because I know it's healthy, but it's just not the delicious drink to which I've become accustomed.
One indication of how good my fruit smoothies are is the way my grandkids line up with their little glasses, to have a share of my "Papa shake". Knowing how kids have a distinct aversion to anything that might be healthy for them, my grandkids are totally oblivious — they have no idea how healthy a "Papa shake" is for them! My fruit smoothies pass the kid test.
I'm going to give you the basic ingredients I always use, and then tell you about a bunch of options I add from time to time. After you begin making the basic fruit smoothie, then you can have fun experimenting with several of your own additions. Here are the basics:
• 1/4 apple
• 1/4 orange (peeled)
• 10-12 red grapes
• 1/4 c blueberries
• 2-3 chunks fresh pineapple
• 1 scoop protein powder
• water and ice
These are some extras I normally add every day:
• 1 T plain Greek yogurt
• 1 t cod liver oil
• 1 t each whole flax, chia, and quinoa seeds
• 6-7 bitter apricot kernels
These are some extras I add from time to time for a different flavor:
• sprig of fresh mint
• slice of fresh lime, with peel
• slice of fresh ginger
Since the basic ingredients make a sweet-tasting fruit smoothie, you can feel free to add some other fruits and vegetables that might not be as sweet, for their additional nutritive value. These are some extra fruits and vegetables I add from time to time for variety: carrots, banana, spinach, fennel, beet, melon, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cranberries, and cherries.
For years I've been using GNC 100% Whey Protein - Vanilla Cream; it has a great flavor and consistency. I chose it initially because it had a high protein to carbohydrate ratio, and no sugar. I checked the ingredients recently and found that they had changed their recipe, and that what I was using now contains both sugar and aspartame. Since I try very hard to introduce neither of these into my body, I was quite disappointed. However, after a little research I found three better alternatives:
1) My favorite - GNC 100% Whey Protein - Naturally Unflavored (NO sugar, NO sweetener)
2) Garden of Life Raw Protein - Vanilla (Plant-base protein, with no sweeteners)
3) GNC 100% Whey Protein - Natural Vanilla (Sweetened with sugar and stevia, if you're OK with a little sugar)
Not many people eat as many fruits and vegetables as we're told we ought to be consuming. Having and using a Vitamix has been one enjoyable way for me to get plenty of fruits and vegetables everyday. You see, I also use the Vitamix to make a fresh soup for dinner. I can mix a little hot water and fresh vegetables, and have a steaming hot, nutritious soup, made with uncooked vegetables in about five minutes. I can also use my Vitamix to to make delicious peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter.
So, if you're looking for a way to eat healthier, a breakfast fruit smoothie is a delicious habit that you can get used to enjoying. But, I must say that, in my experience, having tried a number of different blenders, there is nothing that will make your fruit smoothie as good as a Vitamix. The texture and digestibility of whatever you make in a Vitamix is second to none.
Whatever it takes, get your hands on a Vitamix! If you've got a friend or relative who bought one at the county fair, and it's in the back of his or her cupboard gathering dust, work a deal to make it yours. Look on craigslist or ebay to find a good deal on a used one. Or, if you want a brand new one with a full warranty (seven years), you can go directly to the Vitamix website and order one.
There are several options on the Vitamix website, but I recommend the classic - the Vitamix 5200 Standard.
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