I’m very excited to introduce to you our newest MPMK contributor, Jodi. She’s a natural foods chef with an incredibly gorgeous food blog, What’s Cooking Good Looking? (I kinda fell in love with her based on her blog’s name alone) and a truly amazing amount of health food knowledge. Today she’s sharing with us not one, but four, healthy and yummy smoothie recipes to try with the kids this summer.
Before we get to that though – I’d just like to take a moment and say that our hearts and prayers are with the families in Oklahoma.
Now that we’re approaching summer, smoothies are my favorite way to enjoy an easy breakfast or a mid-day snack. Who doesn’t love a good, refreshing smoothie? Smoothies are also a fun way to get in some extra healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Making smoothies at home is not only really easy, but it is also the best way for you to know that every single ingredient you are adding is natural and healthy (and not a sugary juice from a container). These smoothies are all created from whole, organic (when possible) ingredients. You can also make extra to keep around, saving you time so you don’t always have to break out the blender.
I created these recipes to taste great, but also to sneak in a few super-healthy ingredients that you might not always be able to get the little ones to eat. Each of these four smoothies are great for both mom and kids. Mom will like that they’re healthy and good for you, and kids will like the taste and how fun and colorful they are. Serve them in a colorful glass with a cool, bendy straw and they will be sure to be a huge hit!
A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE INGREDIENTS
In the chocolate almond butter smoothie:
Almond butter has a high amount of protein and helps to lower blood sugar. In other words, drink this and you will feel super satisfied. You can have this for breakfast without feeling hungry until lunchtime.
This recipe calls for cacao powder, which is really good for you, unlike it’s counterpart cocoa powder. Cacao, also known as raw chocolate, is really high in antioxidants, and does not contain any sugar or dairy that a regular chocolate bar would contain. It adds a chocolaty flavor with out all the unnecessary ingredients and sugar.
Bananas add a healthy dose of potassium and the hemp seeds (which are optional but highly recommend) are high in both omega 3+6 and contains all 20 amino acids that our bodies need but do not naturally produce. Plain and simple, these seeds are really really good for you.
In the acai blueberry chia smoothie:
I’m sure you are well aware that acai is a celebrated super food. It’s is very high in healthy antioxidants, just like the blueberries that are also in this smoothie. Be sure you buy pure acai, with no added sugar or ingredients you cannot pronounce. It’s usually found in the frozen fruit section. If you cannot find acai, you can add in other berries or fruit as a substitute.
The yogurt in the smoothie adds calcium and probiotics. I use a plain, dairy free yogurt in my smoothies, but you can use whichever kind of yogurt you usually eat. You’ve probably heard of or have already started to incorporate chia seeds in your diet, and I love to add them to smoothies. They give it a really fun texture in addition to all of the great health benefits they carry.
In the peach mango carrot smoothie:
The carrot might sound like an unlikely addition to the mango and peach, but trust me here. Carrots have a light sweetness that blends nicely with the other flavors and add the benefit of a beta carotene boost. Ground flax seeds are another great addition to the pantry and to smoothies because they are high in omega 3s and fiber.
In the happy green smoothie:
Green smoothies are all the rage, and this version is kid friendly so moms can make this for themselves and save the extra for the kids. It is also a great way to sneak in some raw spinach and avocado. If you’re adventurous, try adding in some kale and herbs too. Parsley and cilantro have great detoxifying powers. The taste and and fun green color will certainly win the little ones over.
SOME GUIDELINES FOR MAKING SMOOTHIES
- To make the smoothies, it is best to add the liquid first, and then about half of the ingredients. Blend, and then add the remaining ingredients. At the end add about 3-4 ice cubes and blend one last time.
- Always be sure to remove any stems or seeds from the fruit, and if your ingredients are organic do not peel the skin (they contain lots of healthy nutrients). Also, be sure to dice the ingredients, it makes for easier blending.
- Always look for what is fresh and in season, and organic is always best. Frozen is great too, especially for the fruits that are not in season, but be sure to look for frozen organic ingredients as well.
- The ingredients listed here are mostly a guideline. Feel free to add in other ingredients that you think would work well or leave something that you do not like or have on hand. Experiment. Find out what works for you.
- You can make these ahead of time, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Mason jars work great for this. They will stay fresh for about 1-2 days.
- Have fun & enjoy!
Chocolate Almond Butter
½ cup of almond butter
1 cup of rice milk
2 tablespoons of raw cacao powder
1 ripe banana
3 tablespoons of hemp seeds
Acai Blueberry Chia
1 cup frozen organic blueberries
1 packed of frozen acai
1 Greek style yogurt
½ cup of rice milk
Peach Mango Carrot
1 ripe mango
1 ripe peach
1 cup of rice milk
1-2 tablespoons of flax
Happy Green Smoothie
a handful of spinach (kale, or any dark leafy green will work)
1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon of flax or hemp or chia seeds
a couple of leaves of cilantro / parsley (optional)
1 + cups of water
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