Guide to Making a Smoothie

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My heart is so content right now because of everyone's kind gestures and contributions towards Nepal's Earthquake Victims. Thank you so much!!!!! We have reached 30% of our goal..so If you are still looking to donate - here is the direct link As most of you are aware of the earthquake situation in my motherland, I have been channeling my efforts and energy into helping and connecting with folks in Nepal. I was physically here but mentally and emotionally, all I could think was Nepal and it's people. I did not realize how much tragedies such as this one can affect you...slowly things are starting to look better and I am feeling a little bit more hopeful. .My faith in humanity, power of youth, and prayers have gotten stronger than ever.

I had been meaning to talk about "Smoothie 101" just prior to the earthquake because lately I am on a smoothie train like it's going out of fashion (see here and here). I am pretty predictable when it comes to smoothies, it's either peanut butter banana or green smoothies. Tell me friends, what are you guys smoothing these days?smoothies 101Smoothie is a blended drink made with fruits/greens and some form of liquid (yogurt, milk, water, juice). Compared to juicing (see juicing for beginners), smoothie have everything blended into a milkshake like drink including the fiber. Smoothie is often marketed as a 'healthy' food but you'd be surprised to find that some smoothies are loaded with sugar. I'd be very careful with pre-packaged one and from places such as smoothie-king - I would suggest checking your ingredient list and serving size for smoothies. For the purpose of this post, I will do a step by step 'smoothie 101' and share what I normally add to my smoothies. smoothieFruits: Frozen works best but sometimes I do add fresh ones too. My favorites are frozen mangoes, berries, and banana. For bananas, slice ripe bananas and place them in an individual ziplock bag or a container and freeze them. Some other fruits I like are pineapples, peaches, and cherries (see vegan cherry chia smoothie).

Greens: If you are new to smoothies, don't jump immediately into adding greens to your smoothies. It took me a couple of tries to find out which ones I like and how much to add. I would start with baby spinach then slowly move to baby kale. Once greens are well-blended with fruits, you can't really tell a difference. smoothieLiquid: Milk and coconut water are my go to for smoothies but I have seen people use plain water, juices, and even green tea. If you are watching your calories, I'd suggest using water, reduced fat milk, or pure coconut water rather than fruit juices (eat your fruits!). smoothieAdd-ons: I usually boost the nutritional content of my smoothies by adding flax meal, chia seeds, and protein powder. I alternative between 2-3 teaspoon of chia seeds and flax meal and will occasionally add oatmeal if I want something more filling (peanut butter banana oatmeal is one of my favorite).smoothieFor a creamy texture- nut butter, avocado, yogurt, pumpkin puree are few ingredients that can be added to the smoothie. Cocoa powder is another ingredient that can elevate the smoothie to a whole other level. smoothieNow that we have all our ingredients gathered, let's talk proportions! Calories can add up quickly in a smoothie, so just keep an eye on what you are adding and how much..esp if you are drinking smoothie as a snack. smoothie6For 1 serving, I begin with 1 cup of fruits + handful of greens + 1.5 cups of liquid + extras. Depending upon the type of blender you have, you might be able to blend everything together or slowly add more liquid and blend ingredients to a desired consistency. smothie7Some of my favorite recipes from around the web:

4 ingredient green smoothie via pinch of yum

vanilla mango smoothie via the healthy maven

strawberry chocolate chia smoothie via hummusapien

5 ingredient tropical smoothie via gimmesomeoven

blackberry green smoothie via kitchenconfidante

peanut butter and jelly date smoothie via minimalist baker

perfect peach smoothie via deliciously Ella

Are you a smoothie drinker? Tell me your favorite kind...

Once again thank you so much for your contributions, shares, and prayers for Nepal. If you are still looking to donate - here is the direct link. Every penny counts.