smoothies.

February 24, 2015

smoothie | reading my tea leaves Or, as my nephew enthusiastically calls them: FOOMIES!

We’ve been guzzling smoothies around here lately. They’re the perfect thing to make in the morning and down in between chasing Faye around the apartment, hammering out blog posts, worrying about my book, and getting in the shower! Yay!

I’ve been winging all kinds of concoctions, positively none of them with a real recipe. Some of them turn out an unappetizing brown color but taste delicious. Some are so tart they make my eyes bulge. Some are insanely delicious but completely resistant to being recreated. But that’s the thing about smoothies: they’re like a mini adventure before you’ve even gotten yourself dressed in the morning!

Since some of you guys have been asking about smoothie specifics, I decided I’d pause my gulping to share two non-recipes. Mostly this is a selfish move designed to get you guys to share what you’ve been putting in your smoothies. When I wrote this ode to smoothies two years ago, so many of you wrote in about adding greens that I decided to give it a whirl myself. Two years later, I’m still at it, but I’ve got a hankering to try something else new.
smoothie | reading my tea leaves Here’s what I’ve been doing lately:

The green one (which kinda turns brown):
1 large glug of yogurt (probably close to 3/4 cup)
1 small handful frozen blueberries
1 small handful frozen strawberries
Several glugs of orange juice (probably close to 1/2 cup)
1 large handful greens (chard or kale or spinach’ll do)

The brown one:
1 banana
1 large glug of yogurt
1 spoonful of honey
Several tablespoons of peanut butter
1 (smaller) spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder
milk enough to make it blendable

PS. Yes! My hilarious tiling hack job is still going strong. The landlord’s heinous decorative tile’s got nothing on some white contact paper! (Bright kitchen light courtesy of Photoshop, 110%.)

PPS. James and I bought this blender when we first living together, SEVEN years ago. It’s the Oster Beehive Blender. We recently had to replace the plastic cap on the bottom of the glass pitcher because it finally cracked. The new replacement cap does not screw perfectly onto the rim of a mason jar like our old one did. We’re in mourning. And I’m on the hunt for a metal cap that the originals came with. Why, oh, why Osterizer?!

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76 Comments

  • Reply Jess February 24, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    I am loving this combo – almond milk, banana, frozen blueberries, and peanut butter. I add ground flax and a handful of spinach for extra health. Yogurt would be good too, or a spoonful of honey. So delicious (sort of like a PB&J)!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply snapdragonstudios February 24, 2015 at 3:39 pm

    The library where I work generously gave all its employees $100 to spend on health or fitness and I spent mine on a Nutribullet, so I am officially obsessed with smoothies now, too. Mine usually are a variation on the two you mentioned, but I have been using unsweetened vanilla almond milk (yummm) instead of regular milk and throwing in flax seeds when I remember. My favorite combo so far has been (not even a little bit local…oops. Does it make it any better is most of my other meals are local? Ahh, hippie guilt…) frozen mango with half a banana, handful of greens and the almond milk/flax seeds. Tastes like vacation.

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Ha! A drinkable vacation sounds wonderful!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply Diana February 24, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Your kitchen looks absolutely fine to me but I recently covered some ugly kitschy tiles in my kitchen using tile stickers that are of a Moroccan flair. They are generally 4×4 squares whose adhesive backing is specifically designed to adhere to kitchen tiles and are also removable if you're in a rental (or just change your mind). Thanks for the smoothie recipes!

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Thanks!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Yum!

  • Reply amanda e February 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Hi Erin,

    I think you'll enjoy the smoothie recipes I created for Canadian Gardening magazine. It's been a joy to invent creative and appetizing ways to turn the things you can grow in your vegetable garden into delicious and healthful smoothies and juices. My favourite is a blend of steeped chamomile tea, yogurt, banana and wildflower honey. You can find some other ideas here, if you'd like: http://www.canadiangardening.com/food-and-entertaining/garden-to-table/healthy-smoothie-recipes/a/54561

    x Amanda

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:24 pm

      Lovely! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply aaskonz February 24, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Coconut milk + frozen mango + chia seeds for something sweet
    Spinach + blueberries + strawberries + mango
    Blueberries + almond milk + blueberries

    These are what I have made in the past week! The 1st one is my favorite, but I try to keep it as a treat when everyone else is eating ice cream…not the same but it is working for now! The 2nd one is my go to breakfast smoothie. I can't have yogurt or bananas, so I have to make do!

