Linda Labute, a 7 year employee at Windsor Modules, is a master when it comes to making delicious and nutritious smoothies! Taking inspiration from her daughter Lisa Labute, who is a certified raw chef and health educator, Linda provides her tips for making the perfect smoothie and how to get creative with them.
Smoothies are quick, easy and an ideal, nutritional meal replacement. They are an excellent way to start your day, but can be enjoyed anytime and at your convenience. All you need to get started is a blender, a knife and a cutting board.
The amount of vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, nutritional value and fiber content in an 8-16 oz. blended smoothie is astonishing. Did you know that 1 handful of blended spinach is the equivalent of 3 handfuls of spinach chewed?
Here are a few basics, helpful hints and suggestions:
- Never exceed more than 5 ingredients – e.g. 4 veggies & 1 fruit. If this is too “green” for you, use 3 veggies & 2 fruit.
- Serving size – Use the same quantities you would use if you were making a side salad for yourself.
- Put harder veggies, like carrots or apples, in the blender first, followed by lighter veggies like lettuce or tomatoes or berries.
- Add 1 cup of filtered water per person for each smoothie, more or less depending on the thickness you prefer – Note that if you make your smoothie before you go to bed, in the morning it will have thickened slightly, so adjust your water accordingly.
- Try not to blend your smoothie for more than one minute. Depending on your blender, you may have to blend the harder ingredients with the water first and then add in the lighter items.
- If you are not going to drink your smoothie immediately, cover it and store it in the fridge, in a glass container, not plastic or metal. Be sure to drink it within 24 hours. The longer it sits, the less nutritious it becomes.
- Be adventurous!!! The possibilities are endless. You can go weeks and weeks without making the same smoothie twice. Don’t be afraid to experiment with fresh ginger, a dash of cinnamon, a squeeze of lemon or lime, a teaspoon of pure honey, raw almonds, etc.
- Browse through your vegetable and fruit department. Anything you can eat raw, you can blend into your smoothie. Organic is best, but not always available or affordable. Wash everything well, but don’t peel it if you can help it (sometimes the peel is better for you then what’s inside). Try fruits and veggies you’ve never had before and choose colours, they’re usually more nutritious and higher in antioxidants.
- Buy sparingly, a little goes a long way. Try to buy what’s in season; it’s usually cheaper, fresher, local and more available.
- Here are some veggie suggestions: romaine or leaf lettuce (not iceberg lettuce – very little nutritional value), spinach, Swiss chard, kale, parsley, tomatoes, carrots, parsnips, cucumbers, celery, beets, peppers, asparagus, zucchini, sweet potatoes or yams, mushrooms, broccoli, and cauliflower.
- The fruit is the key ingredient. You can use the same 4 veggies every day, but by changing up the fruit, your smoothie will taste different from one day to the next.
- Here are some fruit suggestions: apples, pears, bananas, peaches, plums, seedless grapes (red or black are best) pineapples, avocadoes, mangos, watermelon, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, papaya and oranges.
- Finally…Enjoy! Have fun with this! Take the Five Day Challenge! After five days and 5 smoothies, you will notice an increase in your energy level and a general feeling of well-being (no kidding!). After 3-4 weeks, almost everyone notices, in varying degrees, a gradual loss of weight (the pure blended fiber cleans out years of accumulated “stuff” that your body has been storing because it just didn’t know what to do with it), a clearer complexion, bright eyes, shiny hair, a reduction in aches and pains, less allergies, less headaches and the list goes on and on. It’s just that easy – Try it! You’ll see!