Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Green Smoothies

My friend, Shelby, is a great mom! She's always researching what's safe and what's healthy in the way of foods we eat and products we use. She's probably way healthier than I'll ever be but she's been a really good influence on me. A while ago she told me how she adds extra fruits and vegetables into our children's diets. She makes smoothies! Since then I've been making my own green smoothies for my family just about every single day. Since I love getting ideas from others in regards to being a mom and wife, I thought I'd share here how and why I make these smoothies. And since my cousin, Jess, gave me a hard time for knowing that the best/easiest way to make bacon is in the oven and not telling her, I thought I should be more intentional about sharing my secrets. But enough about bacon, this is supposed to be a post about health and nutrition!

My kids eat a fruit and a vegetable each day for lunch and also have vegetables with dinner. While they do eat some greens like celery, broccoli and green beans, they really don't get the green leafy vegetables. This is where the smoothie becomes in!
I begin by adding these ingredients to the blender:
- couple cups of cold water
- 3 large handfuls of raw, organic spinach (cheapest place to get this is Sam's Club)
- a couple tablespoons of flax seed
- Cod liver oil
- Probiotics
Blend really well. Then add:
- 1-2 bananas (2 if Ben is home)
- a cup of frozen berries (blueberries will make it look purple instead of green)
- tablespoon of orange juice concentrate
Blend really well. Pour and drink! This makes enough for each of the kids to drink 8 ounces and Ben and I to drink 16 ounces.
You don't have to add cod liver oil, probiotics or flax seed. I just add those for extra nutritional value. And you really can use any fruit you have on hand.
The first couple of days my kids were not excited about the smoothie. Aubrey ONLY drinks water and Owen only drinks water or milk. They are not accustomed to having much flavor in their drinks. So, for the first week I made muffins and they were allowed to have one after their smoothie was gone. The second week I was no longer making muffins, but it was still taking them a while to drink them all gone. They weren't super excited about it. But after making them for several weeks I'm pleased to say that they now ASK for them! Every day. To make it extra special they get to use their goofy glasses that Aunt Judy gave them and a straw. It doesn't take much to get them excited. And while I would prefer a chocolate milkshake from McDonalds, the smoothie honestly does not taste bad.
And since I posted this on Facebook I've had several friends give it a try. It really is worth a shot. I love that my kids are starting their day with a super healthy drink that gives them tons of nutrients. Thanks again, Shelby!