It’s no secret that we love our smoothies in this house. Whether for breakfast, lunch or an afternoon treat, they are a great way to pack in a whole bunch of nutrient rich goodness for the entire family.
One of the reasons that I also love smoothies as a mom, is that not only do they provide an easy way for me to get in some extra veggies, but enable me to do the same for my little one as well. Asher both loves them, and loves being a part of creating them. While smoothies can be a great way to provide kids with “hidden” veggies, I would encourage you to involve them in the process so that they can see exactly what it is they are consuming. Have them help select what to add, peel items, toss them in, etc. and discuss what each is and how it benefits our bodies as you go. You’d be surprised by the things they are willing to try!
The following is a list of some of our family’s favorite veggies to toss into the smoothies we enjoy. Our rule of thumb is that we always have to have at least one, although often times we add in even more.
Leafy Greens: Spinach, Kale, Chard, Dandelion Greens, Arugala, the list goes on. Leafy greens, of some sort, are always included in smoothies in this house. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants and host a whole range of health benefits.
Cauliflower: This cruciferous veggie is rich in Vitamin C & K as well as choline , a B Vitamin that supports brain health. My favorite way to toss it in is frozen in riced form. It has a really discrete flavor, so it can be added to just about any smoothie without altering the taste very much.
Zucchini: This is another one that can be added without having a huge impact on taste. And just like cauliflower, I prefer to add it in chopped and frozen. Zucchini has been shown to benefit the digestive process as its high in water content, as well as contains significant fiber, electrolytes and other nutrients.
Cucumber: They say cucumbers are “cool”, and I have to admit this veggie lives up to its name. These are perfect to toss in to up the “refresh” factor of your smoothie. Plus, they have been said to potentially “cool” unwanted inflammation in the body as well.
Beets: Now if you are one for a great pop of color, beets will be your best friend. Not only that, but while your busy admiring your new smoothie shade, the amino acid, betaine, that this veggie contains, is busy doing its job to support both liver detoxification and the ever important level of hydrochloric acid in your stomach.
Sweet Potatoes/Squash: While I recognize these aren’t one in the same, I add them both to our smoothies in a similar fashion – pureed. You can either peel, cook and mash them yourself or simply buy a BPA free can of either ready-to- go and toss it in until your heart’s content. These veggies make great add-ins for a festive fall treat, especially if you top them off with a little cinnamon!
What are your favorite veggies to add to your smoothies? Are there any you think I should add to my list?