Now that summer is in full swing, I find myself reaching for a smoothie almost every day. They make for perfect warm weather treats, especially after a workout or some time in the sun. They don’t have to be complete sugar bombs, either — by adding some unexpected ingredients, you can actually make a balanced meal in your blender.
I’ve received a couple samples of smoothie mixes lately, the first of which was Vega’s “Shake & Go” line. They sent packets in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, berry, and tropical. I was not a big fan of these mixes on their own, as they were gritty and chalky when simply mixed with water. However, they have turned out to be good additions to smoothies made with whole food ingredients — a little extra protein keeps me full for longer, and helps with workout recovery too.
Navitas Naturals also sent along a couple fun smoothie ingredients this week — their Twister Powder in the Superfruit Blend, as well as a pouch of pomegranate powder. So far, I’ve only tried the Twister Powder — with a potent combo of gogi, acai, and pomegranate, I’m sure it’s working some serious antioxidant magic. I’ve been adding a scoop to most of my smoothies, including the one below. It blends in very smoothly, adding nutrients without ruining the mouthfeel of your fruity concoction.
This smoothie recipe includes one surprising addition — a whole avocado. The rich, creamy fruit is a great alternative to dairy, turning your smoothie into a milkshake-like treat. It’s also full of essential nutrients, including potassium, fiber, B-vitamins and folic acid. What’s more, adding a little bit of fat to your smoothie allows you to better absorb the nutrients in the rest of the fruit, since many vitamins are fat-soluble. Oh, and avocados contain mostly monounsaturated fat, which is great for heart health. And so, there’s no need to be afraid of a few extra calories.
I feel I should also mention one more thing — unlike a lot of healthy food bloggers, I do not have a big ol’ fancy Vitamix blender. While they are a cool luxury, you certainly don’t need one to make a perfectly smooth drink. The trick lies in the order in which you add your ingredients, and also in how you incorporate the liquid into your smoothie. Follow the directions below, and your not-so-fancy machine will do the job quite well.
Strawberry Mango Avocado Smoothie (printer-friendly version)
3/4 C. frozen strawberries (the smaller the better)
3/4 C. frozen mango chunks
1 banana, cut into 1-inch chunks
flesh from 1 ripe avocado
1/2 C. orange juice
1/2 C. pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp. Navitas Naturals Twister Powder
1. Place the fruit in the blender in the order listed. Pour the 1/2 C. of orange juice into the blender and cover.
2. Start the blender on its highest setting, then remove the lid insert and start pouring the pomegranate juice through the opening in the lid. You may have to stop and stir once or twice, then continue pouring juice into the blender until the smoothie begins to blend in a vortex.
3. While the smoothie is blending at a constant rate, add your scoop of Twister Powder (or whatever smoothie addition you prefer) through the opening in the lid. Blend for 10 more seconds, then serve and enjoy.