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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Healing Cuisine's Top 10 Smoothie Tips

 1.)  PERFECT PROCEDURE    The perfect smoothie blending procedure is: liquid, frozen fruit/veggies, powders/supplements/add-ins, ice, fresh fruit/veggies.  Always add the ice cubes at the end, otherwise it could lead to over blending resulting in a watery smoothie.  Blend all of the other smoothie ingredients first until smooth, then add in your ice for a frosty texture.  If you don't have a high power blender (like a VitaMix), you can crush your ice separately, then blend into the smoothie ingredients.  This will aid in preventing ice chunks.

2.)  COCONUT WATER ICE CUBES    I use this trick especially in the summer.  On super hot days that we're outside a lot or just finished a workout, I like to replace water ice cubes with coconut water ice cubes.  Simply pour coconut water into an ice cube tray and freeze!   I like to fill a couple ice cube trays with coconut water and when set, store in a bowl in the freezer so I always have some on hand!  Coconut water is fairly neutral in flavor and goes well in any smoothie.  It naturally contains about 15 times more potassium than conventional (and toxic) "sports drinks," while providing manganese and magnesium as well.  A great option for hot summer days in the sun when we all could use some electrolyte replenishing!

3.)  FREEZE YOUR FRUIT & VEGGIES     A few notes on this.   1 -  If you have fruit/veggies that are starting to spoil but you don't want to or can't use them before its time to toss, wash, dice and store in the freezer for future smoothies.  2  -  Bananas: be sure to peel and dice before freezing.   3  -  Purchase large quantities of fresh organic berries, kale, spinach, avocados, etc, during their peak months or when on sale to save money in the long run.  When you get home, immediately wash and shake dry, dice if needed, and store in freezer for future smoothies thru the year.

4.)  BOOST TASTE     I encourage you to experiment with flavor layering your smoothies.  The most common smoothie ingredients are berries, kale and spinach.  While these are all incredibly healthy and taste great when combined, they lack much acid in their flavor.  Boost the taste of your smoothies by adding a splash of fresh lemon or orange juice or a tablespoon of citrus zest.  You'll be wowed by the results!

5.)  FIZZ IT UP     Incorporating your homemade Kombucha into your smoothies is great as it's an easy way to get your good probiotics and boost your immune system all in one glass.  Kombucha will add fizz to your blend, a great experience and taste for kids or picky eaters.

6.)  NO SUGAR HERE     Forgo the use of sugar in smoothies.  Stevia is a simple, natural alternative to sugar that won't spike your blood sugar (I recommend using a few drops of liquid stevia per serving).  Especially if you are looking to heal from disease, lose weight, or are enjoying your smoothie for breakfast, avoid sugar at all costs for maximum results.  And if you're on the Core Plan, be aware of the fruits you can have that pack a sweeter bang to the bite (like mangoes, pears, and bananas) and instead of adding refined sugar to your drink, go ahead and blend in sweeter fruits.

7.)  LESS LIQUID     It's better to start out with too little liquid than too much.  Start with 1/2 cup liquid total per serving, then see how thick your smoothie ends up after all fruits, veggies and ice are incorporated.  You can always add more almond milk, coconut water, or ice.  Better to play it on the safe side.

8.)  BEST ENJOYED     Your smoothie will be best enjoyed immediately after blending.  You'll also get the maximum health benefits from the ingredients by drinking it right away.  If you make too much smoothie, freeze the rest in a container with some extra room at the top as the smoothie will expand as it freezes.  Remove from freezer and re-blend/stir briefly before enjoying.

9.)  MAKE AHEAD SMOOTHIES     Similar to tip #8 above, you can blend up batches of smoothie in advance, freeze immediately to lock in the nutrients, then thaw slightly and re-blend just before you walk out the door.   Great for families on the go.  I will be doing this in preparation for the birth of my baby and the weeks to follow, so everything I need for breakfast is all ready to go and I can focus on my newborn.

10.)  COMPLETE THE MEAL     A common point that is often overlooked when it comes to smoothies is that it's not a complete meal without protein and good fat.  Sure, it may taste delicious with your berries blended up with water and ice.  But, to ensure your blood sugar levels stay stable and that you'll feel full for longer, make your smoothie a complete meal by adding protein (grass fed whey/pea/hemp/etc powder, raw nuts, almond butter, hemp seeds) and good fat (avocado, coconut milk, flax meal, raw nuts, fish oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds) to the blend.   Your body will thank you!



Hey Elise! I've been looking through your blog and have found some wonderful recipes. I see you have the obligatory Shepherds Pie and Lasagna - healthy version - and was wondering what your take would be on another good ol' classic, Mac N Cheese. Reckon you could whip something up for us? He he! ;)

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hmmm, Mac N Cheese. That's one request I haven't had before!! haha Well, it'd be hard to make that one Advanced Plan. But Core Plan you could do brown rice pasta, raw milk/almond milk with melted cheddar and mozzerella. Hit it up and mix it all together. Bake if you wish or serve. Unfortunately a hard dish to make Advanced Plan (sugar free). Dairy turns to sugar in the body quickly, as does pasta - even brown rice pasta, or wheat pasta. You could try it with Zucchini noodles I suppose, but no sure how the end result would be. I'll have to try that some time! Thanks for the suggestion and so glad you have found my site! Enjoy! :)


Smoothies have become a huge part of our daily routine. I also add greek yogurt and coconut oil. I saw in your ingredients you use coconut milk. I know the obvious differences oil/milk. But nutrition wise, which is better, and why do you go with milk?

Healing Cuisine by Elise

Hi GeorgiaRee,

That is great to hear that your family is adding more smoothies in their routine! The main difference between coconut milk and coconut oil is that coconut milk also contains some fiber. Coconut milk is the raw coconut meat blended then strained, leaving behind both the coconut oil and some of the silky pureed fiber. It's extra creamy and adds some thickening bulk to the smoothie. You can definitely just do the oil, but you've probably found you need to add some almond milk or water along with to get the blending moving. You can alternatively just use coconut milk and get along without any extra liquid if you wish. It's totally up to you! Either way you'll be adding healthy fat to your smoothie!


Awesome! That's good to hear. Thank you!

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