Health and Wellness, Parenting, Recipes

Smoothie Sailing

Summer is starting and school is ending for my children. This means I’ll have two whole months with three little ones constantly hungry and begging for snacks.  Lately I’ve been noticing smoothies as the new healthy trend. I discussed this experimentation with my partner, whose response was:

  1. We don’t have a blender and we’ll spend 100s of dollars on produce
  2. Our fridge will become a rotting zone full of mold.
  3. The kids will never drink them.

Challenge accepted!

Jailin By Marzjones

CC Image courtesy of Marzjones on Flickr

  1. Blenders can be very expensive, I settled on one for $38.  The range starts from $20-$350+ so be sure to comparison shop.  Afterwards we went to the Mississauga  Farmer’s Market to stock up on produce.  I bought a huge bag of kale and spinach for $3 each; a nice sized basket of blueberries $8; a couple of pints of raspberries $5; and about two dozen apples $5. At the grocery store I bought some Coconut Water $6, Almond Milk $4 Flax Seed $2, Pineapple $5 Bananas $3. Equipment and Produce total: $85.
  2. To stop the berries from spoiling I washed them before spreading them out on a cookie sheet and putting them in the freezer. Once frozen, I divided them up in freezer bags.  After some Pinterest research I discovered that you can also freeze almost any fruit or vegetable if you plan on using them for smoothies.  For the spinach and kale I soaked the leaves in water for a couple of minutes to remove the dirt (while my children organized a release program for some stowaway ladybugs we discovered among the farm fresh greens). Once soaked and rinsed you can prep them by pre-blending and freezing them in ice cube trays or muffin tins.  You can view step-by-step instructions on GreenThickies.com. Using the raw method, I froze my greens in muffin tins and divided them into freezer bags.  The results exceeded my expectations because I ended up with four bags of raspberries and blueberries and two dozen “muffins” of kale and spinach each! The freezer is full and our produce drawer only has past-its-prime celery in it that I forgot we bought last week. Freezing total: $5
  3. Once prepped and ready to go, I tried smoothie recipes I had found online. Some tasted too green, too exotic, or the texture was off so I decided to wing it using the guide from simplysmoothierecipes.com.  I haven’t bought any of the powders as suggested in step 5 since I’m attempting to veer away from processed food; instead I substitute a tablespoon of flaxseeds. This is the best concept behind homemade smoothies, you can make it how you want it.  Vegan, nut free, paleo, gluten free, however your family prefers. After blending together bananas, blueberries, raw spinach, coconut water, and flaxseeds, imagine the smug look on my face, while watching my five-year-old gulp one funky looking smoothie down AND asking  for seconds.

Mission accomplished for under $100!

Let the summer of smoothies begin…