The Best Kitchen Tools for Smoothies

Best Kitchen Tools for Smoothies as told by crazyaboutsmoothies.com

So, you’ve decided to add smoothies to  your diet. Congrats! Here are our favorite kitchen tools for smoothies. They’ll make your life so much easier as you prep your smoothie fruits and veggies.

The Best Kitchen Tools for Smoothies, as told by crazyaboutsmoothies.com

The Best Kitchen Knives for Smoothies

With it’s outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design elements, and premium materials, the Dialstrong Chef Knife has an incredibly razor sharp German steel blade. It’s got 5 Star ratings on Amazon and we love it too. See it here… 

Our Favorite Cutting Boards

We love wooden cutting boards, and this is one of our favorites  because it’s made from plantation grown bamboo wood, one of the most popular materials world-wide due to its versatility, function, beauty and sustainability. 

And don’t forget the butcher block oil and 2-cup Measuring Cup!

The Best Smoothie Blenders

We’ve spent quite some time researching the top personal, family and professional blenders. You can see a comparison chart here. Or click the links below to read our reviews of each one.

The Best Kitchen Tools for Smoothies

If you like to prep the smoothie ingredients ahead of time, you can put them into serving size containers and freeze. If we pack well, we can get a month of smoothie portions for our family of seven in our small freezer. Then just take it out and dump it in the blender and you’re good to go. Here are our favorite freezer storage tools:

Best Serving Utensils for Smoothies

Whether you’re at home, on the go, simple or fancy, these are the best ways to serve your smoothies…

So there you have it, the best kitchen tools for smoothies. The only other thing I might add is a super cute apron! Enjoy!

3 Easy Steps to Prep Recipes for Smoothies and Fruit Drinks

3 Steps to Easy Prep for Recipes (Smoothies & Fruit Drinks) CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

We want to eat better and fix more nutritious and healthy meals. The problem is, healthy eating takes some time and effort. Instead of grabbing a convenience meal at the store or hitting the drive-through on your way home from work, you have to go buy fresh ingredients, prep them and then cook a healthy meal. If only there was a way to make eating healthy quick and easy.

Thankfully there is… when you’re in a rush or too tired to cook, make a healthy smoothie instead. In this post I’ll show you 3 easy steps to prep recipes for smoothies and fruit drinks.

Easy Prep for Recipes (Smoothies & Fruit Drinks) CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

1. Get a Good Blender

Start with a blender that’s easy to clean. Read through the reviews before you buy (Amazon is great for that), or talk to some friends who use their blenders a lot. Find a model that does what you need it to do and is easy to use.

2. Buy the Ingredients

Next, make sure you have healthy smoothie making ingredients on hand at all times. This includes some fresh produce like greens for example, but a lot of the ingredients work just as well or even better frozen. Most fruit and quite a few veggies can be frozen and go from your freezer straight into your smoothies.

Stock up on some other healthy smoothie ingredients including coconut water, plain yogurt, flax seed meal, chia seeds, etc. to mix things up and add an even bigger nutritional boost. If you want a more filling smoothie, add a scoop of protein powder to the mix. This will keep you full until your next meal and truly turns a smoothie into a meal replacement drink.

3. Be Prepared

The key then is to be prepared. Aside from making sure you have your freezer, fridge, and pantry stocked with your favorite smoothie ingredients, go ahead and prep as much as you can for your smoothies for the week.

That means cleaning, cutting, and measuring out ingredients and storing them in a “ready-to-use” form. For example, you may want to toss all the frozen fruit you need for a smoothie into a 1-quart freezer bag, label it with a sharpie, and have it ready to just pour into your blender along with a cup of yogurt or some fresh greens and water.

Finding appliances and cups that make your smoothies portable – like a blender bottle – and prepping ingredients ahead of time, make smoothie making as easy as ordering your favorite take-out or pouring a bowl of cereal for breakfast.

Give it a try and don’t be afraid to take advantage of “convenience produce” like pre-cut fresh or frozen fruit and washed greens. If they get you regularly preparing your favorite recipes for smoothies and fruit drinks and eating healthier, it’s well worth it.

