A Beginners Guide To Healthy Smoothies

smoothie guide
To supercharge my mind and body, I start just about every morning with a nutrient packed and delicious smoothie.  I’m absolutely addicted!

I started sharing smoothie recipes on SnapChat (@GeriHirsch) which has led to loads of smoothie questions . To help answer some of those questions I put together my version of a beginners guide to healthy smoothies which includes the smoothie formula that works just about every time, the ingredients to have on hand, tips on getting the right consistency, the 411 on superfoods and a handful of recipes. Hope you enjoy and tune into SnapChat for more recipes!

p.s. what are your favorite smoothies?

As a general rule of thumb, I find that the following combo works if you get the proportions right (it’s really a game of trial an error and a matter of taste): Liquid Base  + Frozen Banana + Leafy Greens + Fruit + Superfood

You can adjust the quantities as needed but as a rough rule I like 1/2-2 cups of milk (I prefer almond), 2/3 of frozen banana, 2-3 handfuls of leafy greens, 2-3 handfuls of fruit and 1/2-1 tablespoon of superfood (flax seed, acai or cacao, etc.).

The blender: I JUST started using the NutriBullet and it’s incredible. Prior to that, I used a Vitamix which made good smoothies but the cleanup was a pain. Other smoothie makers and blenders will work just fine, too.

Liquid base options: Almond milk (vanilla almond milk is great, too), coconut milk, hemp milk, soy milk, dairy milk of your choice, yogurt, coconut water.

Leafy greens: I like kale or spinach but here are 11 different greens.

Frozen fruits: Mixed berries or frozen strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, peaches, mango, pineapple, mango, cherries, acai packets, frozen coconut or anything else delicious that you can get your hands on. I like to buy local fruit at the farmers market and freeze it but frozen fruit from the freezer section is great, too.

Superfoods: Chia seeds, coconut oil, acai, aloe vera, cacao, goji berries, hemp seeds, honey and bee pollen, maca, spirulina and flax seed are all packed with nutrients. Here is more detailed info on each of them.

Other additions: Fresh fruit of your choice, dates, almond butter, vanilla bean, cinnamon, granola, coconut flakes, ginger.

-If you like smoothies thick and creamier, add more banana.
-If they get too thick or you prefer them to be more liquid-y add more milk or coconut water.
-If you want them to be more like a pudding add an avocado.
-If you like them really cold and a bit slushy add ice.

Superfoods are an excellent, quick and easy way to fill your body with nutrients. What exactly is a superfood? Simply put, superfoods are foods rich in phytochemicals which fight disease, strengthen the immune system and contribute to an overall healthier well-being. I like adding them to smoothies to supercharge my mind and body. Some of my favorites are chia, flaxseed, hemp, and acai powder.  Add about 1 teaspoon of each to your blender with  your liquid and greens first and blend. Once combined, add banana and frozen fruit.

If you’re interested in a probiotic, kefir makes for a great smoothie addition. I like the plain or Strawberry Pomegranate Açaí from Green Valley Organics which they sell at Whole Foods – this is what it looks like. I add about 1/3-1/2 a cup and it really is delicious.When all else fails: add honey, agave or dates to try to sweeten it up

Berry Healthy:
1.5 cups vanilla almond milk or any milk of your choice
2/3 frozen banana
1-2 handfuls of frozen mixed berries
1 small handful of kale
1 small handful of spinach
Optional: 1 tsp each of coconut oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds (or superfoods of your choice)
Optional: 3/4 cup Strawberry Pomegranate Açaí
How-to: Toss in blender and combine

Tropical Greens:

1.5-2 cups of vanilla almond milk
1 frozen banana
1 large handful of pineapple
1 medium handful of peaches
1 small handful of mango
1 handful of kale
1 handful of spinach
Optional: 1 tsp each of coconut oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds (or superfoods of your choice)
How-to: Toss in blender and combine

Mango Bliss:

1/2-3/4 cups vanilla almond milk or milk of your choice
2/3 of frozen banana
1 handful of kale
1 handful of spinach
1 handful of frozen mango
1 handful of frozen strawberries
Optional: 1 tsp each of coconut oil, chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds (or superfoods of your choice)
Optional: 3/4 cup plain kefir
How-to: Toss in blender and combine

Coconut, Vanilla & Almond Butter:

1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 vanilla almond milk
1/2 frozen banana
¼ cup almond butter
1 tsp each of coconut oil
2 tbsp coconut flakes
5 dates
Dash of vanilla extract or scrape of a vanilla bean
Dash of cinnamon
Optional:  1 tsp each of chia seeds and flaxseeds
How-to: Toss in blender and combinePhoto: Green Kitchen Stories

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  1. I am a sucker when it comes to healthy smoothies and since I’ve been in a bit of a health kick lately, posts like these are what I am always looking for. Thank you for these yummy recipies. I can’t wait to try them.

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