Cold Day Giveaway and a Frozen Recipe

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.

Layer the fruit into the blender first, starting with the harder fruits on the bottom.
Layer the fruit into the blender first, starting with the harder fruits on the bottom.

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)
Add the ice last and blend to your heart's content!
Add the ice last and blend to your heart’s content!

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 was my present to myself upon departing Hawai'i... I do love myself some guava nectar!
This was my present to myself upon departing Hawai’i… I do love myself some guava nectar!

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!

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