Don’t Turn Your Smoothie Into A Milkshake

Low Calorie Smoothies for Weight Loss and Why You Shouldn't Turn Your Smoothie into a Milkshake, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Smoothies can be a great addition to a healthy diet and even help you lose weight. Or they can turn into nothing more than a milkshake that should be considered a rare treat. What’s the difference? Mainly the amount of sugar you include in your smoothie.

Low Calorie Smoothies for Weight Loss and Why You Shouldn't Turn Your Smoothie into a Milkshake, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

The Hidden Sugar

Let’s say you start out with a cup of low fat vanilla flavoured yogurt. (34g carbs, 34g of sugar). Then you add a banana (27g carbs, 14g sugar), 1 cup of strawberries (12g carbs, 7g sugar), and 1 cup orange juice (26g carbs, 20g sugar). That’s a total of 75g of sugar in something that sounds like a fairly healthy smoothie, doesn’t it? That’s roughly the same amount of sugar (and carbs) as a small chocolate milkshake at McDonalds. Whoa!

Yes, you’re getting some vitamins and nutrients and this smoothie is certainly better for you than a chocolate milkshake, but it isn’t going to help you lose weight, and you’d do better with a smoothie that has less sugar in it.

Trade for Low Calorie Smoothie Ingredients

The first thing I want you to notice is that most of the sugar is coming from the vanilla flavoured yogurt and the orange juice. What if you switched the yogurt for plain Greek yogurt and used water instead of orange juice. The yogurt has 7g of carbs, all of them sugar. Making those two simple substitutions takes us from 75g of sugar to 28g of sugar. That’s a big difference and you end up with a much healthier smoothie that will keep you full longer.

Low Calorie Smoothies for Weight Loss

What can you do to make sure you end up with a healthy smoothie that’s good for you and not loaded with added sugar? Start by

  1. Checking all ingredients for sugar
  2. Staying away from yogurts, juices and other add-ons that include sugar. That alone will limit your sugar intake. Greek or plain yogurt may have less sugar than vanilla or other kinds of yogurts.
  3. Limiting the amount of fruit, high sugar fruits like bananas, grapes and the likes in particular that you put in your smoothie.
  4. Choosing low-sugar fruits like berries instead.
  5. Using water or coconut water or even whole milk to thin out your smoothies instead of juice.
  6. Adding lots of leafy greens to up the nutritional value and fiber content.

If you’re looking for a creamy smoothie, try adding an avocado. It works in even the sweetest smoothies and gives it a delicious smooth texture, while adding healthy fat that will keep you full longer.

Ice is a great way to thicken your smoothies without adding extra calories. The water will fill you up too, so you eat less. If you find you need a little extra sweetness in your smoothie, add a bit of stevia, a natural non-calorie sweetener, instead of adding more fruit or sugar.

These little tweaks can ensure that you end up with healthy smoothies that are good for you and low calorie to help you reach your weight loss goals.

5 Ways Smoothies Help You Eat Better And Lose Weight

5 Ways Smoothies help you Eat Better and Lose Weight, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

We all know that to lose weight we have to eat less and most importantly we need to eat foods that are high in nutrients, but lower in calories. If they taste great and keep us full for hours on end, that’s an added bonus. It’s also what makes smoothies the perfect “food” to help you eat healthier and lose a few pounds. Let’s take a look at how they can help us reach our nutritional goals.

5 Ways Smoothies help you Eat Better and Lose Weight, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

1. Smoothies Are Packed With Nutrients

You can pack a lot of nutrients in your smoothies by adding things like fresh or frozen berries, various other fruits and of course plenty of dark leafy greens. Use coconut water instead of plain water to get the consistency you like while adding a lot of minerals and electrolytes to your smoothies.

2. Smoothies Can Be Very Low In Calories But Very Filling

Use a lot of leafy greens including spinach, kale, and chard for a smoothie that’s low in calories, but high in fiber. Cucumbers, peppers, and even tomatoes are also great green smoothie additions that will fill you up without much added sugar. Use fruit sparingly and stick to low-sugar varieties like berries for best results.

3. Smoothies Are Versatile And You Can Add Foods To Fill Nutritional Holes

One of the beautiful things about making smoothies is that you can add whatever you like to them. If you know your other meals for the day are low in protein, add a scoop of protein powder to your meal. If you’re lacking in healthy fats, use half an avocado and some flax seed meal in your smoothies. Mix and match ingredients to fill any nutritional holes you may have and always be sure to add plenty of greens and a serving or two of fruit.

