5 ways to simplify smoothie making

5 ways to simplify smoothie making

Is lack of time really the reason you can’t turn new, healthy eating habits into permanent ones?

I call bull$#!%.

Making a smoothie is one of the fastest and easiest ways to fuel your body with nutrient-rich foods.

You literally throw all your ingredients in a blender, pour into a cup and voila!

There’s no cooking involved and you can even dodge the washing and chopping if you choose. Cleanup couldn’t be more easy with only a blender and cup to wash.

OK – I get it! As easy as making a smoothie might be, maybe your life and daily schedule are just jam-packed with things like family responsibilities, work, extra-curricular activities, social events, you time, etc.

My goal with this article is to help you simplify smoothie making even more.

I don’t want time to ever be a barrier for you when it comes to making healthy food choices, so check out my tips below.

5 ways to simplify smoothie making

1. CREATE A SMOOTHIE STATION

It can be a hassle to constantly reach under your kitchen cabinet to pull out and set up the blender. I suggest creating a smoothie station.

Keep your blender, smoothie tools and dry ingredients in a corner on the kitchen counter, so everything is ready to go when it’s smoothie making time.

2. PREP FRESH PRODUCE AHEAD OF TIME

On the weekend, decide what fruits and greens you plan to use in your smoothie for the upcoming week. Wash, chop, and separate equal portions into bags, containers or glass jars and store in the refrigerator or freezer.

This makes the ‘grab and throw’ method come to life. Just grab your portion and throw it in the blender along with your dry ingredients.

3. GO FROZEN

Using frozen fruits and greens is probably the BEST way to save you time. Taking trips to the grocery store every few days to get fresh produce can be time-consuming. Then, you still need to wash and chop your produce before it’s ready for blending.

I recommend buying frozen fruits and greens in bulk and stocking up your freezer with them. It’s a great way to ensure you always have ingredients on hand.

Also, you don’t have to worry about wasting money on produce that ends up going bad. I personally create all my smoothies using frozen produce and wouldn’t do it any other way.

4. MAKE YOUR SMOOTHIE HOURS BEFORE DRINKING IT

What if you could make your smoothie hours before consuming it? Might this make smoothies more suitable to your daily schedule?

The trick here is to make your smoothie the extra thick way–using avocado and only 1/2-3/4 cup water. This will help hold your smoothie together without it separating. Store in a mason jar or cup with lid and keep cold until you consume it. If refrigeration isn’t an option, use a small cooler bag with an ice pack.

If I have a busy day ahead and know there’s going to be no time for lunch or dinner prep, I double my morning smoothie and take the extra to go. This saves me from making poor choices later in the day when there’s limited time, healthy food options and willpower.

5. REPLACE FRESH OR FROZEN PRODUCE WITH A GREENS POWDER

I feel for you if you’re just super strapped for time and find what should be quick and easy, not quick and easy enough. So, in my mission to help busy people feel great through simple and natural approaches, I decided to provide a modified way of preparing your smoothie that is even more time-friendly than my original smoothie formula.

Greens Powder Smoothie

1 tbsp PaleoGreens powder
1 scoop PurePaleo Protein powder
1/2 avocado or 1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup water
A few ice cubes (optional)

Blend for 30-60 sec and enjoy!

Easy Green Smoothie with Protein

Now how’s that for simple?! Basically, you’ll be replacing fresh or frozen produce with 1 tbsp of PaleoGreens (or other greens powder of choice) that will provide you with a combination of powerful and antioxidant rich vegetables and fruits.

I know there are many greens powders on the market, so you can learn more about why I choose to use this particular one, here.

PaleoGreens Designs for Health

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you found these tips helpful. Reach out in the comments section below if you need additional guidance or support.

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How to winterize your smoothie: From cold to room temperature

How to winterize your smoothie: From cold to room temperature

Do you find yourself drinking your smoothie with your shoulders up to your ears, teeth chattering, lips turning blue — all while you have a mini heater blasting at you and a blanket thrown over your shoulders?

I get it – a cold smoothie on a chilly fall or winter day can be uncomfortable to drink and may not be very appealing, unless your body runs hot all year round.

