Smoothies are easy-to-make, quick energy food — and even a quick-fix meal for kids, who think they are getting a milkshake that tastes great, and they don’t even have to know how healthy it is for them. For parents who need a pick-me-up or kids who want a delicious treat that isn’t grilled cheese or chicken nuggets try these great ingredients for keeping it fresh, delicious, healthy and energy-packed.
Bring on the protein
When you want to add in some protein to your smoothie, but you don’t want a load of sugar, cholesterol and artificial ingredients like those found in a lot of protein supplements, scoop in in heaping helping of Protein Plus Energy Powder. Made from protein in peanuts, this plant-based protein is great tasting, contains 17 grams of protein per serving, is high in fiber, low in sodium, and cholesterol free. It contains no GMOs or artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners. Protein Energy Power comes in four flavors including original, chocolate, honey and banana, and is available online and at select retail locations including Publix stores and at www.proteinplusflour.com. $28.99 for 20 ounces. (including shipping).
High pressure processing is the best way to preserve the nutrients and flavor of fruits and vegetables when juicing, making cold pressed juices excellent bases for smoothies. Pressed Juicery makes approximately 30 varieties in the categories of greens, roots, citrus, fruits, coffee, refreshers and classics, and with their subscription service you can have fresh bottles delivered to your doorstep, so you can be stocked up anytime you want to blend up a nourishing smoothie chock full of antioxidants, phenolic compounds and loaded with health benefits. Bottles around $6.50 each. Delivery subscriptions being as low as $160 for 12 juices a month, with free shipping.
Smoothie in a box
Keep your smoothie recipies and ingredients fresh with a subscription to Green Blender, a Southern California based home delivery service that delivers a box of just-picked fruits, veggies and other ingredients to your door along with recipies. Each week, you’ll get five new smoothie recipes and all the pre-portioned ingredients you’ll need to make 10 smoothies. The hand-crafted recipes are designed to provide a balanced menu, packed with flavor and nutrients; and all the produce and superfoods in the kits are sourced from organic and local farms. Subscriptions begin at $3.90 per smoothie, with free shipping.
Yogurt gives smoothies their creamy consistency and bulk, but not all yogurts are created equal. Clover Yogurt uses premium organic fruit and lots of it. Their yogurt was the first to be American Humane Certified, and contains no synthetic growth hormone rSBT and is USDA Organic Certified and Non-GMO Project Verified. Their Clover Organic Greek Yogurt gives just the right tartness to smoothies and comes in a six flavors – blueberry, strawberry, peach, black cherry, vanilla, and plain, available in a 32-ounce family size ($8.29) great to stock up with to blend up daily smoothies. Sold in local independent grocers, Whole Foods Market, and Safeway Inc.
A dollop of peanut butter is the gold standard ingredient for a protein-packed smoothie, but for extra deliciousness, try a cocoa or hazelnut spread instead. Escape the ordinary with Rigoni di Asiago Nocciolata chocolate hazelnut spread, made with healthy and environmentally responsible cold-pressed sunflower oil. Nocciolata dairy-free, organic hazelnut and cocoa spread does not contain palm oil contained in other popular hazelnut spreads, which is potentially carcinogenic when heated above 200 degrees Celsius. This low-sugar, vegan spread is completely free of GMO’s, preservatives, artificial colors, additives, or artificial sweeteners – just hazelnut, cocoa and cocoa butter, natural vanilla extract, raw sugarcane, and skimmed milk. Available at grocery stores nationwide, or on Amazon, $6.49 for 9.52.-ounce jar.
Sometimes you feel like a coconut
Coconut water has become the elixir du jour for health aficionados, and now ZICO brand has done coconut water one better, with the infusion of juices, perfect for mixing in smoothies. For a lighter smoothie, blend in ZICO Chilled Orange Juice Blend, Chilled Pineapple Mango Orange Juice Blend, and ZICO Natural Chilled Coconut Water Zico. These juice blends have nearly half the calories of regular fruit drinks and all the hydration benefits of coconut water, including five naturally occurring electrolytes and is much potassium as a banana. Available in the refrigerator aisle at major grocery stores in select cities. 1.5L carton, $7.99.
Talk about adding a boost, BrainGear memory drink will not just punch up the flavor of your smoothie, but it is formulated to enhance brain performance. The pineapple Mango drink is naturally flavored and contains no GMOs, artificial colors or preservatives and contains only 2 grams of sugar. Add it into your smoothies daily to support memory, mood stability, restful sleep and brain health. Available at select grocery stores in limited cities, or online at braingear.com, $9.99 for three 4.5 fluid ounce bottles.