4. Smoothies Are Quick And Easy To Prepare

Healthy meal prep doesn’t get any easier than making a smoothie. Pick your ingredients, measure as needed, and put it in the blender. Blend and pour and you’re ready to go. Even clean-up is a snap with nothing more than a quick rinse, then blending a bit of hot water and soap to clean out the smoothie maker. The only dishes left to clean are the cup you poured your smoothie in and possibly the knife you used to chop up your produce.

5. Smoothies Taste Great

Last but not least, smoothies taste great and that’s a good thing. Sure, not every smoothie will be a big hit, but a little trial and error will help you find a few favorites that you (and your kids) don’t mind drinking week after week. Overall, they will make a delicious and nutritious addition to your healthy diet.

Drink Your Greens By Turning Them Into Smoothies

Drink Your Greens, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Greens are good for us. We know it and we work as many salads into our diet as possible. Let’s be real here though. There are only so many salads you can eat in a given week before you start to feel like a rabbit. Smoothies give you a great alternative to work even more fresh greens into your diet.

Drink Your Greens, CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

How to Drink Your Greens

If you’re new to green smoothies, I encourage you to give it a try. If you’re used to fruit and yogurt smoothies that look and taste more like a milkshake, a green smoothie may seem like an odd thing. Trust me, they are delicious and will soon become your favorite way to consume your greens.

Making green smoothies is easy

Making green smoothies is very easy. Get out your blender and add a couple of big handfuls of leafy greens.

Good choices for your smoothies include

  • spinach
  • kale
  • chard
  • and even romaine lettuce.

Pick your favorite greens and start there. Feel free to mix and match using up whatever greens need to be used up first. Ideally you want mix and match as many different types of greens as possible. This will make sure you get a wide variety of nutrients. You can even include some micro greens and herbs here and there.

As you get started making green smoothies try filling up the rest of your blender with plenty of fresh or frozen fruit or maybe even a little fruit juice to give your taste buds a chance to get used to the flavor.

Green smoothies are tasty, but they can be a bit of an acquired taste. Starting out with plenty of fruit in the beginning will make the greens more palatable. As time goes by, you can make an effort to reduce the amount of fruit you use as needed. If losing a bit of weight is one of your goals, or if you’re doing everything you can to reduce your sugar intake, then cutting back on the fruit you use and cutting out juice as early as possible, should be your goal.

Either way, you’ll end up with a delicious smoothie and a new way to include lots of fresh greens in your diet. Since you’re using whole foods and lots of leafy greens, you not only get all the nutrients in these foods but also lots of fiber that will keep you full longer.

Green smoothies are an excellent way to use up lots of greens and get them into your diet. You’ll be surprised how many greens you can pack into one little smoothie that’s easy to drink. It’s much easier to consume them this way than in the form of a salad. And you’re not adding processed food and salt in the form of bottled salad dressing. Green smoothies are an excellent choice and something you should try for yourself.

Check out our easy recipes here.

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie

Ingredients

1 orange, medium
3 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
1 tbsp frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Ice

Instructions

Peel the orange and add it along with all other ingredients into your blender. Blend until smooth and serve right away. This makes one serving.

Orange Creamsicle Smoothie Recipe via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

How To Benefit From Drinking Green Smoothies

How To Benefit From Drinking Green Smoothies via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Green smoothies are a great way to make sure you get the nutrients and fresh produce your body needs. If you can add just one large green smoothie to your diet, you can pack quite a few servings of fruit and more importantly low sugar vegetables. If you need a little more convincing, here are some of the big benefits green smoothies have to offer.

1. Benefit from the Nutrients

These popular health drinks are packed with fresh produce including a big serving of leafy greens. That packs a big nutritional punch. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more delicious or easier way to prepare that many raw veggies. While the actual nutritional makeup will vary depending on the ingredients you choose to use, your smoothie will be full of vitamins and minerals that are good for you.

How To Benefit From Drinking Green Smoothies via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Since you make your own smoothies, you get to choose the ingredients. How cool is that! This allows you to fill any particular nutritional needs.

Got a busy day ahead? Include some veggies that are high in B vitamins for an extra boost in energy.

