A Complete Breakfast
Since making my major lifestyle change a year ago, green smoothies have been my breakfast of choice. They allow me to have a complete, well-rounded meal that is quick, low glycimic and can even be portable. My Blendtec blender , which I love because of its smoothie button and Wildside jar that chops up anything and everything I put in it. When I travel I always take my Magic Bullet along because I really can’t imagine a day without a smoothie. Another note is that I do own another blender which seems to work well too if you are looking to move up from the Magic Bullet and can’t afford a high-speed blender. My second home is equipped with a Kitchenaid blender now, I just couldn’t take making smoothies for two in the bullet anymore, and it is the one used for the pictures in this recipe. But if you are looking for a Blendtec or Vitamix be sure and check Costco’s site (Canada or USA), they have the best prices and they do go on sale.
Do I ever get bored with smoothies? Never!
People are always asking me for recipes and I can honestly say that I don’t really use them. I keep my freezer stocked with a variety of fruits and berries including strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, pineapple, mangos etc. I try not eat the same thing two days in a row. The same goes for greens, I will usually have three or more smoothieable greens in my fridge including things like spinach, romaine lettuce, spring mix greens, zucchini and cucumbers being my most common greens. It is also nice to have fresh fruit on hand like pears (I like Bosc the best), bananas, pineapple, melons etc. The thing is you need to choose fruits that you like and build from there. The most important part of the smoothie, and what makes it a complete meal is the protein.
The most complete protein is whey but in my case it is not an option because my system doesn’t tolerate it since I have a dairy intolerance. Whey will make the fluffiest smoothie by far. There are also soy, hemp and rice proteins. My system does best with rice proteins and my doctor likes me to use Metagenics UltraMeal 360 Plus products because of the low glycemic index, plant sterols and other nutrients it contains but I also use Sunwarrior rice protein as well since it comes in plain and it takes less of it to make a serving, therefore it is more cost-effective. No matter which you choose make sure you have a couple of flavors (Chocolate and Vanilla at least) so you can mix it up with them too. Look for clean products preferably made from non-GMO sourced proteins.
Tips and Tricks: Blender vs. Magic Bullet
When it comes to building your smoothie there is a difference between building it in a traditional blender whether it is a Blendtec, Vitamix or any other blender with the blade on the bottom and in a Magic Bullet. In the Magic Bullet you build it backwards since you will be turning the cup upside down to put it on the blender, so you build the smoothie backwards. What do I mean? I have found that the best way to build a smoothie so that it always blends well is to start with the softest fruits and work to the hardest being at the top. For instance in the case of the smoothie we are making today, the pear is the softest, next is the spinach and last is the frozen fruit, which in this case is the blueberries. But if you are building it in a Magic Bullet cup add the blueberries first and reverse the order of the ingredients.
The other thing is that of course you won’t get as much in the cup as you will in full size blender so you need to cut the quantities down to 1/3 for a regular cup or maybe 1/2 if you have the big Magic Bullet cups.
No matter which type of blender you use the most important tip I can give you is to blend all the fruit and vegetables first until they are smooth before adding your protein powder. This is critical if you use whey protein because if you add it with everything else it will grow to be bigger than the blender since it fluffs up so much. The other reason is to not over process the protein. Over processing can cause a breakdown of the delicate amino acids they contain which are the powerhouse of your protein, and the reason it is added in the first place.
Another note is that if you find that smoothies make you feel too cold, have a cup of tea along with it. There are lots of antioxidants in tea and it will help keep your body temperature up. It’s also another opportunity to get in a few more immune boosters.
My New Favorite Smoothie!
Now that I said I don’t use recipes to make smoothies I’m going to share one of my favorite combinations. If you are looking for lots recipes check my green smoothie category, I have listed some great sites there that offer up some really good recipes too.
I first made this when my husband was coming down with a cold and I wanted to boost his immune system up a notch so I added lemon, honey and ginger to the mix and lo and behold it made one awesome smoothie. Now I make it once or twice a week because it is made of things I almost always have on hand.
It also works great with apple instead of pear and the spinach could be changed to be baby romaine or even zucchini without changing the taste very much but this is my favorite combo. Also, if you don’t have chocolate protein powder you could also add cocoa or cacoa powder or even carob to get that chocolate taste but you may want to add a bit more honey since these will boost the bitter taste up a bit.
Chocolate Pear Spinach Blueberry Immune Boost Smoothie
A Paleo, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Egg-Free, Low Glycemic Complete Meal for anytime of the day.
Add ingredients in the order listed. Measurements are approximates.
1 Bosc pear
juice of 1 lemon
large spoonful of raw honey
1″ chunk ginger chopped
2 cups spinach
1 cup frozen wild blueberries
6-8 oz water
Blend until smooth.
Then add 2 servings chocolate protein powder of choice and re-blend.
For Magic Bullet (regular size cup):
1/3 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 cups spinach
1 tsp raw honey
1/2″ chunk of ginger chopped
1-2 tsp of lemon juice
1/3 Bosc pear
Water to fill approx half way up the spinach
Blend until smooth.
Then add 1 servings chocolate protein powder of choice and re-blend.