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Yum!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Mmm! Granola on top!

  • Reply Jessica February 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I do 2 cups homemade vanilla date almond milk, 1 banana, ground flax, 2 fistfuls of spinach or kale and ice. makes enough for 2. I've been trying to get my 19 month old into it so I can get some more greens into her diet, but no luck so far. It took her 6 months to accept a banana which is now her most favorite food, so there's still hope. I am determined to win!

  • Reply Kristin February 24, 2015 at 4:02 pm

    I'm in love with banana smoothies. I only have a food processor (a tiny kitchen with little storage makes buying another appliance a big decision), so I've had to be creative with making thicker smoothies. Food processors (at least mine) doesn't love a ton of liquid.

    My go-to is more of a smoothie bowl: Pulse 1 frozen banana and a healthy handful of spinach until smooth, then add a few scoops of plain greek yogurt. Slowly add a little almond milk to get the right consistency. Spoon into a bowl and add granola on top (this morning I added Cinnamon Pecan Granola from the Deliciously Ella blog – amazing!) The consistency is more frozen yogurt, but it almost tastes like desert.

    Sometimes I'll add nut butter, sometimes I'll add chia seeds. But the banana/yogurt flavor is really my favorite.

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Mmm! Granola on top!

  • Reply Bethany R February 24, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    My fav is from a Real Simple recipe- it's easy to find using the search bar on their website. It's unsweeted coconut milk, kale or spinach, pineapple, and a banana. It's so insanely delicious. I've heard putting avacados in smoothies gives them a delicious creamy consistency, but I've yet to try it myself.

  • Reply Devan February 24, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    i looove this! i wish i liked smoothies but the texture….

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Craaaazy!

  • Reply catie February 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

    erin,
    i make a giant green smoothie every morning.
    i follow a 'formula' rather than a recipe {inspired in equal parts by kim snyder & kris carr}
    i have the formula on the front of my fridge & permanently on my shopping list to make it easy.

    BIG GREEN SMOOTHIE:
    ————————————–
    liquid & greens:
    coconut water
    greens – usually spinach or kale
    {blend first}
    ——————————-
    sturdy stuff:
    celery
    cucumber – peeled
    d'anjou pear
    {blend a second time}
    ————————
    tender stuff:
    banana
    avocado
    lemon juice
    parsley or cilantro – really!
    {blend a third time}
    ———————————
    i make it every morning, but usually don't drink it until later in the day when i'm picking kids up from school. it's exactly what i need to get through the afternoon.

    cheers!!
    ♥catie

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Yum!

  • Reply Kaily February 24, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Add roasted beets! It is a good way to add veggies, but the roasted beets are very sweet, so good for a smoothie and they turn the smoothie an amazing colour! I peel mine, quarter, roast them for an hour and then freeze. I usually add one beet per smoothie.

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Craaaazy!

  • Reply Taylor DuVall February 24, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I'm going to have to try your brown one today!! I've been using coconut milk recently – it's delicious!

  • Reply Sophia February 24, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Fresh mint + blueberries + yogurt
    Tahini + orange juice + vanilla + yogurt

    + whichever liquid…

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Oh my gosh, yum!

  • Reply Anonymous February 24, 2015 at 7:35 pm

    Maca powder is my favourite thing to add to smoothies – has a slightly sweet, malty flavour and the added bonus of some really great health benefits

  • Reply Jackie {York Avenue} February 24, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    I've been having the same smoothie every day for about a month now and it is DELICOUS, plus it's a pretty light orange color instead of the brown that my old smoothies always were. It's the clementine sunshine smoothie from blogger Cookie and Kate, and it's basically a frozen banana, three clementines (preferably cold), some plain yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and a few drops of vanilla extract. SO good!

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:26 pm

      Oh my gosh, yum!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Good idea!

  • Reply Jo in London February 24, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    This is such great timing. We were recently given a Waring blender and, as I've never made smoothies, I don't have a clue what to do with it. I'm going to try all these ideas out on my teenage son. Thanks Erin and your readers!

    • Reply admin February 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      I still need to work on the balance! I always go overboard!

  • Reply moni.zuza February 24, 2015 at 9:48 pm

    Since I rarely have time to make homemade nut milk and don't care for the store bought stuff, I usually throw a small handful of almonds or walnuts in the smoothie. Yum. Also dates are a nice change from honey. But yeah, I rarely ever follow a recipe. Even though I'm a total recipe addict when it comes to everything else!

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      Good idea!

