Updated: Aug 30, 2022
Recipes contributed by Zoë Nouet Robins and Grey Freylersythe
Full transparency, the CRANE Lab loves a smoothie. We know smoothies don't always turn out delicious and that they may not be your favorite go-to summer drink. But maybe they should be? Hear us out...
Reason #1: Smoothies are a great way to eat your veggies
We all know that vegetables are good for us, and that we should probably be eating more of them. But sometimes we aren't in the mood for vegetables, they take too much time to prepare, or we simply don't enjoy them. If at least one of these has never applied to you, congratulations! But for most of us, vegetables don't always make it to the plate. Does this sound like you, too?
Reason #2: Smoothies are a quick and easy way to eat healthy foods
Sometimes healthier foods take longer to prepare, and that can be challenging to work into our routine. It takes practice, right? If you have a blender and a stocked freezer, you can throw together a smoothie in less than 3 minutes. Unlike most food prep, which takes a lot of time and a ton of space, prepping for smoothies is relatively straight forward and you can mix-and-match ingredients based on whatever is available, affordable, and sounds good.
Reason #3: Smoothies are a great summer food
Many people eat lighter in the summer when the temperatures are high and cooking just isn't appealing. Here in Miami, we eat light most of the year because the temperatures rarely drop below 80. Smoothies are a way to have a light meal, full of fiber, vitamins and minerals, without generating any heat in your house. And a smoothie is a MUCH better option for rehydrating than an electrolyte drink full of sugar.
Reason #4: Smoothies are easy to eat
We mean, they are literally easy to get into your body and digest - they are easy to eat! Do you struggle with salads because of dental pain, dentures, or just because your jaw gets tired? Have a smoothie. Do you find that "roughage" tends to cause gastrointestinal upset and indigestion? Try a smoothie (but start with a small amount to see how you respond first). Do you struggle to get calories in your body due to inappetence, nausea, or similar? Have a smoothie with extra protein to get healthy, satiating calories (see Tips, below).
Use fruit for sweetness and flavor, but make sure you get an equal amount of vegetables in there, too. These vegetables and roots are great for adding nutrition to smoothies:
Leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
Fresh Herbs (parsley, cilantro, dill, etc.)
Winter squash (pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, etc.)
Root vegetables (cooked plaintain, sweet potato, carrots, cooked beets, cooked parsnip, cooked turnip, etc.)
Boosters (maca, spirulina, moringa, ginger, turmeric, wheat grass, etc.)
You can always cook or partially cook vegetables to make them easier to blend and digest, and consider adding canned vegetables for the same reason.
Add protein to feel full for longer, like Greek yogurt, peanut or other nut butter, uncooked oats, unsweetened canned coconut milk, or seeds (hemp, chia, flax, sunflower, etc.)
We know they aren't for everybody, and they can take some getting used to - both in terms of getting in the habit of making them as well as getting used to the taste - but we do think they are a great option and worth the effort.
1/2 banana, frozen
1/4 cup mango, frozen
1/4 cup pineapple, frozen
1/2 cup cauliflower, fresh or frozen
1/4 cup coconut meat (fresh or frozen) OR 2 Tbsp unsweetened canned coconut milk
1 Tbsp spirulina (optional)
1 Tbsp moringa (optional)
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
1 Tbsp chia seeds
2 cups coconut water
Chop all of your ingredients into large chunks of roughly the same size.
Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse. Add water as needed to thin the smoothie down and blend on high for a minute or until everything looks uniform and creamy.
Taste and adjust for sweetness by adding extra banana if desired.
Pour over ice to chill if needed and enjoy!
Sweet Potato Smoothie
1 cup cooked sweet potato (cooked pumpkin or yam also works)
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup peaches, frozen
1" fresh ginger root
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 cup carrot juice
Place all of your ingredients into a blender and pulse to combine.
Blend on high for 1-2 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Taste and adjust for sweetness, adding frozen banana or honey as needed.
Pour over ice to chill if needed and enjoy!