Few food items are able to both satisfy my sweet tooth and keep me hydrated in the summertime heat. Store bought ice-cream is full of sugar and devoid of any nutritional value. The same goes for most popsicles and cold coffee beverages. Homemade smoothies, however, are an exception.
One thing I love most about smoothies is that they're pretty forgiving in terms of acceptable ingredients. I'll admit, most of my favorite smoothie recipes have spawned from trial-and-error. In my experience, almost any combination of fruit (and some vegetables) can be thrown into a blender for a naturally sweet treat.
Lately I've been trying to find ways to sneak more vegetables in my diet so I set out to create a smoothie that had the added nutrients of vegetables. I was overwhelmingly surprised by the resulting taste. There is no veggie taste, except for a slight hint of refreshing cucumber.
2/3 cup strawberries
1/3 cup raspberries
handful of fresh spinach
1/4 cup shredded carrots
One quarter of a large cucumber, chopped
1/4 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 to 1 scoop vanilla protein powder
2 cups ice
stevia to taste
1. Pour almond milk and cottage cheese into blender
2. Add fruit and vegetables, chia seeds, protein powder, then ice
3. Blend until smooth, add stevia to taste
*This recipe yields several servings.
Keep in mind that temperate fruits like most berries are the ideal smoothie fruits for someone trying to reduce sugar intake since they contain less sugar than tropical fruits.
Here's a vital tip: don't throw away fruit that's almost too ripe. Instead, clean it and cut into pieces, then freeze. You can use these frozen pieces of fruit for smoothies or let them serve as ice cubes for water-with-a-kick and fruit teas.