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The Smoothie Project

The Smoothie Project

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Stop me if you know this one: You wake up extra early in order to have a productive day, start off with a great breakfast and steaming cup of coffee. You hop in the shower... things are off to a good start. All of a sudden you get out and find you've entered a time warp. You only have 20 minutes to feed your kids, get dressed and look halfway presentable  for the school drop off. Something needs to give and it's usually breakfast, am I right?  Enter "The Smoothie Project".

I first heard of the Smoothie Project about a month ago after seeing some really cool glass straws on a favorite Instagram feed, Weelicious. The more I browsed it, the clearer her theme became... fresh fruits and veggies and lots of smoothies! Right up my alley! I've been making simple yogurt and fruit smoothies for years, but this was eye-opening. She even has a beautifully detailed chart to help you make your own amazing combinations of flavors. I started dabbling by substituting a few new ingredients and was hooked! I feel like a scientist, coming up with new ways to incorporate more nutrients into our diets.

I don't pretend to be a nutritionist or to have researched all the possibilities, so I honestly rely on others who have. Once I see a particular ingredient (such as collagen powder and super greens powder) mentioned in numerous recipes or by friends (like Sara at This Mom's Real Life), that's when I do a little digging. Little by little I'm adding them into our regimen, as long as I think it fits my family's needs. I love adding other "extras" such as wheat germ, hemp or chia seeds too but the kids get turned off by the texture. (Baby steps.) For now I'll just stir it into mine; same with the collagen... while there's no texture or taste, I just don't feel like they need it right now. 

Everyone in the family loves our smoothies, but no one more than Luca!

Everyone in the family loves our smoothies, but no one more than Luca!

My mornings have transformed. Now I just ask the kids what color they want and grab the blender... toss in a whole bunch of healthy, delicious, brightly colored ingredients and breakfast is done! Best of all, it comes without the guilt of tossing a baggie of dry Cheerios or a cereal bar at them, or the frustration of multiple (different) requests:

"Toast with butter."

"Toast with Nutella."

"Bagel with cream cheese, but no butter."

"Waffles!"

"I don't want the buttered toast anymore, I just want oatmeal."  

Do you see where I'm going with this? Don't get me wrong, I live for making a big family breakfast (hello... Dutch Pancakes and "Donut Day") but only on the weekend. School mornings are WAY easier now that we all know what's happening. I don't let the kids drink in the car, so I usually make a pitcher full and serve them before I get dressed, then pour mine into a large Yeti tumbler with a straw. It may still be breakfast on-the-go, but at least now I'm having breakfast!

Here are a few of our favorite combinations to get you started: 

The original "Green" smoothie will always be my favorite, packed with spinach and hearty with roasted almond butter.

The original "Green" smoothie will always be my favorite, packed with spinach and hearty with roasted almond butter.

"Green" (the Original)

  • 2 cups Baby Spinach 
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Mango chunks, frozen 
  • 1 cup Vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 T Almond butter
The "Orange" smoothie is definitely the favorite of the boys, brightly colored and naturally sweet from carrots and clementines.

The "Orange" smoothie is definitely the favorite of the boys, brightly colored and naturally sweet from carrots and clementines.

"Orange"  (The Favorite)

  • 2 Clementines
  • 1 cup Mango chunks, frozen
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Butternut Squash chunks, frozen
  • 1 cup Carrot juice
  • 1 cup Vanilla Kefir
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • 1 T Sunflower butter
The "Red" smoothie was given rave reviews, despite the tiny chunks from the cauliflower. I thought it was the prettiest one, by far, but I always adore anything that smells or tastes like almond extract!

The "Red" smoothie was given rave reviews, despite the tiny chunks from the cauliflower. I thought it was the prettiest one, by far, but I always adore anything that smells or tastes like almond extract!

"Red" (a surprising hit) 

  • 1/2 cup Beet juice
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet pitted cherries, frozen  
  • 1 cup Cauliflower florets, frozen
  • 1 cup Vanilla Kefir
  • 1 T Coconut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon Almond extract
The Tropical Green smoothie reminds me of a MUCH healthier version of a pina colada.

