I recently returned from a trip to Scandanavia, where cinnamon buns are plentiful and the people are beautiful. After a few days of sweet treats and cappuccinos, it was time to get my plants on. So I hit the local smoothie bar where an apparent Abercrombie and Fitch model made my smoothie of grapes, pineapple, banana and a splash of OJ. While the hunk enhanced my smoothie experience, there was something missing from this fruit focused blend…
In the world of this Acrobat, there are four key food groups that make a nutritionally balanced and filling smoothie. That said, as I sipped on my fruity blend during my Scandanavian travels, I was excited to share my smoothie tips second I returned to the USA! And so here it is– the FOUR STEPS TO BUILDING AN ACROBATIC SMOOTHIE— Scandanavian Ken doll not included (sorry)…
Step 1: Choose your base milk: 1 cup 1% milk, unsweetened soy, almond or other unsweetened nut milk. *Milk adds volume and a unique nutrient profile depending on the milk type (potentially calcium, potassium, phosphorus).
Step 2: Get your fruit fix: 1 cup of fresh or frozen fruit- banana, mango, pineapple, berries, you pick. *Fruit provides nutrients vital to any balancing act, or healthy diet- think potassium for blood pressure control, vitamin A for healthy eyes and skin, Vitamin C for strong teeth and gums, just to name a few!
Step 3: Sneak in some veg: 1 cup of leafy greens like spinach, kale or mixed greens; or ½ cup of cauliflower or mushrooms. *More of those aforementioned nutrients here and folate for anemia prevention in the greens. Place the veg ingredient in the bottom of the blender to blend thoroughly.
Step 4: Add 1-2 “booster” ingredients for an acrobatic (balanced) smoothie meal: 1 tablespoon nut butter, ½ cup cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon chia or flax seeds or ¼ avocado. *These ingredients boast nutrients from protein and unsaturated fatty acids to calcium and fiber. Add to transform this smoothie into a nutritious and filling meal!
OPTIONAL Step 5: Add 1-2 flavor enhancers: ½ teaspoon cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice, ¼ teaspoon of nutmeg or ½ teaspoon vanilla or almond extract. *Almost no calories here, but mucho flavor.
The Acrobat’s Green Smoothie:
My signature smoothie utilizes steps 1-5. Check me out:
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (MILK)
½ medium banana + ½ cup chopped mango (FRUIT FIX)
½ cup 0% Greek yogurt (BOOSTER)
1 cup baby spinach leaves (SNEAKY VEG)
½ teaspoon cinnamon + ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (FLAVOR ENHANCERS)
Put all ingredients in a blender; blend on high until smooth. Enjoy 🙂