Well, my body tends to run more cold than hot, so I came up with some simple smoothie hacks that allow me to enjoy my daily smoothie during the cold months–without icicles forming from my nose!

Check them out below …

How to winterize your smoothie: From cold to room temperature

HACK #1

If you are using frozen veggies and/or fruit, add ½-1 cup hot or boiling water instead of room temperature or cold water.

This hot trick will help balance the temperature of your smoothie so it’s closer to room temperature. You may have to play around with the amount of hot water you add to get your desired temperature, but it’ll be smooth smoothieing (yep, I made up that word) once you figure it out.

HACK #2

Use fresh veggies and fruit instead of frozen.

This one isn’t rocket science. Frozen produce will make your smoothie cold, so you can always switch to fresh produce during the colder months to create a smoothie that is room temperature.

If you prefer the simplicity of using frozen produce or know that using fresh produce is not realistic given your busy schedule, then I highly recommend trying Hack #1.

Join my FREE 14-day smoothie challenge. I’ll teach you everything you need to know about blending the perfect smoothie for weight loss and better health. You’ll also receive 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes!

9 hacks for creating YOUR perfect smoothie

9 hacks for creating YOUR perfect smoothie

Although making a smoothie isn’t anywhere near rocket science, it still takes some experimentation to create just the right flavour, temperature and texture for your palate.

I’ve put together some smoothie hacks that will not only help troubleshoot issues you may encounter in the land of smoothie making, but also help you create smoothies that will tickle your taste buds.

Check them out …

The recommendations below are based off the smoothie formula in my 14-day smoothie challenge. Get the perfect health smoothie formula for FREE by joining the challenge. You can also find the smoothie formula in my 14-day smoothie challenge ebook

9 hacks for creating YOUR perfect smoothie

1. Know your palate

The most important part of creating your perfect smoothie is using the right ingredients. Know what flavours you enjoy and try blending them together. Think of your favourite ice cream flavour or dessert recipe when trying to decide what you might like. Better yet, give some of my dessert-inspired recipes a try! Also, don’t be afraid to recreate the same smoothie recipes you love — repetition is a great approach to developing new healthy habits.

2. One bitter B!*@#

No, not you–the smoothie. Yes, greens can make your smoothie bitter tasting. If you’re following the formula I’ve provided, you probably won’t encounter this issue, but if you do, here are some suggestions: 1) Use frozen vs. fresh greens since they taste less bitter; 2) Use less bitter greens (like spinach) until your palate is welcoming to the others. Tip #3 is also a great way to balance the bitterness.

3. Mother Nature’s candy

The sweetness of fruit – and stevia in the PurePaleo Protein powders – should be enough to balance out the bitter flavour of greens and satisfy your sweet tooth. If you need added sweetness, I suggest adding 1/4 cup extra fruit OR add a pinch of stevia for a smoothie that is lower in sugar content (I recommend Better Stevia by NOW).

4. Ice, ice baby

If you crave a smoothie that sends chills down your spine, then I recommend using frozen fruit and/or greens. Not only will you get an ice-cold smoothie, but using frozen produce makes smoothie making way easy since there’s no washing or chopping required. If you don’t want to use frozen produce, but still want a cold smoothie, just throw in a few ice cubes.

5. Brain freeze!

Maybe you don’t enjoy super cold smoothies, especially during the cold winter months. One solution would be to use fresh produce instead of frozen. If you want to use frozen produce (because it just makes life easy) here’s a solution… add ½-1 cup hot or boiling water instead of room-temperature or cold water. This hot trick will help balance the temperature of your smoothie so it’s just right.

6. Silky smooth

If your smoothies aren’t turning out as smooth as you’d like or you find yourself chewing through chunks of greens, I suggest blending water and greens first for 30+ seconds (or until smooth). You can then add the remaining ingredients and continue to blend for another 30+ seconds. Smooth and chunk-free should be the end product. If not, maybe it’s time for a new blender (check out my blender guide, here)

7. Big or little spoon

Avocado is not only a wonderful way to add quality fat to your smoothie, but it’s also the perfect way to create a thick and creamy smoothie. When building your smoothie use ½ an avocado and only ½ cup water to get a thick smoothie you can eat with a spoon. Think of it as a smoothie yogurt!

