The word smoothie has its roots in the fruit based drinks made by Hippies in the 60s, at least according to Wikipedia. I started making my own a month or two after I started taking protein supplements. Despite fancy names like French Vanilla, they.don’t.taste.fantastic. I also realised I didn’t have a lot of fresh foods in my diet, so it seemed natural to mix the two into a post-workout evening meal.
[UPDATE : I read an article on men’s health that says, post workout, you want the protein to reach your blood stream fast. Article on BodyBuilding.com suggests you do something like this before your workout as a source of energy, reducing the chance of your body using protein (and muscle) as a source of energy during workouts and focus less on post-workout carbs.]
Here’s how I make mine.
A banana, a pear, a small bunch of almonds, a scoop (two if you are post workout) of protein, 8 – 10 cubes of ice, a cup of milk (no added sugar, because the fruits are already sweet and protein has some artificial sweeteners)
Mix and match is the key. I realised a pattern where, because you don’t have the complete set of items you need for something, i.e workout equipment, it’s easy to use that as an excuse to not do it. For food, if you feel like you don’t have everything to eat a proper meal, it’s easy to use that as an excuse to reach out for (or buy) a bag of chips. Furthermore, after a while, you can figure out which fruits do and do not go together in a smoothie. This could either be because the tastes don’t match, or because one fruit overwhelms the other. As a rule of thumb, fibrous fruits like apples and pears can give you a thick foam on the surface. You may or may not want that.
- Put them in the blender. If you want your fruits and nuts of a consistent size and texture, then you would put them in separately. For me, this is meant to be a quick meal, so I simply chew on the extra bits.
- Drain it out into a mug (this makes 1.5 large mugs for me)
- Share the love. Since I’m using my mom’s blender (the multipurpose one she uses for everything from chutney to curry bases), I make it a point to share some with her. She agrees that the protein kind of spoils the taste.
That’s it! Now you absolutely have less of an excuse to not eat healthy, so go ahead and make yourself a smoothie. So far, not all my smoothies have been fantastic, but I’ve never made one that turned out absolutely repulsive, so don’t be afraid to try out different things. While searching around, I ran into NoMeathAthelete’s more comprehensive post, but you can read that later once you’ve tried out my simple recipe above.
Some people who sell smoothies make fancy claims (immune boosting! Detoxification! Making the blind see!) I am not convinced about these claims. What I can say is that a healthy smoothie you make at home (without excess sugar) is better than junk food. And it tastes good.