Smoothies are a staple in our house. I love them because they are usually vegan milk based, a beverage one of my daughters will otherwise refuse to drink, and are filled with fresh or frozen fruit and enhanced by a few nutritional powerhouses likes greens, flax, chia, probiotics, plant-based protein, omega-3s and they’re naturally sweetened. We often make them as a dessert with lots of frozen fruit and ice so they are more ice-cream like than a drink and we make enough that the leftovers become the kids morning smoothies. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE morning smoothies! Not only for myself but for the kids it’s perfect because they sip (or often guzzle) them while we prep the rest of breakfast and it provides them with a bunch of yummy nutrients and the fiber helps keep them full through their busy mornings. Smoothies are also a great hydration tool. I have one twin that loves her glass of almond milk every morning, but the other kiddie barely drinks a thing unless it’s sweet. While she does get a little watered down juice on occasion, we try to encourage her to drink water instead. I know I am always in need of a big glass of water (warm lemon water please!) when I get up in the morning and have to think the kids need to hydrate a little too. Hence smoothies are a great bridge for us. They provide hydration, vitamins, fiber, healthy fats and are appealing to the little ones tastes buds.
Plus another fun thing about smoothies is how easy they are to get the kids involved to build the perfect drink. Mine love to come up with fun things to add to make them taste “more yummy”. I whip up a mix and call over my “taste testers” and they will give me the thumbs up, horizontal thumb (which means it’s almost there and still needs something) or thumbs down (which means get back to work on this one mom!). They often give me suggestions that I might not have thought of as twin A did that with this smoothie and suggested we add cinnamon. Wow what a great idea!!! This tiny addition really pushed this combo over into “super yummy” territory. My little chefs in training are already coming up with some great stuff on their own! What more could a mom ask for.
Green Magic Smoothie
This was named by my youngest daughter (age 6½ ). She knew it has some super healthy greens in it and thinks this drink tastes amazing and provides her with magical energy! We make many versions of this by adding in a little vanilla protein powder (as a supplement for their morning drinks) or by changing the type of juice we have on hand. Trader Joe’s carries this green juice we often sub in which is a little sweet on its own because it is loaded with fruit but this juice also has chlorophyll, spirulina, broccoli and kinds of awesome green stuff!! Plus kids love it!
1½ cup vegan milk
½ cup apple juice (or other juice)
1 cup pineapple, frozen
1 cup mango, frozen
1 large banana, frozen
1-2 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 handfuls of baby kale, spinach or other leafy green
1 tsp cinnamon
½ scoop plant-based protein powder (optional)
Pour liquids and frozen fruit into a high-speed blender and process the fruits are well pureed. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until all are smooth and mixed in.
Makes about 3-4 smaller or 2 large servings.