To my mind, a basic smoothie contains these elements:
- either a banana or an avocado or both
- a liquid (like nut milk, juice or even coffee)
That's pretty much the basics of what I put into every smoothie (at the very least). Of course, there's tons of room to expand!
Smoothies are excellent "vehicles" for herbs and spices, like turmeric (excellent at reducing inflammation). I've never come across a herb or spice that DOESN'T have great medicinal properties. A quick pop onto your favourite search engine will give you the deets on anything from Ashwagandha (which is an adaptogen that helps us deal with stress, among other things) to Yarrow (which can help ease pain, and more). Plants are strong medicine! Please consult your trusted healthcare provider for more information on what herbs and spices are right for you.
Smoothies are a great way to get extra protein into your diet, especially if you're vegan! I don't typically like the taste of protein powders, but find I can "hide" the taste in smoothies.
I mentioned above that greens are (clearly) a staple in a green smoothie... But how cool is it that we can get another dose of their health-providing goodness in a yummy tasting beverage? Just wanted to point that out again... Gratitude to the greens.
Minerals and vitamins can be added to smoothies as well, particularly ones that are in liquid or powder form. Just make sure the taste doesn't wreck your smoothie—sometimes it's better to just down a really bitter herb in a bit of water and chase it with something that tastes good (like, why not a smoothie!).
I can't really stress enough the importance of getting the best quality blender your budget allows. My blender, pictured in the photo above, was my Christmas present. 🎅Having a great blender means you can liquidate (not really the right word for that... liquidize?) anything you put in it... Even hard nuts and seeds, or nubs of ginger—which are great additions, but I wouldn't even attempt in a cruddy blender—can be chopped to liquid or almost liquid in a high speed blender. I'm not affiliated with Vitamix or Ninja, but I find those to be very good blenders that handle whatever I throw at them.
Making smoothies can be really fun, especially if you get your creativity flowing. I'll give you my base-recipe of the amounts of ingredients I use and their order; please DO change it up to what you like or have on hand. This is the basic recipe from my photo:
- 1-2 cups greens (in this photo, spinach)
- 1-2 cups fresh or frozen fruits (in this photo, fresh pears)
- Pour 1-2 cups nut milk or other liquid over top. Most will run to the bottom (in this photo, almond milk)
- Herbs, spices (in this photo, turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg. I made it with warming spices as it was winter). If I remember correctly, there is a half inch nub of peeled ginger hiding in there. You can add a squirt of lemon or lime if you want a tarter smoothie; add a couple dates, maple syrup or coconut sugar if you want it sweeter. If you're beegan, feel free to add honey. 🍯Add anything else you like (or that I've forgotten to include) at this point.
- Blend it up! You may need to add more liquid, especially if your blender is not super efficient. Pour it into your glass or smoothie bottle! Feel free to top your smoothie with a dash of spice, a mint sprig, or a couple of fresh berries for cuteness.
There you have it! Your very own healthy smoothie. Your body thanks you!