For the longest time I thought I didn’t really like smoothies… but I actually think it was just that I didn’t like it first thing in the morning! I REALLY like them, I’ve found out, for a mid morning snack or afternoon snack. Especially as the days are getting warmer it’s a great afternoon refresher and snack.
I’ve also found that it gives the boys a lot of good nutrients to help them (and me) survive the bewitching dinner hour… you know how it is! As we moms start to cook dinner it’s like all of Hell is welcomed into our homes. Kids are melting into puddles on the floor that need to be mopped up, arguements break out that even progress into punching and hitting and screaming. Mom’s grouchy, cause everyone else is grouchy, cause mom is in the kitchen and can’t play with kidos, cause dinner needs to be made, cause kids are needing food, cause… it’s a never ending spiral that just goes downward fast! You know what I’m talking about!
I’ve found that if we all just take a short break together, before dinner needs to be preped, make a smoothie together and enjoy it on the front steps in the sunshine, then the rest of the day goes so much better. Often we will read a book while sipping away!
Sometimes I think the melt downs aren’t just for need of food, but need for attention and time with Mommy. By giving them that little dose of food and Mommy time I think it fills them up enough in both areas that they can entertain themselves and play well together until it’s time for dinner chores.
Now from the nutrient standpoint… my kids LOVE salad, so thankfully green isn’t feared our our house. In fact, they cry if they aren’t allowed to have MORE salad. There is a story that will always be told in our house for years to come! When some friends or ours came over for dinner one evening, they brought a salad to share. The salad was wonderful, dinner was great, and our time together was greatly enjoyed. As they were getting ready to leave they packed up their things and suddenly Tonchi started falling apart crying. He was crying so hard we didn’t know what the problem could be. When we finally got it out of him, it was because our friends were taking the rest of the salad home with them! After that, they gladly left it for him to enjoy!
Thankfully I don’t have to fight to get the kids to eat green foods, but it never hurts to get more! I know that we often eat spring greens, spinach, or romaine lettuce in salads at meals, but there are SO many other greens out there that we don’t take advantage of. With putting it in green smoothies we enjoy so many others like kale, collards, beet greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, chard, and sometimes even cabbage.
As we have been experimenting with flavor I’ve found that a ratio of 60/40 is good for us: 60% fruit and 40% greens. I often freeze fruit that is just getting ready to go bad or obtain in bulk and freeze. I have frozen bananas, strawberries, pears, peaches, apples, blackberries, raspberries and other fruits stored in the freezer. These is great to make the smoothie chilly without having to use ice.
I’ve also used kombucha or kefir as liquid in the smoothie if it starts to get too thick. I think the ratio of greens can be increased when either of these two liquids are being used because they do add a certain degree of sweetness. I don’t ever add any other type of sweetener like honey, dried fruit, stevia or other natural option. The kids and I like it without and the fruit definitely makes it sweet enough.
Cold is VERY important. If it is room temperature or warm it definitely doesn’t taste as good… it tastes healthy… which isn’t appealing to most of us… especially kids! I often add a handful of nuts or seeds to give it a little more of a protein boost. I have a friend who is off nuts and uses whey protein instead.
The following is our favorite combo, but feel free to change it however you like!
The Green Monster
½ frozen pear
2 frozen bananas
Handful of almonds
10 kale leaves (about – or other type of greens)
8 oz kombucha
Throw it all in the [amazon_link id=”B000RRKQKA” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Vitamix[/amazon_link].
Blend and enjoy!
I hope this gives you more energy and peace in your home!