The weather is warming up. Pack away those rain boots, dust off that blender and get to making some smoothies. They are the perfect way to jam pack your day with all sorts of healthy stuff in a special frosty, summery package. They’re so easy to put together and everyone just loves them. Am I right? I can put anything in a smoothie and my kids will drink it with a smile and not one of those little fake crooked “thanks mom” smiles, like a giant special dinosaur day smile — kale, spinach, sprouts are all entirely unidentifiable and better yet raw. And to keep the party going all summer long, we’re going to help you out with a darn exciting new smoothie recipe every week this summer. It just makes good sense to help our friends stay cool and healthy.
Even something as simple as a smoothie needs a little structure. We can’t be making fluffy sugar water concoctions with no substance — we’re vegans! We need vitamins and protein to fuel our days. The six essential components are fruit, healthy fats, proteins, liquids, veggies, and of course, extras. Here are some suggestions for each.
Fruit: strawberry, banana, blackberry, blueberry, mango, apple, raspberry, avocado, pear, acai, pineapple
Healthy fats: avocado, nut butters, flax seed oil
Proteins: silken tofu, soy yogurt, almond butter, cashew butter, peanut butter
Liquids: coconut water, coconut milk, soy/almond/hemp/rice/oat milk
Veggies: spinach, kale, chard, carrots, sprouts, arugula
Extras: protein powder, chia seeds, flax seed meal, flax seed oil, wheat germ, green super food powder, cinnamon, cocoa powder, ginger, parsley, mint
Smoothie Time Savers
Now that we’ve covered the essentials, let’s start to tackle the smoothie-making-obstacles. When it comes to ease of smoothie making I typically work from home, so I have the good fortune of always being near a blender. I know not everyone has that kinda relationship with their blender, but there are ways to simplify and get all that goodness into your everyday life. One such way is the blend and freeze, which still requires the blender but cuts your prep time. If I had a blender in my office, this method would be a cinch. Make an extra big smoothie batch, as much as your blender will hold. Pour it into ice cube trays or muffin tins. Freeze it up and keep them in a ziplock bag for longer storage. If you go the muffin tin route, once they’re frozen leave them out on the counter for a couple minutes to defrost. Then take a butter knife around the edge to pop them out. It’s a little more trouble than the ice cube tray, but I kinda like the bigger size. And 99% of the time I have an empty muffin tin just hanging out. Then you can just drop them in the blender and you’re done!
Another trick for those of you without the blender closeness that works especially well for the green smoothie (or other non-frosty smoothies) is to keep it in a clean wine bottle with one of those air sucker tops. Then you can take it to work or wherever you might be headed. You do need one of those fancy bottle brushes to keep the wine bottle clean for this technique, by fancy I mean $3 on Amazon. Maybe you already have one around for cleaning out stainless steel water bottles or baby bottles.
So how about a smoothie to get us started? This strawberry banana tofu number is one of our faves. Check back next week, for another great summer smoothie.
Strawberry Banana Tofu Smoothie
Ten minutes to prepare
From Deborah Madisons, This Can't be Tofu!
Tofu smoothies are a nice, high protein way to start the day. You can also use frozen fruit and omit the ice.
- ½ box silken tofu (soft or firm)
- 1 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 medium bananas
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- ½ cup ice cubes
- In a blender, puree the tofu and fruit until smooth, gradually adding the milk to loosen the mixture. Add the maple syrup and ice and continue to blend until smooth.