  • Reply Morse Always Wins! February 24, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    AVOCADOS!!!! Oh, the places you will go with some avocado in your smoothie. There are a variety of ways to work it in. My favorite ways are with chocolate or strawberries, but I think HuffPo hits the mark on the variety of recipes: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/23/avocado-smoothies_n_5193023.html

    • Reply Erin February 24, 2015 at 10:27 pm

      I still need to work on the balance! I always go overboard!

  • Reply Renae February 25, 2015 at 1:07 am

    I don't ever follow a recipe either. But my favorite is a lot of spinach, a couple kale leaves, an apple or pear, an avocado (makes it smoother and the fat helps make it more filling) and vanilla almond milk. It a nice bright green too! Yum. Smoothies ftw!
    Ps. The other day I threw in mustard greens thinking it was kale. I would definitely recommend NOT trying that. Yikes! 🙂

  • Reply Brie February 25, 2015 at 4:01 am

    We rarely follow recipes either, but frozen bananas are 1000x better than the non-frozen variety. I just buy ripe bananas, peel and freeze (peeling beforehand is key!). Also, our "secret ingredient" is frozen red grapes. They just add so much to a smoothie! A small handful of fresh parsley is also really nice, as is a dash of pure vanilla.

  • Reply Theresa February 25, 2015 at 5:51 am

    I'be been adding oats–raw, soaked, or cooked rolled oats or cooked steel-cut oats. They make it super filling, so it's a great breakfast. Good with every combo I've tried so far.

  • Reply ieva dan February 25, 2015 at 10:10 am

    oh, this blog post makes me so happy!
    Erin, try this:
    https://instagram.com/p/o8BONFCRjC/?modal=true

    it's our morning smoothie or morning addition actually 🙂
    for 2:
    handful of nuts ( almonds, walnuts, whatever you feel like )
    spoon of chia or flax seed ( optional )
    3 spoons of raw cacao
    1 ripe avocado
    2 handfulls of spinach ( you can start bit by bit here )
    handful of frozen blueberries ( optional )
    2 big frozen bananas
    1 and a half glass of water ( or more if you like to drink it and not eat it as a smoothie bowl )

  • Reply Rachael February 25, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    My mom has that same blender and it's pretty amazing. Great recipes btw!

    • Reply admin February 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you! I use a Canon 7D.

  • Reply amy February 25, 2015 at 1:26 pm

    I've been adding ginger + lemon to everything.

    • Reply admin February 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Yes! Though we're not introducing cow's milk yet, so I make hers with goat's milk yogurt! (Posts on both topics in the works!)

  • Reply simplymme February 25, 2015 at 2:35 pm

    What camera do you use to take your pictures? They are so beautiful and clear

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 6:42 pm

      Thank you! I use a Canon 7D.

    • Reply admin February 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Didn't have a traditional registry and didn't have a baby shower, so we avoided much of the deluge! Sounds like a post might be in order!

  • Reply IDO February 25, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    This is great!
    Do you feed them to the little one?
    Relatedly, it would be great to see a post on breastfeeding and early baby feeding.

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Yes! Though we're not introducing cow's milk yet, so I make hers with goat's milk yogurt! (Posts on both topics in the works!)

      • Reply admin February 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

        Lovely! Bloody Mary breakfast!

  • Reply Taylor Yves February 25, 2015 at 2:58 pm

    Off topic: what did you register for, for Faye? How closely did people stick to your wish list, and was it easy/did you return things you didn't need? #BabyInATinyAparment

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Didn't have a traditional registry and didn't have a baby shower, so we avoided much of the deluge! Sounds like a post might be in order!

    • Reply Taylor Yves February 25, 2015 at 3:36 pm

      Definitely. I've let my best friends know, tactfully, that food the first couple of weeks would be best 🙂 I'm curious why you didn't even want a shower! I'm more excited for this one than my wedding shower.

  • Reply Anonymous February 25, 2015 at 3:26 pm

    We do a homemade V8 sort of smoothie during the summer when tomatoes are everywhere. Sometimes we do this in the winter if I have a leftover half box/glass jar of good Italian tomatoes or tomato sauce. Either way it's really easy—tomatoes, a little apple cider vinegar or lemon (lime works too), some greens if you've got them, cucumbers (summer addition), turnips or radishes, and/or celery. Really you add whatever sort of veg that is savory. Blend it up and drink with a sprinkle of sea salt. It's a nice lunch on the go or a really warming breakfast if the day is going to be long or particularly cold.