8. Smoothie gag

OK, so maybe you’re gagging over thick smoothies? Let’s put a quick end to that. This hack is simple… just add more water. If 1 cup of water isn’t enough, try adding 1/4 cup more at a time. Avoid adding too much water as this will dilute the flavour of your smoothie.

9. Drew your smoothie

Drink + chew = drew! Many people avoid smoothies because they feel unsatisfied with drinking their food and would prefer to chew their food. Before you write-off smoothies, try this: After blending your smoothie, stir in 1 tbsp. of cacao nibs, crushed raw nuts, seeds, coconut flakes/chips, or soaked tiger nuts to create a smoothie you can chew through. It’s a cool little trick to get your digestive enzymes flowing at the same time as satisfying the need to chew your food. Check out more info on how to drew your smoothie here. I also recommend tip #7, since a thicker smoothie will help you feel more satisfied.

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4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

Finding a good protein powder that works well for your body isn’t easy given all the crappy and unknown ingredients found in most protein powders on the market.

A high-quality protein powder should make you feel good when you consume it. Protein powders should not cause symptoms like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, heartburn, lethargy, etc. – and if you’re using one that does, I highly recommend removing it from your diet.

If you’re new to protein powders or shopping around for a different protein powder, I recommend reading this article to get a better sense of what to look for in a high-quality protein powder.

PurePaleo Protein has been my go-to for many years now and has played a large role in my journey back to health. Its benefits are so great that even Functional Medicine Practitioners and Naturopathic Doctors use and recommend this protein powder to their patients.

Check out what makes this protein powder so great …

4 reasons why I use PurePaleo Protein powder

1. It’s comprised of 70% collagen making it the perfect anti-aging protein powder.

Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body ensuring the health and vitality of your skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones, and joints.

Our bodies cannot synthesize enough collagen on their own and our diets today contain minimal collagen which is why supplementing with collagen is so important.

PurePaleo Protein, and its collagen-rich composition, works from within to enhance your skin, hair & nails and support your bones and joints, naturally. Collagen helps restore the skin’s moisture, improving the elasticity, tone and vibrancy that’s already within you. A true anti-aging protein powder!

2. It’s gut-friendly so you won’t crap your pants!

Many people complain about how protein powders irritate their gut and cause things like gas, bloating, heartburn, diarrhea, etc. That’s because most protein powders on the market use low quality protein sources that are contaminated and/or hard for our bodies to digest. They are also loaded with fillers, artificial flavours, colours and preservatives.

PurePaleo Protein is processed in a way that allows for easy extraction, digestion & absorption of protein + nutrients. It’s also squeaky clean with no added garbage.

The best part is, because PurePaleo Protein is so collagen rich it actually aids in the repair of your gut lining, so not only does it NOT irritate the gut, but it also helps to heal the gut.

3. It tastes amazing and blends beautifully into a smoothie.

This is by far one of the best tasting protein powders on the market. Whether you choose vanilla or chocolate flavour, you can’t go wrong. PurePaleo Protein blends perfectly into smoothies with not chalky taste or weird textures. You’ll be convinced you’re drinking a milkshake – even with greens added to it!

Additionally, this powder is sweetened with stevia – a natural plant based sweetener that will not spike blood sugar levels. It really is the perfect combination of healthy and delicious!

4. It’s derived from grass-fed cows, making it not only healthy, but extremely nutrient-dense.

According to good research, grass-fed meat gives you more bang for your buck on all fronts, with its significantly higher levels of omega-3s, antioxidants (like vitamin E and glutathione), minerals (like zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium and sodium), and other important nutrients.

Check out some of the great articles that Chris Kresser (a well known Functional Medical Doctor) has put together. He’ll show you how an unbiased review of the evidence indicates that grass fed red meat is one of the healthiest foods you can eat (find links to these articles in the resource section below).

