Saturday, January 12, 2013

Eating Healthy in 2013

By Tenisha Mercer

So in an effort to eat healthier in 2013, I decided to incorporate more smoothies into my diet.

I've started -- and stopped -- the smoothie kick before. Usually because my smoothies would come out nasty as hell. I bought a Ninja over the summer and didn't touch the thing for at least 3 months. When I did use it to make a smoothie, it came out in chunks -- NOT the business.

I saw the Green Smoothie challenge on Facebook one day an became intrigued: The smoothies at Simple Green Smoothies looked delish. What the hell was I doing wrong? I tried her recipe and let me tell you -- I am in love.

No juice, no dairy, so these are healthy for you. (A lot of smoothie recipes call for some sort of milk or even yogurt. Honestly, adding just enough water to blend is OK for me. Plus, I just don't think a smoothie is as "healthy" as it could be when you add dairy. Just sayin'.

Today, I gave it to my kids (who swear off most things green) and even they like it.  Yup, I'll be making these for everyone Monday morning. They're healthy, and relatively low cost. I buy a large 10-lb bag of frozen fruit at BJ's Wholesale Club (less than $10) and spinach at BJs is ($4) plus banannas (59 cents a pound)  and tangerines ($4 for a 3-lb bag).

Here's my recipe for delicious smoothies that are healthy and delish.

1 cup of spinach (you can buy fresh spinach or freeze fresh spinach
1 bananna
1 tangerine
1 cup of mixed  Dole frozen fruit
1 cup of water

Very important: Blend the water and spinach first, or you'll have leafy chunks.
Next, throw in all of the other ingredients, blend until well mixed, and enjoy. Makes about 3 cups.

Why Green Smoothies are Working This Time

My green smoothie recipe is working for a couple reasons.

I spend some time on the weekend prepping my fruit and freezing it. I don't have the time to cut, slice and dice fruit in the mornings. So I label plastic bags and put everything I need for one day's smoothie into them -- spinach, bananas, mixed fruit -- and freeze. In the morning, I just dump everything into the blender. Takes 5 minutes at most.

My Ninja Pro blender. You really need to invest in a good, high quality blender. I find that the Ninja for less than $150 is fine; you could also probably get away with the cheaper version as well. I don't think your standard blender will work, because it lacks the blades and power to cut through the frozen fruit. A bullet would probably also work. Some folks recommend the $300+ blenders by Vitamix, but I find the Ninjja is just fine -- and much cheaper. You don't want to price to be an obstacle to eating healthier.

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