Ditch the juice, befriend the blend

I never really understood the juicing trend.
For starters, it’s super expensive. When the skin of the fruits and vegetables are discarded, you’re basically throwing away the most nutritious part. The skin also contains filling fiber, so you’re bound to be hungry again which can lead to reaching for empty carbs in a pinch. What’s also keeping your stomach growling after your juice fix? The lack of fat and/or protein: two key players in delaying sugar’s speedy digestion process.

I’m not here to tell you to swear off your favorite post-yoga treat. But I am here to share with you how easy it is to enjoy those same fruity flavors you love while sneaking in veggies you won’t even taste, and keeping you fuller longer. Did I mention you’ll also save a precious five to 10 minutes in your already rushed morning?
Meet my friend, Mr. Blender.
Mr. Blender is a kitchen superhero for many reasons (he makes miraculous soups, sauces and dressings), but he truly saves the day when I don’t have time to make a sit-down breakfast. And he’s strong enough to tackle the toughest fruits and veggies.

The beautiful thing about smoothies is that you can mask the taste of vegetables with fruit and other add-ins. I recently discovered how easy it is to prep for smoothies ahead of time. This past weekend, I chopped up some fresh produce from the grocery store and separated it into little baggies before popping them in the freezer. This morning, all I had to do was empty the contents into my blender, add a splash of O.J. (I know this sounds contradicting, but the previous juice principles don’t apply— you need some liquid!) and a couple of other add-ins. It’s the fastest, most portable breakfast out there.

Before you get to mixing, here are three tips for a better smoothie:

Try to keep the fruit to veggie ratio as close as you can.
This goes back to the whole sugar discussion we had earlier. The sugar in fruit may be healthier than the processed kind, but it’s still sugar. And it’s easy to get carried away. Plus there are vitamins and minerals in veggies that you can’t get from fruit alone (and vice versa). Cross training in the kitchen is a thing!

Fresh is good, frozen is better.
I can’t tell you how often my produce goes bad because I either forgot about it or was too lazy to take two minutes to cut it up. Money in the trash, right? You can buy your fruits and veggies frozen, but I think it’s cheaper to buy as many things fresh as you can, slice/dice them yourself, and freeze them. On another note, frozen ingredients give you a colder smoothie (obviously).

Make it hearty.
Add protein and/or fat in the form of plain Greek yogurt (you don’t need the extra sweetness in the fruit flavored kind), chia seeds, flaxseeds, dry oats, a spoonful of nut butter, etc.

AND A BONUS TIP: a list of bland-yet-nutritious veggies to use!

  • Beets
  • Carrots (I like using a potato peeler or grater to shred them)
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Raw red cabbage
  • Spinach
  • Steamed cauliflower (freeze after steamed and cooled)
  • Zucchini

Do you have any smoothie suggestions? Drop me a note in the comments or on my Instagram!

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