Here’s how to make the perfect summertime smoothie

From the title Smoothie-licious I was half-expecting some sort of book about getting bootilicious? You know, like lets make our arses as sweet and round a the fresh berries in that smoothie? Ew. No. Thank god that was not the concept behind this book by Jenna Helwig. Instead, the cover of the book says “Power-packed smoothies and juices the whole family will love”. It’s about health, and quick treats for you and the whole fam. But most importantly, as Jenna says “Smoothies are fun“. The adjective, not the band. (Although there is enough love in the world for both fun. and smoothies, methinks.)

Helwig makes them sound fun too. In laying out the template for a good treat she says they should have an ingredient known as “the velvet.” The velvet is what gives a smoothie its milkshake texture and body. This is an instance where you do want to achieve a milkshake body. Beach body be darned. That is what juices are for. Although the majority of the smoothies in this book are darned healthy. There is a nod to decadence, what with a chapter entitled “Treats” that has me anxious for winter to come so I can make the Cherry-Chocolate Eggnog smoothie. But most of the book is concentrated on what good things these shakes can do for your body.

I enjoyed Helwig’s approach to juices too. There is a juice chapter that requires no juicer. Her “juices” are more like very, very thin smoothies. Fruits and fluids blended together until liquified enough to gulp like a juice. Except they are better than juice because they still have all their fiber! All you need to make every recipe in this book is a blender of some type. She doesn’t exclude those of us who don’t yet own a Blend-tec or Vitamix. She says she made all this with your run-of-the-mill blender. I used my immersion blender.

I am sharing a recipe that I enjoyed eating from a bowl. It is big, it is purple, and it is so very good for you. It features the antioxidant-rich açai, which you can find in frozen puréed form in most freezer aisles. It also includes hemp seeds, which are a wonderful vegan complete protein as well as supplying essential fatty acids. And all this good stuff tastes really good too. Go get it!

Superfood Smoothie adapted from Smoothie-licious by Jenna Helwig

  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/2 bananas (I froze mine)
  • 3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 3.5 oz. package of frozen unsweetened açai
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries (mine were dark sweet cherries)
  • 1 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. maple syrup plus more to taste

Put it all in a blender and blend a good long time. Pour into a bowl. Enjoy!

The joy of cooking this super-simple, super-delish French dish
Gluten-free vegans: Here’s that pizza you’ve been waiting for

[Image courtesy Jenna Helwig]

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