Smoothies 101: Sneaking in the Veggies

I’m a smoothie whore. I love them. I have about 20 different recipes I’ve fine-tuned over the years, and they are awesome. If I could eat (or drink, rather) smoothies all day, every day, I would. I’m not talking about sugar infested, ice cream smoothies. I am talking about fruit and veggie, healthy for you, smoothies!

My smoothies are awesome because they’re ridiculously healthy, and they taste delicious. I make smoothies for myself, usually twice a day, not only for the convenience, but also to fill all the gaps in my own nutrition. I’m a busy mom and being able to just blend up a smoothie in seconds can totally save my day and my appetite! I have a smoothie every day for breakfast, and many times, it’s part of my lunch as well. If it’s not Shakeology, I’m pulling whatever I can find in my fridge to throw in the blender: lettuce, kale, greek yogurt, fruits, veggies, etc. You can pretty much put any ingredient you want in a smoothie…that’s another reason why they are so great!

My fool-proof steps to smoothie awesomeness

ice cube veggies

First, I make all my frozen veggie cubes. I keep these in the freezer, and pop a couple into every smoothie. It takes about an hour to make up all the veggie cubes, but it makes it so much easier when it’s time to make smoothies. I buy a package of pre-cut butternut squash, a small bag of baby carrots, a regular sized bag of baby spinach or kale, beets and sweet potatoes. You can honestly use any veggies that you wish, but I tend to stick with the sweeter ones for smoothies. Steam the squash, carrots, and sweet potato, and then blend them together with just enough water to make a smooth paste. Pour it into ice cube trays, and freeze. Once the veggie cubes are frozen, pop them out into large baggies, and keep frozen.

Next I peel the beets, dice them up, and steam them. Then I puree them in the blender with some water. Once they’re nice and smooth, I slowly add handfuls of spinach or kale (the darker the greens = more nutrition!), sometimes adding a little more water as needed, until the ENTIRE bag/bunch is blended in. Freeze these the same way you did the veggie cubes. It totally reminds me of making baby food, right?

Now, it’s smoothie-making time!

smoothie

In a blender, put a glob of Greek yogurt (I use plain), one of each veggie cube, and a handful of frozen berries (cherries, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries). Cover with a liquid of your choice (I use almond milk, coconut water, or Kefir). If you’ve never tried Kefir, it’s an amazing cultured probiotic that helps balance the bad bacteria in your digestive track. Then, blend until smooth. If you like things a little sweeter, you can add in a banana. I usually add some protein powder and/or flax seed as well to my smoothies. The fun of it is just experimenting with ingredients and finding your preferred taste!

Emma LOVES her smoothies. It’s one of the only ways I can sneak in the veggies, since she’s one of those toddlers who refuses to eat them. We call it her liquid nutrition. I started by making her “fruit only” smoothies and then slowly started adding one veggie at a time. Carrots were my guinea pig since they blend well and mix pleasantly with other fruits. Then I started branching out with greens: lettuces like romaine and iceberg and now spinach and kale. The trick is to start with the fruits and veggies and then add in the greens to taste.

Here are my “Emma Approved” veggie smoothies:

PB & Green

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 TBS peanut butter
  • 1 cut up banana
  • 3 cups spinach leave

 Green Goodness

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 handful spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 ice cubes

Strawberries Extreme


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries (the more berries you add, the more purple it looks)
  • 
1 banana
  • 
1 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1 cup 
coconut water
  • 1/4 cup fresh baby spinach

B Delight

  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries (add strawberries or blackberries for an additional burst of nutrition)
  • 1/2 cup of steamed broccoli
  • 1 cup of 100 percent cranberry juice
  • 1/2 cup of plain Greek yogurt

Green Smoothie Class

On the same smoothie note, I had the chance to attend a Green Smoothie Class this week by Jodi Brown, wellness chef and educator, and learned so much! Being the smoothie whore that I am, she really inspired me to think outside of the box and try some different greens and ingredients in my smoothies, and had some really useful smoothie tips! Here’s a snap shot of what I took away from her class:

  • smoothie classThe lower glycemic fruits are always best from a sugar perspective: berries, cherries, and grapefruit have the least amount of sugar. Bananas are the highest. Whatever fruits you choose, pick two handfuls daily, fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter. 
  • Don’t be afraid to try greens like cilantro, parsley, swiss chard, mizuna, dandelion and escarole. The darker and more bitter the green, the more nutritious they are.
  • Try making your own nut or seed milk. Jodi made an interesting pumpkin seed milk that tasted really unique.
  • Kick up your smoothies with supplements like spirulina, green powder blends, maca powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, goji berries, and bee pollen. And, use ripe fruit as your sweetener. If it’s not sweet enough, just add more fruit, raw honey or coconut sugar.
  • For some chocolately yumminess, try adding raw cacao powder in your smoothies.
  • Prep your smoothies the night before, just don’t add the liquid in until morning.
  • And, she made the most amazing raw brownies! You have to check them out!!

Jodi has a contagious passion for eating clean and green. You have to check out the Green Smoothie recipe she made for us in class! If you’re interested in learning more about her classes/events, services, and delicious recipes, check out her website and follow her on Facebook. While I attended her class on a complimentary basis, I wasn’t required to write about it and the opinions here are my own.

So, tell us, how do you sneak in the veggies for your munchkins? Let’s hear your favorite kid-friendly smoothies!

smoothie

About Sarah

Sarah is an Independent Beachbody Coach, a wife to her best friend, Marc, of 3 years and mommy to their precious daughter, Emma (16 months). She owns a fitness business where she loves to share her passion for health and fitness, and encourage individuals to achieve their goals and get fit! A perfect day for Sarah starts with a cup of coffee, ends with a glass of merlot and includes a great balance of sweaty garage workouts, walks to the park and zoo, and lots of baby giggles and sticky-fingered kisses in between. As a military family (US Coast Guard), The LaNore’s have become accustomed to moving around every few years and are really enjoying their time here in New Orleans and all the wonderful friends they have made. You can learn more about Sarah at her personal website or check out the diet and fitness tips she posts for clients and friends on her “Coach BodyBurn” fan Page.

5 Responses to Smoothies 101: Sneaking in the Veggies

  1. andie February 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm #

    Love all of these recipes Sarah! I haven’t been able to get Andrew to really drink a smoothie yet, but I am going to try one of these- maybe that would help!

  2. Angelina Vicknair February 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm #

    I am with you, Sarah! I would drink smoothies all day, and it’s been the one way I can sneak veggies into Jude’s diet. I never tried making the cubes ahead of time, I will definitely try it.

  3. Amber February 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this Sarah. I love smoothies. Although, I usually stick to strawberry/banana smoothies with almond milk, sometimes I add a little olive oil and flaxseed, too. This week, I took a walk on the wild side and added spinach. Not bad. Plus, it felt good knowing what a healthy thing I was doing for my body.

  4. Larrisa January 12, 2014 at 11:28 am #

    Just tried your PB & Green shake and loved it!! Could drink it every day!! Thanks

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  1. The new 'juicing': Some tips for loading kids up with liquid veggies | Greener Bee - January 28, 2014

    […] like Sarah LaNore of Monterey, Calif., believe it’s fine to sneak veggies into smoothies. She started doing it when […]

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