Confession: I have never really been a smoothie person.
I know … gasp! How can I be a dietitian and not be a kale and spinach and berry and collagen and spirulina and chia and anything-else-health-food-you-can-think-of smoothie girl? It’s wild, isn’t it? But my big thing is that I already drink a coffee and water in the morning, so I don’t want to have smoothies for breakfast and drink one more thing. I want, like, real, hot food for breakfast that I can just pop in the microwave to warm up and get-on-with-my-day kinda food.
But! I have discovered smoothies work incredibly well for snacking (for me, that is). If you love smoothies in the morning and it’s your thing, don’t let me dog it. I am super happy for you. But I just love having a refreshing fruit smoothie for a snack, as it’s a way to pack in some nutrients (mainly from fruits and veggies) that I may not otherwise get. And, like I said, it’s refreshing!
Also, I just got an amazing blender, and I am head over heels for it. It will literally blend any and everything I toss in there, and I’m not sure how I made it through life without it.
So, here is what I generally add to my snackable smoothies:
- Vanilla almond, coconut or soy milk — It tastes like ice cream without being ice cream.
- Banana — It adds a creamy texture, thickens the smoothie and adds loads of potassium.
- Berries, mango, peaches and/or other frozen fruit — The hubs loves strawberries, so we generally use those, but I am a huge fan of mango and peach smoothies as well. Also, let’s be honest, I buy whatever frozen fruit is on sale. Any and all of them are incredibly good for you.
- Flax or chia seeds — I always have one or the other or both on hand, and they give smoothies a boost of fiber and Omega 3s and don’t alter the flavor or texture, so why not?
- Sweetener — I like my smoothies to be a bit sweet, so I add a pinch of stevia or some honey.
- Greens — Eh, sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. Depends on my mood.
- Other add-ins — If you like protein powders and health food ingredients and the like, be my guest.
Recently I discovered how delicious it is to add cashews (or any nut) to my smoothie, and I’m hooked. I just let a handful of unsalted cashews soak in the milk for a few minutes, then add my fruits and other fillings and let er rip. They blend right in and just create this amazing richness to the smoothie. It’s pretty incredible and if you haven’t tried it, I highly suggest it. Plus, nuts are always a good thing when it comes to nutrition (vitamins, minerals, heart-healthy fat, fiber, yada yada yada).
So let’s do this smoothie snack thing!
Strawberry Banana Cashew Smoothie
- 1¾ cups milk of choice
- ½ cup unsalted cashews
- 1½ cups frozen strawberries
- 1 medium ripe banana
- Pinch sweetener of choice
- 2 Tbsp. ground flax or chia (optional)
- Pour milk and cashews into a blender pitcher. Let sit 5 minutes.
- Add other ingredients and blend until very smooth. Taste and adjust sweetness level, if necessary.