It’s that time of year. Everyone is juicing, blending, sweating, running, meditating. The list goes on and I’m totally a sucker for the new year hype. My deal? Fruits and veggies. Some days are better than others.
I had been thinking about investing in a blender or a juicer long before the holiday season. Like most people, I prefer juice, but fiber and versatility are what ultimately made me want to purchase a high quality blender. This was also my thinking: 1) Use blender to make smoothies to get healthy and ready to have hypothetical future children. 2) Make smoothies to lose weight after having hypothetical future children. 3) Use blender to make baby food for hypothetical future children. (Note the hypothetical and future. Rooster and Wheat is not with child, despite the fact that we may look it.) So I wanted a good blender that will last through the years. We ended up buying a Breville Hemisphere Control. I considered a Vitamix but in the end it came down to price and this set of reviews from Cooks Illustrated that my friend Christina from Nourishing and Dissertating sent my way.
The whole trick with smoothies is that you can create a nutrition-packed drink that masks the taste of unpleasant tasting things that are good for you (veggies) with more pleasant tasting things (fruit). There’s an entire art to blending smoothies that requires the right amount of soluble fiber to suspend insoluble fiber. The result is a yummy, creamy smoothie. Aloe Vera is so good for our systems but often too bitter to eat alone. It has been found to help digestion, lower blood sugar, improve your skin. When I used to live in Chile I loved eating Aloe Vera yogurt but I’ve never been able to find it here in the States.
You will want to buy the Aloe Vera in leaf form. It’s found at most international markets or Whole Foods stores. Carefully cut away the flat part of the thick leaf, then use a sharp knife to trace the curve and cut the gooey, clear part out of the leaf.
If you’re juicing, you don’t have to add liquid, but for smoothies you need some liquid or ice to get things blending. I’ve been using coconut water with pulp for a touch of sweetness and added potassium and a healthy amount of sodium.
I also add 1/2 a teaspoon of spirulina powder to my green smoothies. Spirulina is called “Nature’s Multivitamin.” It’s a great source of iron and B12. You just have to be careful about how much Spirulina you add to your smoothie – since it’s an algae it can have a pretty pungent taste so if you’ve never tried it you may want to start off with just a tiny pinch.
What else do I have hidden in my smoothie? Spinach. Parsley. Celery. Cucumber. Most of those things I have no problem eating on their own, except for the parsley. I hate parsley.
Aloe Vera, Pineapple, Cucumber & Citrus Green Smoothie
- 1 handful baby spinach, washed
- 1 chunk aloe vera leaf (I measured about 4-5 fingers), clear inside cut away from outer leaf
- 2 stalks celery, trimmed and peeled
- 5-6 spring parsley, stems removed
- 1/2 medium cucumber, peeled
- 1 cup chopped pineapple or mango or combination of both
- 2 peeled oranges
- juice of 1/2 lime
- 1/2 teaspoon spirulina powder
- 3/4 cup coconut water with pulp
- 5-6 ice cubes
Blend smoothie according to the directions for your blender. I start out by running the Smoothie function on my Breville Hemisphere Control, but then run two additional 60 second Purée cycles for an exceptionally smooth and creamy smoothie. Serves 2.