As many of you know by now from either following me on Instagram or reading this blog, my main go-to morning smoothie is a detoxifying green smoothie, made using greens, fruits, lemon and water. I may add chlorella or flax seed from time to time, but generally try to keep these smoothies to whole plant foods. However, I occasionally try to vary my morning smoothie from time-to-time, and when I do, I like to opt for a creamier option — usually with dairy-free milk and berries, and many times with avocado for added creaminess. Gennaro likes to refer to these as the “fun smoothies” (can you guess which he prefers?)
But as much as I love a “fun smoothie”, meals sometimes seem like a waste to me if I’m not making sure it’s providing ample health benefits as well. I designed this recipe to provide loads of vitamins, antioxidants and “healthy fats” in the form of avocado, while still tasting “fun” and fruity. Here’s a breakdown of the health benefits of the various ingredients (sourced from a number of web resources):
- Blueberry: Many people know about blueberries as a high antioxidant berry (I’ve seen sources rank them as the highest antioxidant fruit). They also contain fiber and Vitamin C.
- Mango: Mangoes also contain antioxidants and have high levels of vitamin C. They help balance pH in the body, and of course, contain fiber.
- Carrots: Most people know that carrots contain high amounts of Vitamin A and are also a great source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant. They can also purify the blood and aid in liver detoxification.
- Avocado: This sneaky ingredient not only adds creaminess to your smoothie, but are also high in healthy fats which can lower bad cholesterol and nourish the skin. They are also high in fiber, making this smoothie one that should help to keep you full throughout the morning. Avocado also contains other vitamins to help maintain optimum health.
I think the advent of the Vitamix made smoothie aficionados of all of us, myself most definitely included. While I certainly made smoothies in the past, the Vitamix made it an everyday thing. Unfortunately, as far as kitchen equipment goes, it is not cheap. And I would most certainly not have been able to afford one had I not gotten married and had very generous in-laws gift us with one. However, if you’re using a regular blender, I have a few suggestions for this recipe: increase the amount of liquid slightly and decrease the amount of frozen fruits. I am not sure how well the carrot pulverizes in a blender, but you could try adding it in slowly and see what happens. While I love and am completely devoted to my Vitamix, I am certainly not living under some Gwyneth Paltrow-esque rock, thinking everyone can afford a luxury like this (heck, I’m an attorney and I couldn’t even afford one if it hadn’t been gifted to me. I guess that’s a downfall of going into an area of the law where you’re “helping people”, rewarding as it may be). I made many a smoothie using my regular ol’ Cuisinart blender during my law school days without much of a problem — just a bit more coaxing with an old fashioned spoon.
Yield: 2 large or 3 smaller smoothies (halve portions if making a single-serving)
3 cups cold, unsweetened dairy-free milk (I alternate between soy and almond; use non-soy dairy-free milk for soy-free option)
1 heaping cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen mango chunks
1/2 cup carrot, roughly chopped
1/2 large or one small avocado, skin and pit removed
1-2 packets stevia, or sweetener to taste
1. Add dairy-free milk, blueberries, mango chunks and carrot to a high-powered blender such as Vitamix. Blend until smooth.
2. Add 1/2 avocado and blend. For more creaminess, add remaining avocado. Add sweetener to taste. Blend until smooth.