May 10, 2014

Straight Up Smoothie Heaven

A few months ago, I became interested in creating smoothies as a morning meal replacement or a healthy mid-day snack. However, I lacked an actual blender, which was critical to my success. After a lot of research (actually, about 30 minutes) we purchased a Ninja Professional Blender. Thanks to an amazing Macys.com sale and Christmas gift card, we paid all of $30.

Since then I've been experimenting with different flavor combinations. Straight up smoothie heaven. Along the way, I created the 5 commandments of smoothie making. Behold.

1. Thou shall use frozen, ripe bananas. Every week I buy two bunches of bananas. One for snacking and one for ripening. Once they're brown, I pop the entire bunch in the freezer. When I'm ready to whip up a smoothie, I snap off a banana and leave it at room temperature for 30 min. Afterwards, its the perfect cold, creamy consistency. I add a peeled frozen banana to every smoothie, no exceptions.

2. Thou shall buy frozen fruit in bulk. I buy frozen fruit at Costco, my most favorite store ever. The price is right and Costco has great organic options. I'm partial to their frozen blueberries and black cherries.

3. Thou shall sweeten naturally. Put the processed white sugar down. Try honey or a splash of fruit juice.

4. Thou shall add protein. I add a scoop of vanilla or chocolate protein powder and a heaping tablespoon or two of Greek yogurt. My morning smoothies keep me full until lunch and I credit the added protein.

5. Thou shall experiment and have fun. Some of my most delicious smoothies have come into fruition when I added something on a whim. Lately, I've been adding a packet of GoGo Squeez applesauce. It delicious and creates a silky consistency. Try different yogurt flavors, spinach, pomegranate juice, nut butters, cocoa powder, flavored coffee creamer...if it sounds tasty, it probably is!

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Allison's Go-To Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie. 

Ingredients
One frozen banana
1/2 c. frozen blueberries
3/4 c. milk or almond milk
1 heaping tbsp Greek vanilla yogurt
1 packet of GoGo Squeez applesauce, any flavor
1 scoop vanilla protein

Instructions
Place frozen fruit on the counter for 30 minutes
After 30 minutes, place the contents in the blender and blend until smooth
Serve immediately
Enjoy

I'd love to know what kinds of smoothie recipes you love. Leave a comment and spill the details.

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