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Christine’s Vegan Smoothies


Three Sweet and Healthy Vegan Smoothies to Rev your Engine in the Morning

 

My husband and I are fortunately very like-minded when it comes to food. We both eat adventurously, are game to try new things, and truly enjoy wholesome, vibrant healthy foods. We aren’t “strict” about our diets but we both seem to gravitate toward things that have a lot of flavor and nutrition. A couple of years ago, he was putting together a lunch to take to work the next day and mentioned that he was trying to eat 5 different raw things every day. While he decided on five things arbitrarily, it made me think how easy it can be to set these little goals for ourselves that aren’t some giant diet overhaul, but add up to a healthier lifestyle.

We like raw foods for a lot of reasons: fresh raw fruits and vegetables often contain vitamins and nutrients that don’t survive cooking, they are hydrating and full of good fiber, they contain enzymes which help with digestion and help our bodies assimilate the nutrition in the vegetables. And raw foods are often crisper, crunchier, more vibrant in color and flavor. Aiming for a minimum of 5 raw things a day helps us be mindful of eating a wide variety of foods which is really helpful in making sure we get all of the vitamins and minerals we need.

In warm weather, this goal is as easy as falling off a log- throw a salad together and you’ve won the day! It’s as easy as vegetable sticks and guacamole and salsa or a fruit salad or gazpacho. But in the winter, especially where I live, that kaleidoscope of fresh produce narrows down tremendously; a lot of the available produce is actually more accessible to your body in cooked form. What we DO have is citrus and lots of tropical fruit coming up from Florida and if you’re like me and you get happy just peeling an orange (that smell!!!) this is a perfect time to load up on all of that winter sunshine. The easiest way to get on the outside of all of that goodness is a quick and delicious smoothie.

But first, a little backstory on me. My parents were pretty hard-core when it came to health food. We sprouted sprouts on the counter, made our own whole wheat bread, weren’t allowed sugar, and drank a lot of raw juice. I drank enough brownish-green juice that tasted like a swamp to last me a lifetime thankyouverymuch, so I tend to stay away from the green juice kale and celery concoctions that are popular now. It’s just me- don’t let me talk you out of it if you like green juice- but I go more toward bright and fruity with my smoothie concoctions.

I’m going to outline the formula for three of our favorites for this time of year. Flexible and adaptable, they are easy to adjust depending on what you have or what you like. I’ve just tried to put a balanced, nutritionally dense, flavorful blend that is substantial enough to get me through to lunchtime. They’re also great as a post-gym energy boost- and believe me, these things will give you a boost! We make enough for both of us but if you aren’t into sharing, just reduce the amounts by half.

3 tips to add: Adding omega-rich chia or flax seed meal adds a boost of nutrition, soluble fiber, and long-lasting hydration to these smoothie formulas. Since chia is the most neutral flavor, you can sub it for flax seeds in any of these smoothies. Just soak it in some water before you blend it with the fruit.

I finally found a great deal on a mega powerful blender that crushes everything really smoothly. If you have a less juiced-up blender, just cut the pieces of fruit up a little smaller to begin with.

While frozen fruit may not be technically raw in the same way fresh fruit is, you can’t beat it for convenience! Keep a few bags of a variety of fruits in the freezer and make these smoothies even faster. Just leave out the ice cubes and add a splash of water to get everything moving.

 

Recipe

2 cups pineapple cubes

1 medium ripe banana

1 navel orange, peeled and quartered

1/2 cup coconut milk

2 Tablespoons coconut oil

2 Tablespoons chia seeds, hydrated in 1/2 cup water

ice cubes

 

DIRECTIONS:

Stir the chia seeds into 1/2 cup water and let them soak for at least 10 minutes. A morning time-saver is to sake them up in a jar of water the night before and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.

 Add the fruit, coconut milk, oil, chia, and ice to your blender’s jar and process until smooth.

 

Recipe

1 cup mango cubes

1 cup pineapple cubes

1/2 avocado

2 navel oranges, peeled and quartered

1/2 limes worth of juice

1 Tablespoon ground flax seeds

1/2 cup vanilla rice milk

ice cubes


DIRECTIONS:

Process as you would for the above smoothie.

 

Recipe

2 ripe pears (I prefer the smooth texture of Bartlett pears for this recipe)

1 1/2 cups seedless green grapes

handful baby spinach

2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons maple syrup

2 Tablespoons chia seeds, hydrated in 1/2 cup water

ice cubes

 

DIRECTIONS:

Process as you would for the above smoothie.

 

Check out Christine’s delectable blog or follow her on Twitter.

 

© 2015 Group G Enterprises LLC

 

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