Updated: Jun 26
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Smoothies are the perfect food when you are craving sweets, but don't care to have sugar. They are something I always have in my fridge ready to go in a mason jar.
In today's blog, I will explain to you the health benefits of making smoothies ahead of time, not to mention the convenience of having a delicious nutrients rich meal ready to go.
If you are a lover of smoothies, check out these recipes:
I have to say that as much as my boys are in love with drinking smoothies through straws, I'm not. I think God created our bodies and gave us teeth for a reason. So, to drink a meal instead of spending any energy/calories to chew it is not my thing. Easy caloric intake should be reserved for children, sick adults or the elderly.
This creamy strawberry smoothie bowl is a wonderful alternative for those like me, who desire to eat their meals or snacks with a spoon and have some texture.
This Saturday we went to our local Dempsey farm and the boys had a blast picking berries. Since we moved to the South, harvesting local seasonal fruit and veggies is our favorite activity to do.
History of the smoothie in the U.S.
Smoothies are considered a healthy food, but it actually depends on what you put into your blender. Smoothies were first sold in California as early as the1930's. The smoothie as we know it today has been around since the natural food movement of the 1960s and 70s in the U.S. During this time period smoothies became extremely popular. The first company who sold smoothies was Smoothie King. Back then smoothies were most often made from fresh or canned fruit, fruit juice, and ice. I'm sure it was a delicious beverage, but definitely could not be considered healthy. These types of smoothies were made from only fruit and fruit juice producing a high sugar product which was and still is harmful to your health.
What makes smoothies a healthy complete meal?
As I mentioned, smoothies high in sugars both natural and not, are something you should avoid. When I make a smoothie, it is naturally sweetened and includes protein, fiber, fat, healthy liquids/probiotics, and some other immune boosting elements.
Fruits/berries - they give body, flavor, and sweetness to the smoothie. Most of the healthy nutritional benefits associated with berries are due to the presence of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.
Protein - is a must in order to call a smoothie a complete meal. Protein rich smoothies will keep your hunger suppressed. Here are a few ideas for protein: cooked egg yolks, seeds, nuts, collagen and nut butter.
Fat - nuts, seeds, avocado, egg yolks, coconut milk/cream or oil and nut butter.
Non-juice liquid - such as kefir dairy or non-dairy and coconut water.
Veggies/greens - fresh ginger, fresh turmeric, avocado or any kind of greens.
Few facts about bee pollen
Food as a medicine! Yes!!!
Bee pollen is a superfood that contains over 250 biological substances, including protein, carbs, fats, vitamins, minerals, lipids, fatty acids, enzymes, carotenoids, bioflavonoids and antioxidants. It contains almost all of the nutrients required by the human body to thrive. Bee pollen can help to reduce inflammation, stimulates the immune system and lowers cholesterol levels naturally. Also, bee pollen is wonderful as an antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agent. That’s why the German Federal Board of Health has officially recognized it as a medicine.
It is ideal to use bee pollen from your local bees, no more than 5-10 miles from your home. This kind of bee pollen or raw honey will help you with seasonal allergies.
Why kefir vs yogurt or milk?
Kefir is one of those drinks that I can't live without. It makes me feel better because it balances my hormones. As a result, I stopped experiencing PMS and my digestive system works like a perfectly timed clock. I have tried many, many times to stop consuming kefir for just a few weeks. Needless to say, all my symptoms reappear. Pairing probiotics with prebiotics are a win-win situation. Please, read a little bit more about it here. Kefir is one of the oldest milk ferments in existence. It originated 2000 years ago in the Caucasian Mountains. Kefir does have 10 times more strains of good bacteria, than the best yogurt on the market. This fermented milk that has been referred to as a "drinkable yogurt ", even though it's not. The health benefits are enormous compared to yogurt. Kefir is no doubt a superfood and can help in many areas of your body by keeping your gut healthy. It is quite delicious, so no wonder people enjoy this carbonated fermented milk which is affectionately called dairy champagne! Often, I've heard it stated that the tartness of kefir can scare people away, but you should make your own and alleviate this problem. Kefir grains are very inexpensive and easy to maintain. Most brands of store-bought kefir are non-fat, and these products are sour tasting. In using homemade kefir to make smoothies you won't have this problem. Making smoothies ahead of time is not only going to save you time, but also gives an extra boost to the kefir and creates a second fermentation.
Good News: Kefir is lactose – friendly!
The main reason why food allergies are rising is because of our lack of good bacteria. Our stomach linings are very thin and bad bacteria can easily enter creating a multitude of problems. Gluten allergy is another big issue. If you are missing lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, more than likely you are sensitive to gluten. Avoiding foods in which you are allergic will only provide temporary relief and will never heal your gut. I’m thankful that it’s so easy and inexpensive to make kefir. Drinking kefir provides the body with healthy good bacteria. It is so much better than ingesting probiotics in a capsule.
These smoothies are best when fresh, though leftovers can be kept in the freezer for one week. Let thaw before enjoying. They will keep for 3 days in your fridge and then you can enjoy it as a regular drinkable smoothie and eat toppings with a spoon.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 3 minutes
Making time: 3 minutes
Total time: 6 minutes
Yield: 1 large bowl or 2 regulars
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Ingredients for the smoothie bowl
1 teaspoon of beet powder
1 teaspoon of bee pollen (local is best)
2-2,5 cups of frozen strawberries (or other berries)
2-3 frozen bananas, sliced
1 cup of dairy kefir (or non-dairy)
1-2 inches of fresh ginger (peeling is an optional)
1/2 inch of fresh turmeric
1-2 Tablespoons of almond butter (or other nut butter)
Ingredients for the topping
2 Tablespoons of cocoa nibs
4-5 strawberries, sliced
3-4 Tablespoons blueberries
2 Tablespoons of chopped almonds
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend for a few minutes, scrape once a while.
2. Pour in the bowl and garnish as you desire.