Welcome to The Balanced Writer. Join me for giveaways and posts about what makes me crazy and how I stay sane.

September 12, 2013

Winners and Smoothie Tips

*$25 Giveaway Winner
* 10 Smoothie Tips

$25 Giveaway Winner
Congratulations to Mr. Jim Hartley. According to Random.org, you're the winner of the $25 Amazon gift card. Thank you to Grammarly.com for sponsoring the giveaway. Thanks to each of you who entered and checked out the site. We have a big giveaway planned for October, so make sure to check that one out, too. 

10 Smoothie Tips 
The best thing about smoothies is they're easy to make and fun to
experiment with. I may not be a professional chef or Smoothie Queen, but over the past year of using them to supplement exercise workouts, I've come to appreciate their simple ingredients. A smoothie is a quick meal or a great snack. True, they aren't always uber healthy unless you make them that way, but even with some carbs and calories, you're still in control of how much you take in. I now make smoothies for lunch when I don't feel like eating heavy.

Here's ten tips I've learned while trying new smoothie recipes or making up my own: 
1. Key Ingredients
The 4 basic ingredients you need for a smoothie are a base (yogurt, protein powder, ice cream, etc.), a liquid; flavor and nutrition (fruit, vegetables, peanut butter or cocoa); and ice.
2. Yogurt
Yogurt is the best base for a smoothie. A simple one serving container of yogurt is just over 1/2 cup and offers fruit, dairy and protein. 
3. Almond Milk
Almond milk works great if you are dairy intolerant. Use a Greek yogurt with almond milk for lactose problems, since most lactose intolerant people can handle Greek yogurt without any problems.  
4. Apple Juice
I learned from making store bought Jamba Juice smoothies that apple juice is another great liquid to add to smoothies rather than milk. The juice seems to tone down strong berry or tart tropical flavors. 
5. Protein Powders
Protein powders aren't necessary in a smoothie, but they do help give you a full feeling with all the added protein. Vanilla is the most versatile flavor, and it works great when adding veggies to your fruit smoothies because the strong taste disguises them. I sometimes add 1/4 cup of oats, too. 
6. Fruit
Add about 1/2 cup of fruit to a smoothie. Too much is overpowering. Frozen fruit like berries make the smoothie even more frosty.  
7. Veggies
I add fresh spinach to my smoothies because I can't taste it. I promise. It won't even show up in a berry smoothie because the reds and purples are so bright. As far as any other veggies, I haven't gotten up the nerve. 
8. Peanut Butter
About 1 tablespoon of peanut butter is plenty for peanut butter flavor. Remember it's high in fat so don't get too crazy. 
9. Cocoa
To make your recipe chocolatey, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa for a light flavor. To go big time, add up to 2 tablespoons. I use dark European cocoa in mine. Delicious. 
10. Ratios
Most smoothie recipes are to taste, but I've found a basic recipe that keeps me from having to throw a lot of my experiments in the trash. Keep these ratios in mind: 1 container of yogurt (any flavor) to 1 cup of liquid to 1 scoop of protein powder to 1/2 cup of fruit, plus an optional 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or cocoa. Last, 1/2 cup of ice. Note: If you don't use a protein powder, simply cut the liquid in half from 1 cup to 1/2 cup. Good luck!






Easy Blueberry Lemonade Smoothie

So simple, yet delicious and refreshing! Use your frozen blueberries from this summer's crop. Yummy!

 



1 cup of fresh squeezed lemonade
1 serving cup of blueberry Greek yogurt like Oikos Greek Blueberry Yogurt
1/4 to 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1 handful of ice

Blend until smooth. Drink up!

Stay Balanced!
~Danielle Thorne




No comments: