Monday, June 27, 2016

Healthy Summer Smoothie

I laugh when I hear people talk about the "Lazy Days of Summer."

In what lifetime?

My summer is anything but lazy.



Via
If anything, my life kicks into super-high gear in summer. 

Sometimes it gets to be just a bit too much. 

My job is absolutely insane in the summer months. 

Our social life can be crazy, as well. 

So many events, so many invites....sometimes we just have to take a pass, to have a little time to just chill. 


There's also additional work to do outdoors, maintaining the lawn and the gardens. 

Housework sometimes has to take a backseat, but that can't be helped. 

When my life is that crazy, I find it even more important to be conscious of what I'm putting into my body. 

I need all the energy I can muster. 

Lately I've been starting my day with a smoothie. 

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I find it truly helps with my energy level. 

My skin is glowing. 

My hair is shiny, and growing like mad. 

And I've lost a few pounds. 

Nothing wrong with that!

So, today I'm going to share my morning smoothie recipe with you. 

Because, let's face it....we could all use a little more pep in our step, am I right? 

Cuisinart Portable Blender/Chopper
I use my Cuisinart blender/chopper for many things....chopping garlic, making salad dressings, making frozen cocktails. But mostly for making smoothies. 

And this is not a sponsored post, I'm just sharing the product I use. I've had this little workhorse for almost 5 years now, and it gets used nearly every day for something! What a fantastic kitchen gadget!

Anyway, I digress.....


I fill the blender cup at least 1/2 full with loosely packed fruit. Today it was strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. 

Next comes a handful of greens. This morning it was a mix of baby kale and baby spinach. 


Then I sprinkle in about 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats and 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed. 

Next is about 2 tbs of pure maple syrup. 


And then comes the Kefir. The magic elixir. 

I only recently discovered Kefir, from my fellow blogger over at Mountain Top Spice, and as soon as I read the post about Kefir, I was on the hunt. 

As I did not have anyone to share grains with me, I had to purchase them. 

The first starter I tried was this one:

Kefir Starter on Amazon
It was great, and very easy to use...but didn't produce the Kefir 'grains' that you need to keep making Kefir continuously. 

It's more like instant Kefir. Even though it's hardly instant. 

After doing a little more research, I found this product:
Milk Kefir Grains
Once I got these grains activated, I have been able to produce quarts of Kefir as needed continuously, which is just what I wanted. 

There are many, many articles online about what exactly is Kefir, and the many health benefits, so I won't get into all that. But, suffice it to say, I'm a believer. 

I would describe it as a mild yogurt, with a thinner consistency. Like a drinkable yogurt. The taste and aroma is very pleasant, and we go through quite a bit in my house, with three of us making smoothies in the morning. 

I make my Kefir with fat free, organic milk, and add it to my smoothie right before blending. 


A quick spin in my Cuisinart, and my morning smoothie is good to go. I pop it into the fridge to keep it cold while I shower and dress, and enjoy it in my office while checking my morning emails. 


I have made the smoothie many different ways in the past few weeks, sometimes using just fruit and Kefir. The disadvantage of that method is that the smoothie separates after a short while. 

I find that adding the oatmeal and the flaxseed helps stabilize it....and also helps keep me satisfied until lunch. 

29 comments:

  1. delish, have to remember to get back into putting kefir into my smoothies, makes my skin and hair grow. also, I love adding almond or vanilla extract and ice into my smoothies so I can avoid any sugars and dairy, so it's less calories and still tasty! <3 <3 <3

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    1. Do you use the water kefir, Amanda? I'm curious about that....what's it like?

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  2. I make smoothies all the time, especially in the summer! I'll have to check into the kefir that you mentioned. I've read about it, but never actively pursued it. I make my smoothies much like yours except I don't like to consume a lot of dairy, so I use either water or almond milk. Once in awhile, I'll also add a tablespoon of nut butter. Be careful with that large amount of flaxseed though - usually 1-2 tablespoons is the recommended amount for smoothies. More than that can cause tummy distress. I also add chia seeds and hemp hearts. Hope you're having a good week!

