Smoothies! They’re the best thing in the world. The literal best thing. Don’t believe me? Ask Pinterest. Ask Instagram. Ask your healthiest friend.
I am by not means a paragon of health or fitness (shout out to the cheese sandwich I made where all the parts of it including the “bread” were cheese!), but I start almost every day with a green smoothie. They’re basically the Perfect Breakfast, and here’s why:
1) They provide a great early-morning energy boost, and cram me full of veggies and fruits so that if I have a plain baguette for lunch I know I won’t die of scurvy by dinner.
2) They’re delicious—it’s fruit, some kind of yummy creamy dairy or nut milk, maybe a yogurt, some cacao or honey for sweetness… it’s like having a milkshake for breakfast.
3) They’re so quick and easy to make—and you can store lil ziplock baggies full of smoothie ingredients in the freezer, ready and waiting for those mornings when you just caaaaan’t, you know?
4) They use up whatever you have leftover: bananas that are too mushy to eat? A scoop of peanut butter? A tiny bit of leftover milk? Some seeds you found? Pop them all in that blender and don’t even worry about it.
5) They make almost no mess: especially if you have a fancy self-cleaning blender. But even for the rest of us—most of us—who probably don’t, you just have to rinse and clean your blender and one glass. That’s it! C’est tout. Merci bien.
So, now that you’re all revved up, how to get started? When it comes to smoothie composition there are a few basic rules and then you can go wild—experiment with fruits and veg and flavors you like, use up stuff you have lying around, figure out what your particular nutritional needs are, etc.
LIQUID: A low-fat milk, or a non-dairy milk alternative such as soy, almond, or hemp milk. If you want to get fancy you can do a flavored milk, but honestly you probably don’t need it and they tend to have a lot of added sugar. If you’re feeling very fat-conscious or just don’t have any milk on hand, water will do nicely as well. I like to add a few ice cubes to make sure things are very cold.
VEGGIES: A big, heaping cup or two of leafy greens in your first step. It will look like too much but it will be just fine, trust. Spinach has basically no flavor once it’s blended in with other things, unlike other leafy greens like kale, spirulina, or chard, which, while more goodness-packed, are a bit tougher to disguise. Try a few different options! I use a spinach/kale mix. If you want to get crazy you can start adding additional vegetables but remember: a smoothie is not a juicer. If you put broccoli in your blender, you will have little bits of broccoli in your smoothie. This is fine, and can be nice (mint + apple + ice + broccoli is a lovely summer treat) but just, you know, be aware.
FRUITS: Your sugar! This is a yummy treat that will help camouflage your veggies. Half a banana adds a nice creamy base, and then it’s really up to you: like strawberries? Chuck some in there! Peaches in season? Go wild.
FUN EXTRAS: Protein powder, mint, a shot of espresso (good MORNING), cacao nibs, coconut flakes, some kind of nut butter, vanilla extract, honey, nuts, hemp, chia, or sunflower seeds… the world is your oyster. (Don’t put oysters in there, though, that would be gross.)
Now all that’s left is to Instagram it with some kind of #lovinlife hashtag, and you’re ready to go. You’ll be Queen of Pinterest in no time.