Hi ladies, I have stomach issues. Always have, always will. Overshare? The good news is I have my IBS under control as of late (and I’m losing weight!) with the help of a daily smoothie. Every morning Scarlet and I whip up a new smoothie, experimenting with vegetables, fruits, and various supplements in our concoctions. Bonus: She has tried more new foods in the past month than in all the previous 58 months of her life combined. Any parent knows that’s a HUGE PLUS. There really is no downside to giving daily smoothie-making a try.
Every day (or thereabouts, occasionally we have some sort of hair-brushing meltdown that gets in the way of our pre-school smoothie time), we make a new smoothie and I post the recipe to Prudent Baby’s Facebook page and to my instagram @prudentjaime. So many prudent mamas have asked so many questions about our set up and process, that I thought I’d use this Friday’s column to give you the scoop on our smoothie station and mad smoothie-making skills. First up is our blender. We use a Blendtec Blender. This thing is awesome, it could pulverize a brick. You don’t need a fancy blender to make smoothies, but it certainly is nice. Also, check out our trick for cleaning your blender here: Prudent Tip: How to Clean Your Blender. It makes the whole process way easier.
Now for the supplies. I created a little smoothie station with all of our add-ins that lives in a tray (yes, I made that tray, get the DIY Tray Tutorial here) on the kitchen counter. On the tray I keep various magical powders that we use in our smoothies (not all in the same smoothie, we mix it up depending on what Scarlet feels like that day or what fruits/veggies we are using). So here’s what’s on our tray (I’ve thrown in some of our smoothie pics for inspiration throughout, but mostly it goes clockwise from the top left of the tray pictured above):
1. Boba straws: Boba straws are nice and fat, which makes drinking a smoothie much easier. I can’t stand drinking a smoothie without a straw, but once you throw a banana in there a regular straw just won’t cut it. Boba straws are for drinking those tapioca lumps in boba tea, but they work mega-well for smoothies, and kids like drinking out of colorful straws which is an extra fun plus.
2. Protein powder: I use whey protein powder from Trader Joe’s, but next trip I’m going to pick up their women’s version, which has less calories. Scarlet doesn’t like the texture of protein powder (it can be a little chalky) so we don’t use it often, but sometimes I add it after I serve her a protein-powder free smoothie.
Dazzleberry Banana Smoothie
3. Green drink powder: Literally, that’s what it’s called. I also get it at Trader Joe’s (I get everything at Trader Joe’s cause it’s on my street). I like to use this in veggie-based smoothies (it’s a color thing, since they are already green) to add anti-oxidant boosting power. It’s berry flavored though, so it works in many a smoothie. It’s full of things like spirulina and seaweed and other stuff people like to call “superfoods.”
4. Red drink powder: Same deal as green, but it’s red and it’s pretty flavorless to me. It’s full of berry goodness from like 12,000 fruits I can’t bother to re-list here. Scarlet seems to think it’s a giant pixie stick, she’s always sticking her finger in it and licking it off. When I refer to “1 scoop of anti-oxidant boosting powder” in my daily recipes, I am talking about one of these two powders.
Cinnamon Apple Cucumber Smoothie
5. CHIA SEEDS: This is my single most valued smoothie ingredient. Since I’ve started adding a tablespoon of chia seeds to my diet every morning, things have finally started, umm, moving through my digestive tract. My friend Kathy recommended this to me and I feel like I owe her big time because the change in my normal bloaty-ness has made me drop a pant size. Chia seeds can be soaked before adding to a smoothie, which will make them soft, but I just throw them in. They add a little crunch, kinda like the seeds on the outside of a strawberry. Whichever way you do it, I can’t recommend these enough.
Kiwi Banana Vanilla Smoothie
6. Ground flaxseed: I’ve used regular flax seeds, but having them pre-ground is nice for a smoother smoothie. Flax seeds add omega 3 fatty acids, fiber, and lignans, all of which work together to make you healthier in like 10,000 different ways. Coming from a family with a long history of breast cancer, I like to add flax seeds to my diet whenever I can because there is some evidence they help prevent it and other cancers. Who knows if that is true, but it feels good and it’s not hurting us to eat them. And any natural way to add fiber is always a good thing.
Pinkest Pink Raspberry Smoothie Recipe
7. Fennel tea: Ok, this one is probably a little weird, but I keep it on hand for when Scarlet is not around during smoothie-making (She isn’t into the anise flavor). What I do is crush up some fennel seeds (from the spice section of the grocery store) and boil them in water. I let it reduce down a bit so the tea is concentrated, then strain out the seeds. Add to smoothie, watch gas/bloating/ibs symptoms subside.
Blueberry Spinach Smoothie
8. Ingredients: You can make a smoothie out of pretty much anything, but it helps to think about it like this… Some liquid (water, milk, yogurt), something frozen (either pre-frozen fruit or ice), some fresh fruit, a bit of veggies/leafy things, any supplements you like, and occasionally if necessary a sweetener (it usually isn’t, but if so I like honey) and/or spices (cinnamon or ginger are the ones we use most often).
To get my daily smoothie recipes, follow me! But wait, I’ll share one of my most favorite smoothie recipes today, right after the jump…
Cantaloupe Cucumber Smoothie Recipe
The cantaloupe-cucumber smoothie is one of my favorites.
In your blender combine, in this order, the following ingredients:
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger (or 1/2″ of peeled fresh ginger if you have a good blender)
1/2 a cantaloupe
2 small (or one large) cucmbers, peeled and seeded
1/2 cup ice
Squeeze of a wedge of lime
Optional (I use): 1 tbls chia seeds, 1 scoop anti-oxidant powder
Blend for 45 seconds or until pulverized.
For 20 more of my favorite smoothies recipe, click here: 20 Smoothie Recipes that Will Change Your Morning Life