Saturday, July 11, 2015

A Great Way to Begin Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

It's a rare day that I don't have a green smoothie. A green smoothie is a great portable meal and also an excellent craving buster. More nutients are readily available because the fruits, seeds, nuts and Vegetables or greens are broken down by the blades of the blender.

You can make a green smoothie in a standard blender but you'll have to chop the ingredients smaller. The end result may also not be as smooth and creamy. If you make one daily you could also burn your blender out! 

For that reason a variety of specialty blenders have appeared on the market.
We have a full sized Vitamix. We've actually had a Vitamix for the last 30+ years. We're on our second machine, which was an upgrade. We bought our first when there was nIothing available like it. It's  workhorse of a machine that will last almost forever! They're made in America, with primarily American sourced parts. The only downside is price. They cost a lot. You can save some money by purchasing a refurbished model. I'm a die hard Vitamix fan.

I thought we'd purchase a personal Vitamix when we decided we needed a travel blender for a trip we'll be taking in September (more on that later let's just say it involves an island.).
However once I saw the price I decided to investigate a few other personal blenders.

Initially, I thought we'd buy a Nutri Bullet. It was the reviews and only 900 watts of power that deterred me. Despite that I know people who love them.

Then I thought we'd get a Hamilton Beach personal blender.  I know people who use this blender and really like it. One told me it crushes the ice she puts in with her smoothie ingredients. It's a great blender for the money, not terribly powerful but if you chop things small and blend for a while you could be ok.

We finally ended up ordering a Nutri Ninja Auto IQ.  We got ours as a QVC special. I linked to the Amazon page that shows the various packages that are available with this blender. We ordered the basic blender I linked to. After receiving it and making two smoothies yesterday, I believe that I made the right choice.

For the first smoothie I overfilled it past the fill line. It performed admirably but left just a trace of kiwi seed residue. For the second smoothie I used a quartered apple with the skin, a third of a cucumber, quartered and again with skin, flax seeds, cherry juice, frozen blueberries and romaine lettuce. I put the ingredients into as specified and ended up with a sweet and delicious smooth smoothie. YUM! The IQ function starts and stops the blender, which tosses the ingredients so they blend smoothly. It works! No taking the blender cup off to shake stuck chunks of ingredients into the blades. It's load but not quite as load as our Vitamix.

The blender cups are of good quality, BPA free, as good as my Vitamix containers. Clean up is a breeze, though this would be true for any small blender with removable blades. The screw on travel lids allow you to blend and go. If you have questions I'd be happy to answer them, or try to.

So here's a very basic green smoothie template.

1 very small banana (or fresh or frozen mango if you dislike banana)
1cup (small handful) greens (I recommend baby spinach for beginners) - in a pinch frozen works as well.
1/2 - 1 cup of berries or cherries
1 tablespoon seeds (flax or Chia work well, sunflower too)
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder (for chocaholics but otherwise optional)
1/2 cup water, but milk, or cherry or POM juice.

Place ingredients into blender and blend until smooth and you've got goodness that tastes like dessert. If you're making this in a personal blender you may have to cut back the amounts of each ingredient and do two batches.

Bon Appetite!!

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