Food + Wine

Bringin’ the Smoothie Back

Remember smoothies?  They were really big when I was in high school.  There was a smoothie ‘bar’ on every corner and it was the cool thing to drink for a few years.  My mom and I would make them at home and I would drink them for breakfast sometimes, then I got older and just kinda forgot about them.  Plus, people started getting a little nutty about their smoothies.  Chocolate, peanut butter and ice cream blended in a blender is not a smoothie, people…it’s a freakin’ milkshake.  But I think when done right, they’re a great way to get a lot of nutrition very quickly, especially for kids.  You can hide a lot of stuff under the flavors of berries and bananas, let me tell you.

This happens to be my first ever health drink recipe on this site.  I know I wouldn’t be the source to go to for such things, but I can guarantee you that whatever healthy drink I post here and stand behind, is definitely delicious.  I believe in healthy food, of course, but I believe, quite firmly, in delicious food.  I studied nutrition in college and my mother is almost an expert on the subject (she’s been a fitness and yoga instructor for as long as I can remember) so I actually know what I’m talking about here.

Here’s how I stumbled upon this smoothie-  I just returned from an out of town visit with my husband’s folks in South Carolina.  My husband is gone on business so I thought it would be nice for the kids and I to go and visit with them.  When we left home, my son had just come down with a nasty cold.  On day two of our trip, the cold had spread to the little one, and she seemed to get it even worse than her older brother did.  My other mother and I had to rush her to the emergency room one evening because she had come down with a very high fever, was extremely lethargic and not eating or drinking.  She’s better now, still not well, but I have finally gotten her to eat and drink so things are definitely looking up!

Once we got home I found myself with a tiny tickle in my throat and a big, fat scare in my gut.

I. Can. Not. Get. Sick.

Now, I’m a pretty healthy person.  I exercise daily, get outdoors whenever I can, eat my fruits and veggies and fiber, and drink my water, etc. but I seem to get every possible sickness that comes within a 30 mile radius of my path, no matter what I do.  This time I wasn’t gonna let that happen.  No sir.  My husband is still out of town so I needed to stay strong.  There are no sick days in Mommy-dom.  I first brewed myself some green tea (which I cannot stand, mind you…tea in general tastes like dirty water to me and green tea especially makes my stomach feel weird), I cut it with some apple juice and drank it over ice…not bad actually.  Then I decided to make something super vitamin packed and antioxidant filled in the blender.  Only…my kids were napping and I hadn’t been to the store in over a week.

So, I searched my freezer and fridge for things that are nutrient dense, (thank goodness for a well-stocked freezer!) and this is what I came up with.  It is absolutely delicious!!  You do not taste the vegetables AT ALL and you do taste the parsley if you know what parsley tastes like (which my son does not, therefore he was fooled), and it’s a delicious flavor with the fruit.  This basically tastes like blueberries and bananas with a hint of parsley in the background.  I even gave it to my 1 year old, diluting it with some water and juice so it would pass through a sippy cup.  Feel free to make any substitutions based on what you may have around, like spinach would be great instead of the broccoli, or chia seeds instead of the flax.  I always keep broccoli in the freezer for a last minute children veggie, so that’s what I used here…initially I was planning on using frozen spinach but couldn’t find any in my freezer.

I drank about a cup of this and, I’m not kidding you, I felt like a energy bolt had passed through my body.  I liken it to when I’ve had to receive saline in the hospital for dehydration and you can literally feel the cold fluid traveling through your veins, making you feel instantly more human.  There was an immediate change in how I felt and I’m hoping it will continue to help.  I woke up today with no other symptoms and drank some more this morning, so it has definitely kept this cold away.  Today I will go to the store and re-stock my freezer so I can make another batch!

Here’s to Staying Healthy!!

*Foodie Approved Cold Zapping Smoothie
(makes about 1 quart) 

-In a blender combine the following-
-6 ounces frozen blueberries
-9 ounces frozen, partially thawed broccoli (I used stalks with the stems still attached) or steamed and cooled broccoli
-large handful of fresh parsley, about 1 cup packed
-1- 1 1/2 large frozen bananas (mine were cut into pieces so I’m guessing on this amount)
-16 ounces 100% pomegranate juice
-about 1/4 cup ground flax seeds
-Blend until completely smooth.  This will take awhile.  You want to puree it until there are no grainy bits what-so-ever…and it will happen, eventually.
-Drink cold and store leftovers, covered, in the fridge and finish within 2 days.

(Broccoli and parsley both contain vitamin C.  Pomegranate juice and blueberries are packed with antioxidants and flax seeds are good for you in just about every way…the banana, also being good for you, just helps everything come together nicely in a smoothie.)

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