A friend and I were talking about green smoothies today (because I was drinking one) which reminded me I had this half-composed post about smoothies from a while ago. Green smoothies are, I think, the easiest, tastiest way to get more vegetables (and fruits) into your/your family's diet. It's pretty much just whatever fruits and veggies you want, (some do just vegetables and no fruit) mixed into smoothie form. I've blogged about them before here, but I thought we could use a reminder.
This has been my go-to smoothie for a while now:
-a couple handfuls of spinach/kale/or other leafy greens
-some non-diary milk/maybe a little lite coconut milk/water/coconut water
-peaches or pineapple (a small amount-fresh or canned)
-and frozen strawberries or cherries. Blend in a blender and serve (does not have to be an expensive Blen-tec or Vita-mix!)
My kids have gotten more fond of green smoothies as time has passed. They get excited when they hear the blender. I switched up my regular recipe with this 'hot pink smoothie' the other day:
-1 beet (fresh)
-some non-dairy milk
-a few prunes
-some frozen strawberries
My 7 year old's reaction (after asking if she could have some ice in it...I said 'hot' pink smoothie right?) was "This is the best smoothie i've had in my whole entire life!" I'm thinking the color may have been the reason she was so in love with it.
It really is the best sweet treat out there. I choose to do my daily (every-other-daily? -ish?) meditation outside, sitting in the sun (I live in Arizona,) drinking my green smoothie. It is the best therapy. And even when it's not great weather outside, or I don't have time to sit for a minute, it makes a great mini-meal on the road in a water bottle. I drink one (or more a day.)
I save money by buying that huge bag of spinach from Costco, putting a couple handfuls in freezer baggies and storing in the freezer. I just put the spinach leaves in raw; I smash flat, freeze, and then grab them out of the freezer and stick in my blender at smoothie time.
I store a lot of veggies in the freezer and save money not letting produce go bad. If something looks like it's going to turn and I haven't used it yet, I dice it up and stick it in the freezer. They've always come out tasting great (squash, peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes) and come in handy pre-chopped and ready to go in something great like lasagna or soup. So don't be afraid to buy too much produce. It's cheaper, per pound, than any food I know of (packaged food, diary, meat etc.) and now you won't have to be afraid that you'll waste it.
A great resource is Robyn, of www.greensmoothiegirl.com (although there are lots of others who make green smoothies too.) She teaches people how to transition to a whole foods diet, and although I've never bought her books, I like to read her blog and learn a lot from her you tube video recipes.