 

PurePaleo Protein is an ideal protein source for:

  • Weight loss
  • Building lean muscle, cartilage and ligaments
  • IBS or other gut conditions
  • People with food sensitivities

Highlights of PurePaleo Protein

  • Paleo + keto friendly
  • Free of dairy, gluten, grains + GMO
  • Naturally sweetened with stevia
  • Available in vanilla, chocolate & unflavoured

Get PurePaleo Protein

The best protein powder for weight loss, IBS & anti-aging 

Are you vegan or vegetarian?

For those of you who are vegan or vegetarian, I have sourced out a high-quality, plant-based protein powder for you.

PurePea Protein powder is a true vegan protein which has high bioavailability and excellent digestibility. The raw materials, North American grown yellow peas, are not genetically modified (non-GMO) and are produced with a natural fermentation process which uses no chemical solvents.

Click here to learn more or purchase PurePea Protein.

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Learn how to create healthy and delicious smoothies using PurePaleo Protein + get over 16 dessert-inspired smoothie recipes when you join. It’s the ultimate challenge for weight loss & better health.

How to create low-cost & high-nutrition smoothies

How to create low-cost & high-nutrition smoothies

Smoothies are not only a time-friendly way of fueling your body with nutrient-dense food, but they’re a cost-effective approach too.

A nutrient-rich smoothie using high-quality ingredients (like the ones in my 14-day smoothie challenge) can be prepared in under 5 minutes at roughly $5/smoothie. That includes a high quality protein powder, heart healthy fats and nutrient-rich fruits & veggies.

Fruits and veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that your body needs to functional optimally and heal. Smoothies are a fun and easy way to take in nutrients from whole foods that you might not otherwise, due to lack of time for proper meal prep.

This article will cover some practical tips that will help you get an even bigger nutrient bang for your buck when it comes to your smoothies. Check them out …

Tips for creating low-cost & high-nutrition smoothies

1. Organic is highly recommended, but not always necessary

I understand the high cost associated with buying everything organic. Here is a great rule of thumb I follow for buying produce to help keep my costs low while minimizing toxic exposure from crops that have been sprayed.

If you are removing the peel/skin on fruits or vegetables, you might not need to fuss that much about buying organic (ie. melons, oranges, avocados…). These outer layers act as a protective barrier for the flesh of the fruit/vegetable, helping to minimize toxic exposure.

If you’re consuming the peel/skin of a fruit/vegetable OR there is no outer layer to remove, it’s more important to buy organic (ie: berries, leafy greens, apples..).

Another great resource to help you is the EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce. Here you’ll find a list of the Clean Fifteen and Dirty Dozen to help you reduce exposure to toxic pesticides.

If buying organic is not something you wish to do, then that’s OK too. The shift over to a more whole foods diet is powerful as is, so you’ll be sure to feel the many benefits. Just make sure to wash your produce thoroughly and/or soak in lemon water or a produce wash.

2. Frozen can be just as good as, if not even better than fresh

Sometimes fresh ain’t so fresh when buying produce from the grocery store.

Often enough fruits and vegetables travel a great distance and are stored for a lengthy period of time before ever hitting the produce section in your store.

The length of time from harvesting to consuming of fruits and vegetables is very important since nutrients are very high when first harvested and slowly (or sometimes quickly) decrease thereafter.

Frozen fruits and vegetables are often harvested and frozen immediately to ensure preservation of nutrients.

In addition, fresh produce can get expensive when it’s out of season. Luckily, the price of frozen produce does not fluctuate based on the season, so buying out-of-season fruits and vegetables will be easier on the wallet if buying frozen. So instead of spending big money on fresh blueberries in January, buy frozen and get a bigger nutrient bang for your buck!

3. Your local farmers’ market knows what it means to be ‘fresh’

Buying produce from local farms is not only a great way to support local farmers, but it’s also a great way to get extra nutrition from your food – and sometimes save money too.

You can be guaranteed that you’re buying fruits and vegetables that have been recently harvested and therefore full of nutrients.

Remember, time from harvest to consumption matters. Time is definitely on the side of fruits and vegetables when shopping at a local farmers’ market!

I also recommend taking the time to chat with your local farmers, so you can learn about their farming practices. Knowing how the food you eat is grown, harvested and stored is important information that matters to your health.

