In the crazy healthy life, smoothies are an efficient, cost-effective, and delicious way to increase nutrient intake. Breakfast smoothies, in particular, are a powerful opportunity to flood our body with a broad spectrum of vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats, and phytonutrients, as we prepare to start our day. Crazy healthy smoothies do not need ice, sweeteners, chocolate, or dairy. Just a little frozen fruit and veggies, nutrient-dense liquid, healthy fats, and some power foods. The best part is that, when you consider smoothies from a nutrient-density perspective, the possibilities are endless. To make a smoothie, I pick from a menu of health-promoting whole foods:
Sweet and Sour Juices: Personally, I prefer orange, pineapple, apple, or pear juice as a base. You can also add splashes of stronger juices such as pure pomegranate, carrot, cranberry, beet, lemon, or cherry. Dairy is a no-no because it is inflammatory, and creates mucus and digestive issues in the body.
Frozen fruit: Organic is best, if you can find it. It is more expensive, so I just use what is available and affordable when I shop. Mixed berries are a staple in our house, but we also love frozen mango, peaches, and cherries.
Veggies: A little spinach, carrots, beets, broccoli, or kale will barely change the flavor of your smoothie, and will significantly increase its nutrient density. Start with the milder tasting veggies, such as spinach, and work your way up to stronger-tasting foods. A handful is usually sufficient.
Protein: Non-animal protein is helpful for adrenal support, and is especially important first thing in the morning. It also helps balance blood sugar levels in the body. I like rice protein powder, but you may use 1-2 T organic peanut butter or almond butter as an alternative.
Healthy fat: Contrary to what some of today’s popular diets preach, a little healthy fat goes a long way. Coconut oil, for example, is anti-inflammatory, and immunity boosting. Avocado is rich in phytonutrients, adds a creamy texture, and is tasteless in smoothies. This makes it a good alternative to dairy. You don’t need much of either, maybe a tablespoon or two max.
Omega 3s: Essential for building brain cells, and many other bodily functions. Chia seeds or flax seeds are rich in Omega 3s, and can be added to smoothies.
Fresh Ginger: Excellent for digestion, and a delicious complement to fruits and veggies.
With a little forethought, smoothies can fuel our body with the most nutritious and energizing foods. Below are a few combinations to help you create some crazy healthy smoothies of your own. Give them a try, or create some on your own. When you find one that you love, please share it with the rest of us! Here are a few of my favorites:
Sweet Fruit Punch: Orange juice, raspberries, mango, cherries, peaches, spinach, unflavored rice powder, coconut oil
Chocolate Monkey: Chocolate almond milk, banana, peanut butter, avocado, chia seeds, chocolate rice powder
Spicy Fruit Punch: Orange juice, pear juice, mixed berries, cherries, broccoli, coconut oil, ginger, flax seeds
Pomegranate Punch: Pineapple juice, blueberries, pomegranate juice, kale, unflavored rice power, coconut oil
Smoothie photo: http://www.gimmesomeoven.com