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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Smoothies

I love smoothies! A well done smoothie is a complete and nutritious meal, and there are endless variations on the same theme. If you are just going to go for a meal in a cup, you could simply toss some bacon, eggs, and fried potatoes in a blender, blend them into a smoothie, and call it good. (Never tried it. Who knows? It may taste great! Doesn't sound it though...) Yes, you could...

OR, you could take some time to think about all of the possibilities, and customize it to meet several basic needs.
1- Nutrition - Ever been told you had to take something you'd rather eat glass than consume? This is a good place to sneak it in. For example, if you didn't like eggs, or if you were told to add gelatin to your diet.

2- Probiotics - Most people have heard about probiotics by now, but other than knowing that they are found in yogurt, and are good for you, not many people know what they are. Antibiotics are things that kill off bacteria, such as most hand soaps. This is bad because antibiotics do not distinguish between bad bacteria and good. Good bacteria are called probiotics, and these little guys are microscopic soldiers fighting to protect and maintain your healthy body. They are most known for their ability to help digest the food you eat, freeing up nutrients your body would otherwise miss out on. If you have a nicely populated colony of probiotics in your body, they also crowd out the bad bacteria, and prevent them from growing wildly and making you sick. The word antibiotic means "Against Life" and probiotic means "For Life." (Bacteria for Breakfast: Probiotics for Good Health ) A smoothie is perfect for getting a good healthy dose of probiotics. This can be accomplished by using Kefir, yogurt, or even just a powdered probiotic such as Bio-kult Advanced Probiotic Formula. (For more on Kefir, check these out: Beatrice Trum Hunter's Fact/Book on Yogurt, Kefir & Other Milk Cultures or Kombucha And Kefir )

3- Taste - Not everything you add to your smoothie HAS to be good for you. Ice cream is a delicious addition to smoothies, though I tend to make ice cream from my left over smoothies, lol.

4- Convenience - AKA portability. Toss it all into a blender, mix it up, and pour it in a cup. You are good to go!

The smoothie that I made tonight was pretty basic.
Peach Smoothie

1-1/2 cup kefir (which is really easy to make, ask someone for some kefir grains, plop them into a cup or jar of milk, and let it sit out in a warm spot for 24 hours... 48 if you want it thick like yogurt.)

1-1/2 cup farm fresh milk. (I know my farmer personally. I have petted his cows and inspected his equipment. I know he is hard working and clean, and I know his cows are well cared for and healthy. It's true that milk can carry some pretty nasty stuff; it's so full of nutrition that the nasty stuff loves it just as much as the good stuff does. The industry kills off the nutrition in the milk so that the nasty stuff - bad bacteria - can't feed off it and grow, but ask yourself why they allow their milk to get contaminated with nasty stuff in the first place. Then ask yourself which you'd rather drink; dead milk probably contaminated with the remains of dead nastiness, or live milk full of live goodness from clean healthy cows?)

1-10oz package organic frozen peaches. (I choose organic because I know it does not have chemical fertilizers or pesticides on or in it - fertilizers are absorbed by the plant, and become part of the food, and pesticides can also be absorbed by the plant and become part of the food. Therefore, they cannot be washed off.)

Maple syrup to taste. (I use maple syrup because I am diabetic and react to most sugar. Maple syrup causes the least amount of reactions, therefore I believe it to be the best sweetener for me. That said, there are plenty of other things I could have used, such as overly ripe bananas, sucanat, or even honey, which is also full of nutrition, but ironically makes me react the most, grr, lol!)

Toss all ingredients into a good blender, blend, and enjoy. Makes about 5 cups.

This particular smoothie is more of a snack than a meal, but if I had added some egg yolks, it would have offered complete nutrition, and could have been considered a meal. I poured the leftover amount into two 1-cup/half pint mason jars, about half full, and tossed them into the freezer so that tomorrow, my boys can enjoy some ice cream.
When I am not in the mood for ice cream, I put the leftovers in the fridge, and let it separate overnight into yogurt and flavored whey, which can be drank much like cool-aid.

The best part is that my boys adore them as much as I do!

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