Jen’s recommended read: Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson – a new way to select and prepare foods to reclaim the nutrients and flavour we’ve lost. Find the book here

I hope you found these tips helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below.

Note: When finding ways to create high-nutrition and low-cost smoothies, I NEVER recommend being Frugal Frank when it comes to your protein powder. This component of your smoothie is extremely important (especially given all the garbage found in most protein powders), so be sure to source out a high-quality protein powder. You can always check out my recommendations here and/or take a look at my Protein Powder Checklist

Join my free smoothie Challenge

Join the challenge for delicious smoothie recipes, a shopping list and all the support and info you need to blend smoothies that will set you on the right path for weight loss & better health!

A Blender Guide for Smoothies

A Blender Guide for Smoothies

This Blender Guide for Smoothies is great is you’re searching for a blender that will create smooth, chunk-free smoothies. The blenders I recommend here will pulverize through all vegetables & fruits–even the frozen stuff!

It was summer 2014 when I started my smoothie adventure in my brother’s kitchen with a red NutriBullet that I picked up from Walmart for $98.

This thing was the cat’s meow back then.

It’s fair to say I was overly excited about my blender (Little Red) and smoothie making, when I first got started.

I worked Little Red, along with his little motor, to the max! There may have been moments of yelling at and shaking Little Red when he struggled to fulfill my desire for thick and creamy smoothies. Not my proudest moments, needless to say.

Little Red was a great blender for me back then, given my budget and the novelty of smoothie making. After all, this adventure of mine could have turned out to be short-term fling and I didn’t want to be left with too much baggage.

Well, it turned out to be long-term.

After a couple of years of blending with Little Red, I finally decided that it was time to invest in a cream-of-the-crop blender, that I would create beautiful smoothies (and soups) with for the long winding road ahead.

It was love at first sight with my white Blendtec! White Beast (yes, I name all my blenders) has pulverized through most things I’ve thrown at him. Best part is, no yelling or shaking required, just complete Zen Jen time. Check out a photo of Little Red and White Beast, below.

Most of you will already have a blender that will do the trick, but just in case you don’t or maybe you’re shopping around for a new toy, I’ve put together some helpful tips to guide you in finding a blender. Check them out below.

Blender guide for smoothies

What to look for when shopping for a new blender

POWER

600 watts of power or more will be extremely helpful! You need enough power to pulverize vegetables and fruits or else you’ll be pulling chunks of spinach from your teeth. The higher the watts, the better.

SIZE

The bigger the container, the more goodness you can pack in. Great for when you want to double your recipes and create smoothies for multiple meals or multiple people. Also, great for creating soups during the cold winter days.

PRICE

As a general rule of thumb, the higher the price, the better the quality. Higher price point blenders come with high-powered motors, large containers, multiple settings and long-term warranties. These blenders are built to last.

CONVENIENCE

Maybe you need a blender that suits your busy lifestyle and requires as little prep time and clean-up as possible. Some lower price point blenders come with travel cups. Blend and go…it’s brilliant! These smaller blenders are also easy to pack up and travel with, given their size.

To further guide you, think of blenders like relationships …

They say that people come into your life for either a reason, a season or a lifetime. Well you’re about to learn that blenders do, too! What’ll it be for you?

The Reason

Short term. Low cost. OK quality. Good times while it lasts – a.k.a. a fling.
(Jen’s recommendation: NutriBullet – original or pro $90-$150)

The Season

Good quality. Affordable cost. It grows on you because it hangs around a little longer. (Jen’s recommendation: Harley Pasternak $100-$250)

The Lifetime

Long term. Top quality. High return on investment. A true happily ever after. (Jen’s recommendation: Blendtec or Vitamix $400+)

Keep in mind, sometimes we need to experience The Reason and/or The Season before we have a clear picture of what we want and need from The Lifetime. I speak from blender experience 😉

P.S. Before you jump in your car and head out to purchase a new blender, test out the blender sitting in your cupboard because it just might do the trick. There are many great blenders on the market, For simplicity’s sake, I have only recommended brands that I’ve had personal experience with. Feel free to explore other options.

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