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Smoothies 101
Getting in all these vegetables is easy if you know how to make a smoothie

Smoothies can provide much of the nutrition for patients who have undergone weight loss surgery and for those who just want to have some concentrated great nutrition with flavors.

There are some basics to making smoothies - so here is the simple Smoothie 101 course for you.

No end of the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables you can blend

Step 1 – the liquid base

Liquid is the first thing you should put in your blender.  Always put the liquid in first. If you put the protein powder in first it can get stuck in the blades and cause a mess.

How much liquid you need does depend on the blender type. There are two types of high powered blenders on the market today- Blendtec and Vita-mix.  The Vita-Mix has a “smoothie” setting on their higher end model, and there are even professional models that require more.  The advantage of the semi-professional (or pro-sumer) models is that they puree the fruits and the vegetables quite well and require more liquid to keep them in suspension. Standard blender models do not blend as well, resulting less suspension and a “chunky” smoothie.  With the standard models you need less liquid.

Almond Milk is my personal choice for smoothies. This is readily available in most grocery stores today, and for those who are lactose intolerant, almond milk is not an issue.  When you start making smoothies you will be drinking more “milk” than before, so it may uncover a lactose issue.  There are also milks made from oats, rice, hemp, and soy.  If the soy milk is free of isoflavins it should be fine, but the other milks are easy to come by. If you must have milk, consider the fat-free plus milk from Shamrock Farms.

 

Step 2 – The Fruits

Professional smoothie chefs talk about having a base fruit that provides the smoothie with a creamy texture. This can also be achieved with the proper protein mix, usually a whey protein and I am using Bariatric Fusion powder.  Otherwise, the base fruit provides a good creamy texture to the smoothie.

Lots of great flavors for your smoothie

Great base fruits include apple, banana, mango, peach, and pear.

Step 3 – The greens

Ever think about a shake/smoothie as a way to get your greens in?

For green shakes- you still need a fruit base, although you can use less base fruit with some greens.

I don’t like Spinach, but funny thing- when blended in with fruits there is no taste. For many people, not getting enough greens means missing out on lots of micronutrients, and blending a green into a fruit flavor means you get the nutrients, but don’t have the taste that some find difficult to tolerate.

The ratio of greens to fruits is 2 parts greens to 3 parts fruit.  Most find being able to tolerate greens more as time goes on.  Other greens that work well include anything that is green and leafy such as kale, chart, parsley, and dandelion.

Step 4 – The Protein Powder

Good whey based proteins are my choice. I like the powdered protein mixes - and unjury.com has some good ones.

Step 6 – the Ice

You need ice in your blender one way or another for the smoothie. If the fruits are frozen you may need just a bit of water, but if they are not then you will need to add 1-2 cups of ice.

BLEND IT

Getting a great blender is key. We like Vita-Mix, but Blendtec is also a great model

Different blenders have different abilities to incorporate the greens as well as the ice cubes. I use the Vita-Mix which is a powerful blender and no need to chop greens and breaks down the ice cubes. Blendtec does the same.  Other blenders you will need to chop the fruit, and crush the ice more.

 

Too Sweet – add a bit of sea salt to the mix

Too bitter – add more fruit

Too warm -  more ice

 

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