If you ever feel like you or your kids aren’t eating enough vegetables in a day, let me tell you my secret weapon for super-fast nutrient-boosting foods…
Fruit and veggie smoothies
Some days, it feels like we are in and out of the car going from one activity to another and there isn’t even a minute to get a meal ready! On these days, we eat a lot of finger foods and prepared snacks (not to be confused with treats).
These are the days I wonder if my kids had any fruits and vegetables besides some baby carrots! I recognized this early in our journey and realized we needed a quick and simple way to get fruits and vegetables into our day. A way that didn’t require slicing, dicing, cooking, and spend any more than 5 minutes in the kitchen to prep. Smoothies for the win! We add vegetables to pretty much all of our smoothies. This adds more fiber and nutrients to make it a quick snack or meal without causing blood sugar spikes or other side effects. This also gives me peace of mind to know that my kid’s bodies are being fueled well for the day.
And if you’re new to green smoothies, you may want to try this very basic Pineapple Mango Smoothie. Have your kids help make it, and in no time, when age appropriate, they’ll be making them for the whole family. 🙂
Here are my favorite vegetables for throwing into just about any smoothie:
1.) Leafy greens
If you’ve never tried green smoothies before, I strongly suggest trying spinach as your first vegetable because of the taste factor. If you haven’t tried putting spinach into a smoothie, what are you waiting for? Honestly, if you’ve never thrown in fresh spinach, try a small handful in a smoothie and mark my word…you can’t taste it! Other great leafy greens to add in are
- collard greens
- mustard greens
All of which are highly packed with nutrients like:
- vitamin C, A, and K
We rotate through all of these greens because I rarely have all 4 of these leafy greens on hand and eating a variety of plants is always best. Tip: Peel off the leafy greens and discard the stem. It will make the smoothie less fibrous. Also, in our opinion, kale has the strongest flavor…we are just sure to eat it when it’s first picked/freshest because it’s the most mild at that time. One of the best things about leafy greens is their excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
Cucumbers are excellent because they add a nice fresh flavor to your smoothie. I like to peel them before adding them in, but it really isn’t necessary. They are perfect because they are rich in vitamin E which is great for skin health. Flashback: A couple of year ago, it was suggested by some dinner guests to try adding in cucumber and I was completely grossed out by the idea. Chris was all too curious and was the one to try. Surprisingly enough, cucumbers have a great refreshing taste. Of course they don’t match with any combination of a smoothie like spinach can, but it pairs well with frozen pineapple and coconut water.
Add an extra boost of nutrients to your smoothie with whole carrots. They add a pleasant sweetness and go with just about any smoothie. I totally love it! If you don’t have a high power blender, I don’t know well this would work, however, I strongly encourage you to use a high power blender if you’re doing carrots or just possibly just chop them up a whole lot before you throw them in so you don’t break your blender. For my recommendations for a high-powered blender, click here: link for blenders
Ginger has super healing benefits like supporting the immune system, helping with inflammation and it also helps with a stomach ache. So, ginger is uh-mazing! I strongly encourage you to try to adapt more ginger into your life whether it’s through recipe cooking or smoothies or just some kind of ginger tea wherein you’re grating the ginger into some hot water. It’s so powerful especially for sickness and can help aid digestion. You can find a ginger root in the produce section of your grocery store. Peel off the outer skin with a spoon turned wrong-side up, and add a small chunk to your smoothie. A small amount goes a long way!
Tomatoes are excellent for vitamin C, which supports the immune system. They’re also rich in vitamin A, C and folic acids. My kids won’t eat fresh tomatoes (boohoohoo!), so we throw them in smoothies. The flavor is mild, though, I am sure to not throw in a huge one. If this seems too weird or distasteful, don’t try it yet and stick with the others for now. 😉
BONUS: Celery! It goes great with pineapple. 🙂
So, what do you think? Are there other veggies you like to sneak into your smoothies? Let me know in the comments below, I’ll give it a try!