What should I buy if I want to drink smoothies? Dropsie's basic smoothie kit

Friday, December 31, 2010

In my last post, I mentioned that if changing the way you eat seems too daunting, you might instead try adding something healthy instead of thinking about all the things you should remove. Starting your day with a smoothie is a great way of giving you a boost of fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins and minerals. Plus, if you're like Mr. Pick-it-Up, you will embrace smoothies because they are made in ONE container (your blender) and don't require heaps of clean up. :)

I wanted to put together a shopping list for anyone who wants to add smoothies without investing too much.

1- You'll need a decent blender- that's first and foremost. You can get away with a Magic Bullet ($30-$40 range) as a first step if you're not keen on investing. At the expensive end of the scale, you have the Vitamix and Blendtech which both run around $500. Santa just brought me KitchenAid KSB560ER 5-Speed Blender with Polycarbonate Jar, Empire Red which of course, now that we HAVE it, is on sale at Amazon. I am LOVING it. My smoothies are like silk, as opposed to the Hamilton Beach model I used to use that required me to chew the bits in my smoothies. It DID however, get me hooked on them, so I invested...I mean, SANTA did, in the Kitchen Aid model. Plus it's red...like a cherry on top...and it's shiny...and I'm a girly girl, so I like it.  :)

Unless you have a pretty good blender, you may also want a coffee grinder to grind the seeds before you add them. Seeds in their whole form typically are not absorbed, so you'll want to make sure they're ground. Something like this will work fine (also works well for spices). Proctor Silex E160B Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder, White You don't need to shell out a lot of money on it.

2- Stock up on a few key dried goods. Bulk food places are evolving and starting to include things like raw nuts and other non-GMO organic foods. Start with your local bulk foods place, or if you prefer, you can stock up from someplace online.

Here are the things you're going to want to start with. There are a million ingredients, but I'm suggesting those with the biggest impact and the most nutrient density, without sending you on a wild goose chase for ingredients in the four corners of the globe... Note: keep all seeds and nuts in the fridge to keep them from going rancid.

  • Chia seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Sesame seeds
  • Raw cashews
  • Raw almonds
  • Raw cacao
  • Coconut milk (freeze this in ice cube trays)

Here are a few links to online versions:
Navitas Naturals Chia Seeds Aztec Superfood, 16 Ounce Pouch
Bob's Red Mill Organic Flaxseed Meal, 16-Ounce Packages (Pack of 4)
Frontier Sesame Seed, Natural, Whole Certified Organic, 16 Ounce Bags (Pack of 2)
Navitas Naturals Really Raw Cashews, 16-Ounce Pouch (Pack of 2)
Natural Raw Almonds (4 Pound Bag)
Certified Organic, Raw Cacao Powder, From Peru 1#
Native Forest Organic Classic Coconut Milk, 13.5-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

3- Hit the grocery store! Whenever possible, choose organic ingredients- particularly when you're talking about greens because they are among the most pesticide-ridden produce. Things with thick peels like lemons, bananas and avocados don't necessarily need to be organic if you're on a budget.

Here's your basic list:

  • Parsley
  • Mint
  • Coriander
  • Kale and/or Swiss chard
  • Romaine
  • Spinach
  • Green and/or red apples
  • Bananas (peel, chop in chunks and keep frozen)
  • Lemons

4- Now figure out your favourite recipes! You can search for "green smoothies" through Google and come up with thousands of options. Shan Larter has some of my favourite recipes so be sure to check her out too. This tropical banana mint madness smoothie is one of my favourites but lately I've been doing mostly greens, seeds, nuts and lemons. They are sooo refreshing and tart. Love 'em!

As you become more comfortable with the concept of blending and melding flavours, I'm sure you'll come up with your own options with new and exciting ingredients. If you have a favourite to share, please post your own smoothie recipes in the comments section below!

Happy New Year everyone. May it be a time of renewal, health and happiness. :)


Alicia said...

LOVE this...No excuse not to try your green smoothies now... although my MIL broke my blender last time she was here so I need to go buy a new one now :(

Kirsten said...

Well I highly recommend the kitchen aid one if you're looking for a mid to upper range model, but if you're not ready to invest then get a bullet until you're ready. Small price to pay when you're gleaning such great nutritional benefits from smoothies. :) let me know how it goes and post recipes when you're ready!

Kristen's Raw said...

Mmmm Green Smoothies are AWESOME!!!


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