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JUICING FOR HEALTH



 

November 28, 2010 on 12:48 am
Fragaria × ananassa 'Chandler,' a short-day co...
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Parents have a difficult job. Fear is everywhere, and if we responded to all the adverts around us, making us afraid of the air we breathe and the water we drink, we’d live a sad, drab life. Most of us struggle to find the right food for our children. They need liquid, they need vitamins, they need fiber and they need protein.

Sadly many of the popular drinks contain only carbohydrates, and rather too much of that, they are also expensive. I found that my kids would drink cans, but they had learned so much about pollution at school that when I suggested water as a substitute they thought I was mad.

The problem with cola/soda is that it’s sweet and kids get used to that. It can also contain caffeine which has more effect on small bodies than it does on adults. In fact when you get right down to it, you wonder why we let them drink it all. There are many alternatives. Sparkling water is one, smoothies are another.

Most of us think of smoothies as creamy drinks, and this is great initially when you are persuading your kids to try them out. Imagine if you could persuade your children to drink something which supplied them with the water they needed AND lots of minerals and vitamins, without the caffeine and excessive sweetness? Guess what? That ideal drink’s a smoothie, so you’ll need a blender. I like the Blendtec Blender HP3A.

Take a look at any smoothie recipe and one thing that will jump right out at you is the sugar content. Although smoothies are made with real fruit, modern tastes seem to prefer food which is far sweeter.

The good things about this is that the sweet tooth is learned, so it can be unlearned. Ask anyone from outside the USA and they’ll tell you that everything here tastes sweet to them, often too sweet, in comparison to the food in other countries.

Here are three smoothie recipes to help with the process.

1. The original ice cream drink. It’s important to use strawberries and bananas here because they are nice familiar fruits – don’t try to introduce anything weird or wonderful. If you can’t get strawberries because of the time of year, frozen ones taste great.

Strawberry and Banana Ice Cream Drink

1 large banana

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

3-4 fresh strawberries

Blend them all to make a refreshing drink that’s great for the summer.

2. Staying with nice, familiar strawberries, blend them with fruit juice and start to introduce some other fruit.

Pineapple and Strawberry Smoothie

8 large strawberries

1/2 banana

3 pineapple slices

1 cup of apple juice (no added sweetener)

If this isn’t sweet enough, try adding just a little honey.

Blend it all together until smooth and then add 1 cup of crushed ice as the final touch.

3. This last recipe introduces melon. I love the taste of melon, especially water melon, but I’ve never been able to persuade my kids to eat it. This recipe had the opposite effect. They liked the drink and so were curious about the fruit. The happy result is a house full of melon eaters.

Strawberry Fair

2 cups fresh strawberries hulled and chopped

1 cup apple juice

1/2 melon peeled and chopped into chunks.

As always, add honey if required.

I like to add ice cubes once the fruit is all smushed (technical term) together, the kids seem to enjoy the destruction involved!

Weaning your kids off cola is no easy job, but it’s very worthwhile, especially if you can do it by introducing smoothies. You might just succeed in teaching them that not everything that’s good for you tastes bad.

May 4, 2010 on 5:43 pm

I thought for my first post to my blog I would start off with something I do each day. I make a healthy smoothie with my Vita Mix blender. A “power drink” with everything yummy in side. Using lots of ingredients or not! The nice thing about smoothies is that you can be creative and use ingredients that you personally like and have on hand.

If you want to sweeten it up a bit you can do so by adding a little more of the sweeter fruits, such as bananas, peaches or if you prefer you can add a dollop of honey, agave syrup or stevia. If you like them more tart, add more berries. Sometimes I’ll add a scoop of vanilla protein powder.

It can be any flavor you prefer. And try adding yogurt, it makes the smoothie creamy and supplies those live cultures to stay healthy, so  add a couple of dollops to the mix. You really can’t go wrong.

My morning healthy smoothie:

A small hand full of frozen peaches and/or strawberries (if fresh you may want to add a couple of ice cubes to the mix)
1/2 a banana, I like to put mine in the freezer overnight.
small amount of fruit juice or vegetable juice (apple or carrot juice are great)
Some filtered water to get it to the consistency that you like
Couple of scoops of plain yogurt.
Then you can add any liquid vitamins and supplements that you take.
Mix it up and voila. Breakfast.

A few more recipes I like:

Nutmeg Wonder

1 cup of soy milk, vanilla or almond
A couple of bananas frozen
a pinch of fresh nutmeg

Love My Peanut Butter

1 cup of milk, soy milk
1 banana (frozen)
big dollop of peanut butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein powder (1 Tbsp carob powder)

Morning Booster

1/2 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
1/3 cup carrot juice
1/3 cup soft tofu
1/4 cup dried cranberries
pineapple chunks (fresh or frozen)

Hope you enjoy!

March 20, 2010 on 9:14 pm

vita mix blenderDo you have an old vita mix blender collecting dust in your kitchen?

Or do you have one that you use sometimes, but not nearly enough? If so, it’s time to blow off the dust and fire that baby up.

There are a lot of ways to use that vita mix blender to support your healthy lifestyle, but smoothies are something everyone can whip up.

The great thing about a healthy smoothie is you can use a wide variety of fruits so everyone gets the flavor they enjoy most. You can also add in protein powder, Greek yogurt, flax seed or coconut oil, or any number of other health-boosting additives. These things will give more nutritional value to your smoothies.

The simplest way to create a healthy smoothie in your Vita Mix Blender is to combine frozen fruit (no syrup or sugars added) with fresh juice and blend it up. Add a protein source to turn it into a meal that keeps you full longer or flax seed oil for a healthy boost of omega 3 fatty acids.

If you want the healthiest smoothies possible, use fresh homemade juice created with your own juicer. This ensures the juice is fresh without any preservatives or added sugars. I have tons of information on choosing the best juicer for you right here.

Here’s a great recipe I like:

Bananas and Cream

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc)
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
  • 1 cup almond or soymilk

Blend all ingredients in your Vita Mix Blender until smooth and creamy. Enjoy!

 

 

 

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