It seems like an odd day to post about smoothies, with it being all of -5º in Denver right now, but I like to skirt the edge of reasonable. After all, it’s Giveaway Wednesday, and how can I live up to my one week tradition if I flake out now? Don’t you feel better about it? I know I do.
Alright, now that we have the pleasantries out of the way, let’s talk smoothies. I love them. I probably love them more than is normal. I mean, it’s really just things I could eat normally blended together. I don’t exactly require foods in liquid form at this point in my life, but I find something so terribly satisfying about it. I think I may also be in love with my blender, but that’s a different matter altogether. A friend of mine in high school told me about this phenomenal smoothie shop called Jamba Juice, a true novelty on the east coast. I think at the time there were only 2 stores along the Atlantic seaboard. One was located in Washington D.C. at George Washington University (which closed before I was ever able to partake) and the other was in Times Square. Neither were actually accessible from rural southern Maryland. So when my folks took me on a trip to Lake Tahoe the summer before starting college, I immediately searched to see if a Jamba Juice would be located there. I was in luck. It was across the street from our hotel.
My first taste of Jamba Juice was better than I could have imagined. I had grown up with Smoothie King and Orange Julius. No comparison whatsoever. Rather than chalky and sickly sweet, their smoothies tasted like – shocking, I know – blended fruit. Amazing! I am fairly certain I had at least one every day for my week long stay in Tahoe. Every time the hubs and I would visit Denver prior to moving here, I longed for that Jamba Juice in DIA, terminal C (that’s why I always convinced him to fly United… what can I say, I am easy to please). It was one of the highlights of our trips.
Jamba Juice is a company I can stand behind. Fresh ingredients, consistent taste, and they don’t skimp. It is a franchise that supports its communities, contributes to healthy initiatives, and always manages to put a smile on my face and happiness in my tummy. I’ve never had a bad Jamba Juice experience. Now through February 17th, Jamba Juice has a healthy habits kickstart sweepstakes. Every day you can play their Kickstart Game with a chance to win a grand prize trip for two to Hawai’i (who wouldn’t be happy about that?) and daily prizes of a Wii Fit U game bundle and Wii Fit U systems. It’s a company that really does promote a healthy and happy lifestyle, and that’s one worth waiting in line for. If you win the trip to Hawai’i, take me with you!
One of the reasons I have fallen more in love with smoothies is actually due to running. Finding ways to maintain fuel throughout a run, especially over 4 or 5 miles, is a challenge for me. Running gives me the munchies! The worst feeling is being hungry shortly after starting a run. So I started making my own smoothies to keep me full, but not sluggish, during the run, and give me a great boost afterwards. I always start with my all-fruit smoothie as a base and add to it from there. Depending on what I need, I adjust it. This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge and use up leftover fruit and veggies.
Here’s my base (which is Rocco puppy approved):
- One medium apple, skin on, chopped into one inch pieces
- 5 medium strawberries, stems removed, cut in half
- A handful each of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries*
- One banana cut/broken off into one inch pieces
- Any other fruit that sounds good to you or is in season! (Peaches, mangos, melon, etc.)
- One cup of ice (*substitute ice with frozen raspberries if desired)
Depending on your blender and its capabilities, you may need to cut smaller pieces or add a liquid. For a liquid base that adds something different, I recommend Guava juice. It’s tropical without being overpowering. You can find Guava juice at any Whole Foods, and sometimes in cans at your local grocery store. I recommend Ceres as their product is a more pure form of the juice (also, mixed with Champagne, Guava-mosas are possibly the best Sunday brunch cocktail ever invented). Don’t add more than 2 tablespoons or it could be too liquidy. With this base, you can add other fruits, as mentioned, a handful of spinach or kale, chia seeds, a healthy spoonful of non-fat plain Greek yogurt, etc. If it doesn’t satisfy your sweetness quotient, add a touch of honey or agave to taste. Blend it all together, and enjoy! Add a fun colored straw for added pizzazz.
This smoothie is perfect for pre- and post-workout. I love making this every weekend before I head out for my run, and can’t wait to have more when I return. It makes enough for 2 glasses (approximately two 10 oz. servings). I swear by it. So this weekend when you’re seeking a delicious treat and workout booster, mix a little smoothie concoction and raise a glass to me! Cheers!