Feeling like you’re coming down with a cold? Throw a few oranges in your smoothie for a vitamin C boost. You get to fill any holes you have in your nutritional profile with the help of a daily green smoothie.

2. Green Smoothies Are Low In Calories

Green smoothies by nature are very low in calories. Since the bulk of your smoothie will be made up of leafy greens, it’s hard to turn this into anything but a healthy, low calorie food. Yes, you can add quite a bit of sugar by adding sweet fruit or even fruit juice. Yes, you can add healthy fat by including things like avocado or olive oil to your smoothie. In the end the result will still be a healthy food that’s low in calories but high in nutrients and vitamins.

On the flip side it’s very easy to create filling smoothies that are very low in calories and a great addition to any weight loss program. Start as usual with plenty of fresh greens and then add just a touch of fruit and a few low calorie veggies like cucumbers, peppers or other non-starchy vegetable. Blend it up with water and the end result will be a delicious and refreshing smoothie that fills you up and energizes you.

3. The Fiber Factor

Last but not least, green smoothies have a lot of fiber. They’re full of healthy fiber that’s good for your digestive tract and keeps to keep you full for a long time. Overall it’s hard to beat green smoothies when you’re trying to eat healthier and lose some weight.

Mix And Match – How To Create Smoothies You’ll Love To Drink

How to Create Smoothies You'll Love to Drink via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Smoothies can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet. But every once in a while you mix up a smoothie, or come across a recipe that just doesn’t cut it for you. That’s ok. Not everyone is a big fan of kale in their green smoothies for example. Maybe you’re not a fan of green smoothies in general. Maybe it’s the texture, maybe it’s the bitter flavor of kale. Totally fine. Green smoothies that rely mainly on greens and other low-sugar veggies are an acquired taste.

How to Create Smoothies You'll Love to Drink via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Maybe you’re not a big fan of bananas, or peaches, or milk products. The beautiful thing about smoothies is that there’s a smoothie out there for everyone, no matter what your taste or your dietary restrictions. All it takes is a little trial and error and I guarantee you’ll find some smoothie recipes and combinations that you’ll love.

The Key to Recipe Creation

The key is to mix and match your favorite foods and those that you know you should be consuming more of. Let’s say you love strawberries and you know you should be getting more greens in your diet. Mix up frozen strawberries, a few hands full of spinach, and some orange juice and you end up with a delicious smoothie that’s also good for you.

Tips for Experimenting

If you’re new to smoothies, start with a few recipes. See what you like and what you don’t like. Get a feel for the type of smoothie you enjoy. That will help you gather some important data. You may learn that you enjoy a thick and creamy smoothie that includes yogurt and frozen fruit.

Maybe you find that you don’t like kale in your smoothies because of the texture it gives your green smoothies. And that’s ok. Maybe you’re not a big fan of pineapple. That’s ok too.

Coming up with smoothies you love takes some time to learn what you like and what you don’t like and then starting with existing recipes, replace what you don’t like with similar things you do like.

Not a big fan of kale? Replace it with a different leafy green like spinach or swiss chard. Don’t like pineapple? Use peach or even strawberry instead.

Figure out what you like and then start experimenting. Before long you won’t need a recipe to make your smoothies. You just grab things that you know will go together well and blend them up. You’ll use up veggies and fruits that need using up in your daily smoothie. You’ll branch out and down the line you may find that you actually do like kale, provided you blend it long enough in a powerful blender so you don’t end up with little kale chunks in your smoothie.

Mix and match and don’t be surprised to find that your taste preferences change over time as your body as your taste buds get used to real food and you learn to create smoothies that you love!

Different Greens And Herbs To Include In Your Green Smoothies

Greens and Herbs to Include in Your Green Smoothie via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Green smoothies are a great way to get a lot of extra nutrition in your diet. As the name indicates, they include plenty of greens along with other fruits and veggies. Let’s take a look at the different types of greens you can include in your green smoothies.

Dark Leafy Greens for Smoothies

The bulk of your green smoothies should be made up of dark leafy greens for the biggest nutritional bang.

  • spinach
  • kale
  • romaine lettuce
  • mustard greens
  • collard greens
  • chicory
  • Swiss chard
  • Broccoli

All of these are great choices. If you’re growing root vegetables like beets for example, chop off the greens and use them in your smoothies.