The Tropical Green smoothie reminds me of a MUCH healthier version of a pina colada.

"Green II" (The Tropical One) 

  • 2 cups Kale
  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup Mango chunks, frozen 
  • 1/2 cups Pineapple chunks, frozen (OR 1/2 cup pineapple juice)
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup Coconut milk
  • 1 T Coconut oil
  • 1 T Almond butter
  • 1 scoop Super Greens powder
  • 2 T honey
We are a huge fan of berries in our house, so drinking this "Purple" smoothie for breakfast is like skipping right to dessert!

We are a huge fan of berries in our house, so drinking this "Purple" smoothie for breakfast is like skipping right to dessert!

"Purple" (Antioxidant Punch) 

  • 1 1/2 cups Mixed berries, frozen  
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Blueberry Kefir
  • 1/2 cup Almond milk
  • 1 T Almond butter
  • 1/2 cup Beet juice
  • 1 pouch Açai purée
  • 1 scoop Super Greens powder
My sister-in-law suggested adding avocado for creaminess and it was a wonderful addition!  The kids didn't like it as much as I did, due to the seeds from figs and kiwi, but I thought the different flavor combination was delightful.

My sister-in-law suggested adding avocado for creaminess and it was a wonderful addition!  The kids didn't like it as much as I did, due to the seeds from figs and kiwi, but I thought the different flavor combination was delightful.

"Green III"  (The Sweet One)

  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 small Avocado
  • 1 Kiwi, peeled
  • 1 cup Fig pieces, frozen
  • 1 cup Almond milk
  • 1 cup Vanilla Kefir
  • 1 T Honey
  • 1 scoop Super Greens Powder
  • 1 T Sunflower butter

 

Each recipe makes at least enough for 4 (8 ounce) jelly jar-sized smoothies. Wondering where to get some of the ingredients? Look no further... many grocery stores carry MOST of these items, especially if they have a "natural" section. Here's where I found mine: 

Trader Joe's  

  • Açai purée packets, frozen
  • Frozen mango, chunks
  • Frozen cherries, pitted
  • Frozen mixed berries
  • Frozen figs, quartered
  • Sunflower butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Kefir
  • Carrot juice
  • Beet juice

Wegmans 

  • Frozen mango, chunks
  • Frozen cauliflower florets
  • Frozen diced butternut squash
  • Maranatha almond butter   
  • Kefir
  • Greek yogurt
  • Almond milk, unsweetened vanilla
  • Coconut milk

Target 

  • Super greens powder 

Amazon 

 

I especially love these glass straws for the smoothies.  They're a bit wider so larger bits or thicker consistencies won't get stuck. As it was (perfectly) explained to me: it's the difference between drinking from a glass bottle instead of a metal can; MUCH better. I also appreciate that I can see when they're thoroughly clean. Plus... they're really pretty!

I especially love these glass straws for the smoothies.  They're a bit wider so larger bits or thicker consistencies won't get stuck. As it was (perfectly) explained to me: it's the difference between drinking from a glass bottle instead of a metal can; MUCH better. I also appreciate that I can see when they're thoroughly clean. Plus... they're really pretty!

**UPDATE**  

I feel the need to add a couple comments. My husband dutifully proofreads my posts. I started explaining to him why I added certain ingredients and he asked "don't you think you should write that I the post?" Duh! So...

  • I think the super greens powder has an especially strong flavor, not one I particularly like. When I add the almond butter or sunflower butter, it seems to cover it up! 
  • I don't use peanut butter or cashew butter only because my son has a severe allergy to them. They'd make great additions though, as would cashew milk. 
  • Beet juice has a pungent flavor as well, that's why I strongly suggest the small amount almond extract. Usually flavor additives aren't necessary but it's a great compliment to the cherries. 

 

Coconut & Vanilla Bean Donuts

Coconut & Vanilla Bean Donuts

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Blackberry Glaze

Lemon Buttermilk Donuts with Blackberry Glaze