Smoothies have become my comfort food. They soothe my hunger pangs and the shaky nerves that can come with the big BACK TO SCHOOL day.
My older boy, D, started his first day of senior kindergarten today. We both stood in front of the school, he behind the gate and I in front of it with my younger boy, A. Both D and I struggled to put on a brave face and smile through the anxiety. I’m confident that once he walked into the building, the anxiety did start to thaw as he was reunited with his friends.
As for me, my distraction came from A, who happily skipped along on our way home to play and prepare dinner… And yes, prepare smoothies! Oh, how glad I am that my children love smoothies! Healthy nutrition is one of my top priorities as a parent, and working with kids’ particular palates, it’s not always simple to get that healthy and nutritious food into their bellies without a power struggle of some kind. Enter smoothies.
Ayurveda is my healthy living guide, and it dictates that fruit should always be consumed separately. However, I love to use fruit as a natural sweetener in smoothies. In addition, I never, ever combine fruit with dairy (I rarely consume dairy, in fact) and any other animal protein. I feel it’s important to state these guidelines before venturing into today’s recipe. As a woman with a primary Vata dosha, too much fruit and improper food combinations can quickly give me an upset stomach. I try to adhere to these Ayurvedic guidelines with the food combinations in meals I prepare for myself and my family. Another extremely important tip is to use room-temperature ingredients. Ice-cold drinks can weaken agni, the digestive fire, interfering with healthy digestion.
Without further ado, here is what I used in my belly-friendly green smoothie today:
– about a cup of vanilla-flavoured unsweetened almond milk
– one ripe chopped banana
– one large ripe mango
– a bowl full of baby spinach
– a small bit of grated ginger (I freeze the ginger root to make it easier to grate), to taste
Simply add all the ingredients into the blender in the order listed above, and blend to a smooth consistency.
The result is delicious and kid-approved.
Feel free to follow the above guidelines to custom-craft your own smoothie. For the liquid, in lieu of the almond milk, other good choices are organic soy milk, rice milk, hemp milk, or even distilled water. I recommend using a ripe avocado, pear, or banana, in addition to another ripe fruit of your choice. As for the greens, baby spinach or kale are the traditional options with which most people are familiar. However, collard greens or even beet greens are also excellent. If you are not accustomed to the taste of greens in your smoothie, feel free to start with smaller handfuls of greens and gradually train your taste buds to (hopefully) enjoy them. The fruit is not enough to tempt your sweet tooth? Feel free to sweeten the smoothie with a few pitted dates or maple syrup until your taste buds become accustomed to the sweetness of the ripe fresh fruit.
In the mood for CHOCOLATE? We have the perfect chocolate banana protein smoothie for you, and we even have a vlog to guide you along!
All you need are a few simple ingredients:
– almond milk (or your choice of milk)
– a ripe banana (we couldn’t get our hands on a ripe enough banana for the above video, so we apologize for any confusion)
– approx. 3/4 cup frozen berries (your choice)
– tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
– tbsp unsweetened nut butter
– a dash of cinnamon
– a few dates or a bit of maple syrup (completely optional)
Watch the video for additional information! Blend and enjoy!
Are you a parent whose children are heading back to school today? Feel free to share your tips on dealing with nerves/anxiety, as well as about healthy nutrition throughout the school year. Curious about other healthy living tips and recipes? Leave a comment and let us know what you would like to see next on this blog!
Wishing you a wonderful first week of September!