March 4, 2014

Smoothie Queen

3 weeks ago we were in Sam's doing some shopping I decided right then and there that I needed fresh fruits and veggies in the house.  So I went a little crazy and ended up buying carrots, organic baby spinach, bell peppers sweet potatoes, bananas and frozen fruit.   Jimmy and Kiera are not fans of many fruits or veggies, especially raw.  I decided that even if I can't get them to eat all of them I could at least sneak some of it into other foods.  As for myself I decided to start eating smoothies for lunch.  It took me a couple weeks of making smoothies until I finally got it down.  We don't even have a fancy Ninja or Vitamix blender, just a good ole Osterizer!  But I thought I would share what works for me and maybe it will help someone in their smoothie making adventures!
The ingredients I have used are...
Mixed frozen fruit (unsweetened)
Baby cereal (got it for free so might as well use it)
Organic baby spinach
Sweet potatoes 
Crushed ice
Cranberry juice
Protein powder
To prepare the sweet potatoes I cut them into cubes and boil them until soft.  I let them drain really well and then I put them in a gallon size bag and freeze them.  They will clump together in the freezer but I just threw the bag on the floor a couple times and they broke right up.  I guess you can throw them on the counter instead but it is just habit to throw it on the floor since that is how I break up bags of ice for an ice chest.  Then when I make my smoothie I just grab a small handful and toss it in the blender. 
In order to get carrots ready I grate them with the smallest size cheese grater I have.  It really helps to keep from having any chunks in the smoothie when they are so small to begin with. I have actually thought about boiling or roasting sliced carrots and freezing them the same way as the sweet potatoes.  I will have to try that sometime. 

So after seeing all sorts of pictures of smoothies in blenders online, I have noticed that for my machine tossing everything in all at once doesn't work.  I have to add things in stages and blend really well between ingredients.
~First I blend up my spinach with a little bit of cranberry juice or water (I see a lot of people use almond milk, so I may try that one day)
~Second I add my banana and my yogurt and blend that up.  Then I throw in the protein powder or baby cereal and blend. 
~Third I add my sweet potatoes or carrots and blend the heck out of it. 
~Fourth I add my frozen fruit. 
I always have to add more liquid and actually have to manually stir to get the frozen fruit on top down to the blades.  And then I blend some more.  And probably add more liquid if it is still a tad too think and not blending on its own by now. 

And then it's done!  Depending on my fruit mixture the color of the smoothie turns out different colors. 

I have this handy little container that I put my smoothies in. I use a funnel to help get it in there since my smoothies tend to be on the thick side which by lunchtime they are the perfect consistency!  I also bought silicone straws at Target for 3 bucks.  They have a larger opening than regular straws and getting the smoothie through them is super easy. 

So the differences I have noticed is some weight loss (would be even more if I drank the smoothies on the weekend but those are my "cheat" days, which I need to change.  Baby steps).  I also feel not so yucky, and I may be sleeping a little better.  But I also haven't been eating fried foods or even bread that often, and I am rarely eating sweets.  I definitely don't feel that great when I do eat badly and it has really torn up my stomach after eating that way.  Oh and I have a little something called Keratosis on my upper arms which has gotten much better after drinking smoothies for lunch and eating better dinners.  So I am taking baby steps and hopefully I will work up the nerve to participate in a clean eating challenge before the year is up!

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