Greens and Herbs for Smoothies via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Any Type Of Salad Green Goes

Of course you don’t have to stop there. You can toss any salad greens including lose leaf lettuce or the leaves from heads of lettuces in your smoothies. If you have a bag of lettuce sitting in the fridge, grab a handful and add it to your smoothie. It’s a great way to use up those salad greens before they go bad.

Micro Greens Offer Big Nutrients

Micro greens are easy to grow and they offer a big nutritional boost to your smoothies. You can also pick them up at your local grocery store. They are small plants of lettuce and herbs that have a lot of concentrated nutrients. While they shouldn’t make up the bulk of your smoothie, they are a great add-on that makes your smoothies even healthier. If time is an issue, another option is the Green grass Superfood. It’s quick and easy to add a spoonful in a hurry.

Throw Some Herbs in Your Smoothies

Last but not least, let’s talk about herbs. Like micro greens, you can easily grow them at home on your kitchen counter. They add a lot of flavor to your smoothies and can provide even more nutrients.

Play around with herbs like

  • parsley
  • basil
  • cilantro
  • oregano
  • mint

The stronger the flavor of the herb the smaller the amount you should use in your smoothie. I like to experiment with using the essential oils of the herbs too.

Play around with different types of greens and mix it up. You’ll never know what yummy flavor combination you’ll come up with. Mixing it up and using a different type of leafy greens is always a good idea.

Just be sure you clean them well. Sadly we live in a world where much of our produce, including the greens we use in our smoothies and salads are treated with various pesticides. Washing them well (we use the Thieves Veggie wash by Young Living) and mixing things up will make sure you don’t ingest too much of one single pesticide, keeping the overall dosage at low levels.

More importantly though, each plant has different micronutrients that we can benefit from. By switching things up and using different greens and herbs in your smoothies (and different fruits and veggies as well), we make sure we get a large variety of nutrients.

Healthy Smoothies That Tastes As Good As A Milkshake

Healthy Smoothies that Taste as Good as a Milkshake via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Who doesn’t love a good milkshake?

What if you could make a healthy smoothie that tastes as good as a milk shake? With a few simple tricks that is certainly possible. You’ll even end up with an icy, thick drink that’s just as tasty while adding a lot of nutritional benefits. You may not want to have these smoothies every single day but they make the perfect treat that’s delicious and healthy.

Healthy Smoothies that Taste as Good as a Milkshake via CrazyAboutSmoothies.com

Start with frozen fruit.

  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • peaches
  • and bananas

These make great basic frozen fruit choices when you’re making a healthy smoothie that resembles a milk shake.

Put them in your blender along with a little milk or yogurt. Vanilla flavored yogurt will add some extra sugar, but also a lot of flavor and body. Alternatively, use a bit of plain yogurt, even Greek yogurt and either enough ripe fruit to sweeten the smoothie or a little natural sweetener like agave or maple syrup, or even a dash of stevia. Blend it all up, going light on the milk and adding just enough to get the consistency you like.

Frozen banana blended with milk and a little vanilla extract tastes and feels very much like vanilla ice cream. It’s a great base for a smoothie that reminds you of a milkshake. Add some other frozen fruits like strawberry, peaches, and even pineapple for a delicious treat.

Of course you don’t have to stick to only fruit. Avocado is a surprisingly tasty and nutritious addition to any creamy smoothie. It will give you that creamy, smooth flavor and texture.

For something similar to a chocolate milkshake, try blending avocado, cocoa powder, banana, ice and a bit of milk. Of course you can use any of these substitutions for regular dairy if you desire:

  • rice milk
  • almond milk
  • soy milk

Adding peanut butter also gives a lot of body and a smooth texture to your smoothies. If you like a good peanut butter chocolate shake, use the suggestions above, but add a spoon of peanut butter to the mix before you blend it all up.

Ice is another great addition to any smoothie because it will thicken it up and give it that ice cream feel without any added calories. Play around with how much ice you add to your blender, and make sure you have a blender that can handle grinding down and blending in ice cubes. Go easy on the liquids and keep blending.

For a thick, creamy smoothie that tastes like a milkshake, you need a lot less liquid than you may think. Above all, have fun, blend away, and create some yummy frozen treats.