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 3:28 pm

      Lovely! Bloody Mary breakfast!

  • Reply SarahE February 25, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    I've started experimenting with oats to make my smoothies creamier, but I run out of patience to blend it completely smooth (I'm also working with an immersion blender alone). Also, my smoothie making got way way easier when I started adding a cup of brewed tea. Some teas taste better than others (still working on it), but I don't have to spend five minutes slowly breaking up chunks of frozen fruit.

    • Reply admin February 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Ugh, I know. I was so sad when the replacement didn't screw on properly. Might try ordering a new one to see if the one we got was just a fluke!

  • Reply thefolia February 25, 2015 at 4:24 pm

    Good luck with your search for the match to your osterizer. I know that brand has made them to fit for 40 years now. I wrote about it in my post So Far on thefolia.com. Cheers to smoothies.

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Ugh, I know. I was so sad when the replacement didn't screw on properly. Might try ordering a new one to see if the one we got was just a fluke!

  • Reply Caitlin | Our Natural Heritage February 25, 2015 at 5:45 pm

    Our Nutribullet has been going strong for a few years of daily use! We did have to replace the motor part once but it was pretty cheap and easy to find.

    My usual smoothie:

    coconut water
    frozen mango
    greens (kale usually)
    hemp seeds and/or chia and/or flax seeds
    3/4 a banana (prefrozen)
    GINGER!

    I also love making this healthy version of the date shake when I want to pretend I'm in California 🙂 http://lainbloom.com/webisodes/2011/09/20/webisode-date-shake/

    • Reply Erin February 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Yum!

  • Reply Marin Elizabeth February 25, 2015 at 8:16 pm

    I still haven't branched into adding greens to my smoothie but I'm thinking I need to throw some spinach in my next one. Hopefully it turns out!

  • Reply Katrien February 25, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    How serendipitous! I haven't made a brekkie smoothies in some time and just sat down with one to read your blog 🙂 This one is what I would rate as NTB (Not too bad). Some are downright awful and they get the F (Foul) category. This morning's concoction is oranges, LSA mix, maca, water and carrots. I think to move it to the Y (Yummy!) category it would have needed some honey, yoghurt and bananas. Oh well. Down the hatch and out the door!

  • Reply M. February 25, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Here's a smoothie recipe (with greens!) that we made recently and loved:

    1 bag frozen pineapple chunks
    2 oranges, seeds removed
    2 teaspoons of chia seeds
    1 large teaspoon of almond butter
    1 banana
    1 handful of baby spinach
    Add water to ease consistency

    Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply Kathryn McKinney February 26, 2015 at 12:18 am

    We recently got a Vitamix blender and my husband was so over the moon with its blade power he would put WHOLE HEADS of kale in our smoothies. Tasted like lawn and gave me the worst heartburn ever! You don't need to drink a head of kale a day. In the afternoons sometimes, when I have a sweets craving, I'll make one with banana, ice, vanilla almond milk, and a little agave–tastes like a milkshake, so delicious!

  • Reply Emily February 26, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    I like to put soaked rolled oats and almonds in my smoothies, a la My New Roots: http://www.mynewroots.org/site/2013/08/blueberry-basil-smoothie-soy-free-protein-smoothie-boosts/

  • Reply Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    grapefruit juice (ideally fresh) instead of orange juice is a game-changer

  • Reply Leslie February 27, 2015 at 3:29 am

    Don't forget a spoonful of coconut oil YUM!

  • Reply Allie Steel March 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Erin, I'm intrigued by your mention of a tiling hack job and using white contact paper. The only thing I dislike about our (rental) apartment is the kitchen splashback, which is brown with the dreaded decorative strip in…another brown. What's your secret weapon to cover such things?

    • Reply Erin March 2, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Oh man! First of all: condolences. Second of all: I think it comes down to time you have and how much you really hate it. I know Anna at Door Sixteen did an awesome plywood backsplash cover in her place. Since we're never sure how long we'll be in one place, we've never embarked on that kind of labor-intensive project, but that doesn't mean it's not possible! Good luck!

  • Reply Allie Steel March 2, 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Erin, I'm intrigued by your mention of a tiling hack job and using white contact paper. The only thing I dislike about our (rental) apartment is the kitchen splashback, which is brown with the dreaded decorative strip in…another brown. What's your secret weapon to cover such things?

  • Reply anna | gone banannas March 4, 2015 at 12:18 am

    I thoroughly enjoy your use of the word "glug" – that truly is what it is!

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