Everybody’s talking about the smoothie, it seems to be god’s answer to all of our nutritional dietary holes. A smoothie is basically touted as liquid vitamins and meal replacement all in one. Body builders and athletes use them to increase their nutritional supplementation. Dieting folks use them as filling meal replacements. It is a way to deceptively sneak greens and dairy into a child’s shake or freeze it for a popsicle. Smoothies are also tasty and amazingly refreshing, so there is just the pure enjoyment of the experience as well.
I bought my Vitamix when I was post partum and nursing. It was an amazing way to fill my diet with sustaining nutrients, and deal with the dehydration that I was constantly battling. It was a new way to incorporate coconut water into my day, that elixir has proven to be a wonderful addition to many a smoothie that I concoct in my master blender. I find that coconut water is a staple to practically every smoothie I create. If you include the pulp of the coconut (which if you use a young coconut you can easily do, but now at my Whole Foods Market I can purchase frozen coconut pulp!) You can get the consistency of a shake, like a milk shake, oh my. And coconut pulp is being rediscovered as a “perfect food” (my lingo), which has the right type of fat that feeds the skin and the brain. Do some research, check out Weston A. Price or Nourishing Traditions for more info on that.
A friend of mine, Jill, is the smoothie queen (more lingo from me), and I mean it in the most flattering of ways. She drinks a smoothie practically everyday without fail, and has mastered the art of scooping up this mineral and that herb into them with an artistic flair. She is also very adept at drinking a smoothie and knowing what most of the ingredients are. When she was recently dining at Cafe Gratitude, a restaurant that is in LA, and I believe started in San Francisco, she tried a smoothie that made her swoon, and has created her version of it (the ingredients are listed on the online menu, so you can take your own stab). I will list Jill’s version here, which I have tried at least 4 times in the past week and I must admit, I am now addicted. I don’t think it punches in as much nutrition as my greens smoothie, but it has amazing nutrients and tastes like a vanilla shake to me, so a giant “Yum’s Up” from my perspective (I agree, enough of my lingo!) BTW, check out Cafe Gratitude, and if you are ever near one, try them, just reading their menu puts you in a happy state of mind. Not heard about a green smoothie? This is a must, check out this book, which I read post partum and it changed my life (and my skin, which looks much younger than my years, ask anyone that knows me!): Green for Life.
You really need a super duper blender for this, I know it is an investment, but search around online, Vitamix has a refurbished program that I utilized and I’m on year 5 of using my mixer with no problems. I also hear that the Blendtec is fantastic, and possibly better….
1 young coconut (use both the water and the pulp) – there are YouTube videos on how to open one, study them before trying at home please!
3 dates pitted and chopped (discard the pit)
1 cap-full of organic vanilla extract (if you know how to use a vanilla bean, go-for-it!)
2-3 tablespoons of organic, fresh is best, almond butter (depends on how thick you like it)
1/2 teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt
Mix and drink, enjoy!
What are your favorite smoothie recipes? Please do share!
Alisa Donner, MSW, LCSW
Co-Founder of Pregnancy Awareness Month, and mother to a magnificent wonder!