Saturday, February 2, 2013

Jumping on the Bandwagon

Two weeks ago, Mike decided that he wasn't getting enough nutrition as part of his diet and wanted to start juicing.  In our case, this really means making smoothies because we don't have a juicer. He had watched the food documentary "Hungry for Change" and bought the ingredients they recommended for cleansing.

For the first smoothie, I put about a 1/2 cup of V8 juice in the bottom of the blender then added cucumber, celery, orange bell pepper, cilantro, and kale. I only added small amount of the leafy greens.   That one tasted okay.  We considered it a victory to choke that first one down. :)

The next day, I used grapes and fruit juice as the base and mixed it with the other vegetables.  This smoothie was much better.  Ever since then I've made a batch of smoothies every day and stored them in frappaccino jars in the fridge.

Here's what I've learned.

You need something very watery to get the blender going so I put the grapes in first with about a cup of water.  I like grapes, pears, oranges, apples as the base for the vegetables.

I like cilantro, celery, cucumber, sweet bell peppers, spinach, kale, and parsley for the vegetables. All of them or some of them depending on what I have.  It really doesn't matter because the point is to get more veggies.

I recently shredded up some ginger and mixed it with the juice of one lemon and keep it in the fridge.  A spoonful or two of that mixture in a smoothie is yummy too.

I make fruit and berry smoothies separate for when Mike just wants something sweet. I used a frozen tropical fruit mix after it had thawed to make the girls a pink smoothie.  Ana and Tali like most of the smoothies.  Amanda doesn't like the texture but will eat all the veggies while I'm preparing the smoothies.  Pineapple is strong and heavy textured. I think I'd like it in smaller amounts. I haven't used many bananas because I'm afraid they will turn the smoothie brown in the fridge.

I quickly lost a taste for all canned foods: salsa, canned spaghetti sauce, canned juice etc.  So I made fresh salsa with cilantro, green onions, garlic, bell pepper, lime juice and tomatoes in the food processor attachment. I like it mixed with avocados and on taco meat.  When I get some fresh basil I'm going to try a tomato, basil, garlic, olive oil topping for meat and beans to replace spaghetti sauce.

I don't like broccoli as a smoothie veggie.  Peppers don't agree with Mike.  If the kale or spinach flavor is too strong, adding a couple oranges, lime or lemon juice balances out the flavor.  Vitamin C foods also help the body assimilate the iron from the green veggies.

I don't care for the texture of root veggies in the smoothies but may try to add them in smaller amounts.  Carrots, beets, and sweet potatoes are next on the list to try.

I need to drink lots of water with these smoothies or dilute them.  It was a lot of fiber to suddenly add to my diet.

Mike also started eating clean.  He cut out processed grains, added sugars, high fructose corn syrup, foods containing MSG and it's derivatives.  That one is a bit tricky because of the hidden names of MSG but he's cut out or is slowly using up the obvious sources.  Almost anything processed has the ingredient "natural flavoring" which could be an MSG-like substance.

Mike lost 10 lbs in two weeks.  He said he's always tried to just exercise away the extra weight but this time he's going to try diet too.  Although, it's not just a diet but a life style change. I'm so proud of him and love making up the smoothies.  I love preparing clean, fresh foods for my family but haven't been really motivated to do it because it seemed to go unappreciated.  Granted life has gotten very busy but I had resorted to handing the girls quick snacks like crackers and such because they were in the cupboard and easy to hand off to whining kids. Now smoothies are our fast foods. Julia has even sampled a few and it might be the ticket to get her a greater variety of foods since she won't let me spoon feed her.  I add more water to hers.

I really enjoy knowing I'm getting more nutrition too.  I eat a lot of fruit and veggies but I know I don't take the time to chew my food well. I'm happy to be getting all those leafy greens that I know I'm supposed to have too.  It's so great to just grab and bottle out of the fridge and have a quick pick me.  A much better choice than chocolate. ;)

Do you have any smoothies experience or suggestions for ingredients?


e&e said...

What's a frappacino jar?

Does juicing/making smoothies add anything besides aids in digestion? Most all those foods we eat as foods, so I don't need an extra step (and more dishes) unless there is a big reason why.

Why did you lose your taste for canned things? Because this new way of eating or was it long ago?


Lynnette said...

I'm not a juicer, and smoothies in our house are usually a way to use up bananas that are getting too brown or strawberries that are getting too soft/over-ripe. But the best smoothie I made had pureed butternut squash in it. I thought I'd give it a try and see what happened, and everyone loved it. So I'm not sure about your root vegetables, but it seems like sweet potatoes and butternut squash have a pretty similar flavor so maybe it would work.

PK said...

I haven't noticed the bananas turning the smoothies brown. I make a smoothie almost every morning and I usually use a banana and then some other fruit - strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwi. Depends on what I have in the house. Sometime I'll get kale or spinach and add that.