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    1. I'm not familiar with hemp hearts - now I'll have to look those up! If you don't like to consume a lot of dairy, there is a water Kefir - I don't really know what it's like, so now you'll have something to look up also, Melanie! :)

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  3. I had kefir for the first time today...and loved it! It seemed like it would be wonderful in smoothies. Thanks for sharing your hints!

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    1. It's awesome, Linda - I haven't bought any yogurt at all since I started making Kefir - I like it so much better than yogurt!!

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  4. I haven't tried putting oatmeal in my smoothies yet, but now I'm going to! No matter what else I put in them, I always like to put in a banana for both taste and texture. Can't wait to try the oatmeal!

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    1. I'm actually allergic to bananas, so I have to leave them out...but my daughters both love to include a banana in their smoothies, for sure!

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  5. Great tip on the flax seed and oatmeal! Thank you!

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  6. I saw in the comments that you are allergic to bananas too!! So am I! The only food allergy I have that I know of. This smoothie looks great and banana free, which as you probably know most use as a thickening agent. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I'm also allergic to Avocado, and I'm being tested for shellfish allergies at the moment....but bananas were the first to rear their ugly heads. Bizarre how people can develop new allergies as they get older!

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  7. I am probably the only person in this world who can't make a good smoothie! Seriously! Both my daughters make smoothies and tell me how great they are. I'm going to try your recipe. It sounds so healthy and delicious! Thank you! I could use 'healthy' right now! :)

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    1. I hope you like it, Henny Penny! You can use yogurt in lieu of the Kefir, or a mix of yogurt and milk. Even almond or soy milk. My daughter likes to use coconut almond milk in her smoothies sometimes, and add some shredded coconut. No rules, just experiment!

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  8. This smoothie looks and sounds so delicious! Thank you for sharing!
    Helen xox

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    1. I'm enjoying one right this very second, Helen!

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  9. I've never been big on smoothies. I wish I was though. I know they are good for you and taste great. I just cant drink meals. ha. But When I have made a smoothie, I blend together, frozen banana, peaches, almond milk or yogurt and a handful of spinach. I'm liking the oatmeal add in you have here. I may have to try that.
    Lisa

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    1. What, no liquid lunch for you like they have on Mad Men? Ha ha!

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  10. I make a similar smoothie, but also a small piece of fresh ginger and also sprinkle in cinnamon, both of which are supposed to be good for us.

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    1. Oh, that sounds great - I'd love that with apples and maybe a little vanilla extract!

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  11. I am a big fan of smoothies and greek yogurt, but have never tried kefir. I think it is time!! Is there a disadvantage to buying kefir at the grocery store rather than making it? Thanks for the tips, Debbie.

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    1. I think the advantage of making it yourself is that you can just keep making it, once you have the grains. You don't have to buy it. All you need to make it is milk...and a jar. It's super simple!

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  12. That squirrel is just adorable, great photo! I don't make smoothies usually, unless you count margaritas, LOL!

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    1. Ha ha, this comment cracked me up, Carole!! I admit, I am a recent convert to the 'smoothie craze' and it was all because I read about Kefir and it's many benefits. Now, I actually crave my morning smoothie!

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  13. That squirrel sure is enjoying a lazy day. Lol! Love smoothies. I, also, like to mix fruits and veggies, but have never tried Kefer. I'll have to try it.

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    1. Let me know what you think when you do, Laurie!

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  14. That squirrel was adorable! The recipe looks so yummy too! Thanks for sharing on the Homesteader Hop!

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  15. I'm playing catch-up with emails, and found this morning that I had not visited this post of yours! I'm so glad that my post spurred you to try kefir, it truly is the elixir of life! Now I feed it to my dogs, my chickens, along with a morning smoothie for myself and my daughter. I find that without a banana or oatmeal that the smoothie just doesn't taste the same. I'm so sorry to hear that you are allergic to bananas, that stinks! I have been using my Nutribullet over 2 years now, every day, and I love it. I add about 1 tbsp of flax seed and 1 tbsp chia seeds, and have found that adding in cinnamon seems to make the flavor more robust. I wish I could have shared some kefir grains with you, because every so often, I feed them to my chickens, because they get out of hand, lol! Have a blessed day :)

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