#smoothiebeast

The Vitamix love continues. And now, a follow-up to the last post

I’ve come up with a formula.  Here’s how to load the machine for optimum blending and taste results:

1. Choose a juicy, unfrozen fruit for the base adding at least one cup or more.

Green Grapes
Red Grapes
Any citrus fruit, peeled (oranges, tangerines, clementines, etc)
Kiwi
Watermelon
Cantelope
Honey Dew

2. SPINACH.

Load up. Previously I suggested no more than one cup.  I lied. I’ve been putting two cups or MORE and stuffing it in the blender.

3. Frozen Fruit - 1.5-2 cups or more. Read the ingredients on the label to make sure the fruit has no added sugar.

These are my favorites in no particular order:
Strawberries
Blueberries
Mangoes
Peaches
Cherries
Pineapple 

4. One Scoop of Trader Joe’s Super Greens Powder

5. Unsweetened almond milk, vanilla or original.  About 1/2 to 1/3 cup, just to help get the blender moving.

Here are some of my favorite combos lately using this exact method:

Red Grapes-Spinach-Strawberries
2 Oranges-Spinach-Blueberries
2 Oranges-Spinach-Mangoes
Green Grapes-Spinach-Peaches

Pictured above is Red Grapes-Spinach-Apple-Strawberries.

Not to be forgotten though, are two of my most prized recipes. Here they are again for re-cap:

Autumn Pumpkin Smoothie
1 c red grapes
1 large apple (I used honey crisp)
1/4-1/3 cup pumpkin
1 inch piece of ginger
1 cup (or more) frozen cherries
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup raw cashews (can omit or substitute milled flax seed)
1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
 

Green Goddess
1 cup green grapes
1 cup spinach
1-2 bosc pears (depending on their size)
1/2 avocado
Juice from 1/4 lemon
1 inch piece of ginger
Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 cup ice 

 Alright there you have it. Vitamix Love Part II. 

Love affair with a VitaMix

Last year when I moved into my new place, my mother bought me a VitaMix as a housewarming gift.  Over a year later, I’m finally using it to its full potential.  My healthy-living cousins Mark and Kim have been using theirs for years, touting the benefits of making juices and eating clean.  Earlier this month, Mark’s parents, my aunt and uncle, came to visit in Chicago and they too had jumped on the juice/smoothie-making VitaMix bandwagon.  They looked better than I’d ever seen them and they talked about how much energy vigor they had felt.  I was curious.  So I went to Stanley’s and did this:

fridge

I spent $80.  Do you know how hard it is to spend $80 at Stanley’s?  I stocked up.

Then I started experimenting and drinking things that look like this:

unblend

and this:

green goddess

(Da Bears!)

Here are some of the favorites of my recipes that I tested in a three week period:

Apple Carrot Ginger:
Consider this your Monday-Morning-After-a-Weekend-of-Partying Smoothie

1 medium-large apple
1/2 large carrot
1 inch piece of ginger
1 cup spinach
Juice from 1/4 lemon
Frozen Pineapple
1 cup water 

Easy Berry Green
A variation on the above, just a tad sweeter.

1 Apple
1 cup Spinach
1/2 large carrot
1 cup red grapes
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup ice and 1/2 cup water 

Peachy Green
Smooth and sweet, almond milk adds creaminess.  Make sure ratio of peaches to spinach is more peach-heavy.

1 c spinach
1.5 c frozen peaches
1 apple
1 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Autumn Pumpkin Smoothie:
This recipe is basically Fall/Winter in a glass.  I am most proud of this combo, it is so amazingly delicious I want to squeal every time I make it.

1 c red grapes
1 apple (I used honey crisp)
1/4-1/3 cup pumpkin
1 inch piece of ginger
1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or cinnamon)
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Fruit Salad:
Just a hodgepodge of things left in my fridge, quantities left to your discretion. 

Spinach
Apple
Carrot
Frozen Mango
Frozen Pineapple
Grapes

Jewel Tone:
Going anti-oxidant super-foods here.

1 cup spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen cherries
1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk 

Green Goddess
Another of my most prized recipes.  Smooth flavor, the ultimate clean-drinking smoothie. 

1 cup green grapes
1 cup spinach
1-2 bosc pears (depending on their size)
1/2 avocado
Juice from 1/4 lemon
1 inch piece of ginger
Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
1 cup ice 

Ruby Red
Surprisingly sweet, main flavor is the strawberries.  Feel free to add extra!

1 cup grapes (red or green)
1 cup spinach
1 red apple
1 cup frozen strawberries
Unsweetened vanilla almond milk
1 tbsp flax seed

Berry Green
Friday Morning pick-me-up.

1 orange, peeled
1 cup spinach
1 cup blueberries
Water as needed
1 tbsp flax seed

Things I learned:  

  • Adding a good amount of frozen pineapple and/or one cup of grapes to any veggie-heavy drink makes it sweet and really delicious.
  • There is a fine line between too much spinach and just the right amount.  I would advise not going over 1 cup unless you feel like drinking grass.
  • Add fruits that are very juicy (grapes, oranges) to the blender first, their juice will help the blender eventually reach the frozen or harder to blend stuff later.

Tips:

  • Buy every kind of frozen fruit they sell in the grocery store.
  • Always have on hand ginger, lemon, spinach, carrots, apples and grapes.  
  • Ginger tip: Buy lots of it, peel it, cut into 1 inch cubes and freeze in plastic bags
  • Have both unsweetened original and unsweetened vanilla almond milk on hand
  • Keep milled flax seed in the freezer, add 1-2 tbsp to smoothie for added fiber

How I feel:

  • Incredible.  
  • There’s something about drinking a giant smoothie (or two) that is packed with fresh ingredients, all plant based, that makes me feel a little more superhero-esque.
  • Stomach problems in relation to running?  None. (Yay!)
  • I haven’t needed (or wanted) to take a nap, energy levels are good.

I’m definitely hooked on this juice thing.  Any suggestions for me on recipes you love?