This post will tell all of my not so secret secrets to keeping the smoothie life ALIVE. Growing up my mom would be like “I’m not really hungry for lunch let’s have a smoothie” and then we would go out for smoothies. It was a much simpler time. Smoothies have REALLY and I mean REALLY evolved since then. Now within probably the last 5 years smoothies have gone in the acai bowl direction and are now served in a bowl with toppings. The more recent growing trend with smoothies now are fruitless smoothies – because sugar is sugar even if it’s fruit sugar. The other really popular smoothie lately is layered smoothies which are like the granddaughter of parfaits. I’ve even seen warm smoothies too and have tried. They’re actually incredible because I get cold so easily – water with NO ice is my go to drink at restaurants.
Ombre layering: Put some yogurt at the bottom of your container for a white layer and then blend fruit (like blueberries in this Lavender Hibiscus Blueberry Smoothie) with other ingredients but with each layer add a little more fruit so it takes on deeper hues.
Edible Flowers: I added dehydrated hibiscus leaves here. Other common edible flowers are nasturtiums, begonia, marigold, day lillies, lilac, and honeysuckle.
Essential oils in food: I added one drop of food grade lavender oil – which is almost more than enough. Another popular oil for smoothies would be peppermint which is usually mixed with chocolate or cacao in some form.
Mint chocolate chip: Mint chocolate chip can be done a number of ways. Here in this Cacao Mint Smoothie I added a small handful of mint leaves and blended it with frozen spinach. The chocolate taste purely came from the cacao nib topping and I added some dark chocolate chips for good measure. (Coconut flakes are also pictured).
Frozen food is cheaper and is essential for creating a foundation for toppings: In this Blueberry and Spinach Smoothie I used all frozen ingredients. That’s what makes smoothies and smoothie bowls so thick – that and limiting liquids like juice or milk. So it makes your smoothie thick it’s cheaper. It also prevents food waste. This is because if you are about to have to toss the spinach mix you bought for salads you can just put that spinach in the freezer and make it last so much longer until you’re ready for your next smoothie.
Nut Butter Drizzle:
This used to gross me out so bad – adding nut butter on top of fruit and veggies seems so gross. But when you think about peanut butter and jelly it is much more normal seeming. When you are buying nut butter make sure it has only one or two ingredients. So many nut butters have sugar and extra unneeded oils. Only natural nut butters will drizzle – no I did not melt it over or something weird like that. It’s just what natural nut butter looks like. The cheapest and best quality nut butter that I’ve ever found is actually from Smucker’s and that is what’s used in all these pictures on this blog post (some will argue that peanuts are seeds which makes sense but I’m trying to keep things simple and use limited terminology).
Warm Smoothie: This Warm Fruitless Sweet Potato Smoothie
has blended steamed sweet potato and cinnamon which basically tastes like pumpkin pie. Again the benefit of a fruitless smoothie is to cut down on sugar, if you want a smoothie but don’t want it taste super sweet OR if you want something warm but don’t feel like having oatmeal. I topped it off with yogurt, peanut butter, and granola and then put a yogurt layer in the middle.
This was blended with steamed cauliflower (which was tasteless) therefore adding fiber, extra vegetable variation, and making it officially not mashed sweet potatoes.
Finally, let’s talk extra add ins and toppings:
Protein and powders: With almost all of my smoothies I add in Om mushroom cordyceps and Vital Proteins collagen peptides. Cordyceps help with energy and sugar levels and collagen provides protein while improving the look and feel to my skin which has really cleared up since using it. Collagen is tasteless and cordyceps have a very very faint taste similar to cacao.
Cacao nibs are amazing. Cacao is just cocoa or chocolate before all the sugar is added. The reason people say dark chocolate is good for you if because of it’s high percentage of cacao which is rich in antioxidants which fight cancer and illness and stuff that really suck. If the dark chocolate wrapper says it’s 85% cacao then it’s 8.5 out of 10 in cacao – the other 1.5 ratio is sugar which really is not that bad. The higher the cacao percentage the better and cacao nibs are 100% cacao – because they’re…cacao…nibs. Cool? Cool.
Nuts and Seeds: Wonderful ways to include healthy fats in your diet. Healthy fats keep you from feeling “snacky” because it provides some balance to your diet and protects our organs, helps absorb nutrients, and promotes cell growth. This smoothie pictures is packed with fats so I didn’t add avocado and ghee and more nut butter with other meals that day – over doing healthy fats is possible.
Spices: Sometimes adding a little seasoning is exciting and adds an extra something. Sometimes I’ll throw in cinnamon, pink sea salt, all spice, nutmeg, pumpkin spice, or turmeric if the smoothie has something that could go well with it. I would add these to sweet potato, pumpkin, apple, vanilla protein, and banana tasting smoothies. I encourage getting creative but don’t want you to create a monster – kale and cinnamon sounds awful.
This last smoothie is my Sweet Potato and Zucchini smoothie.