I clearly remember my first Jamba Juice. When I tasted that massively delicious fruity — and healthy! — concoction, I felt like I’d died and went to heaven. And then I got a stomach ache. That was when Jamba Juice only offered one size: behemoth. Nowadays they have smaller and less sugary options (The hefty Caribbean Passion drink I loved so much is over 400 calories and almost 100 grams of sugar; no wonder it tasted so good.), but it still annoys me that Jamba Juice won’t divulge what’s in its “non-dairy blend.”
While Jamba Juice is a special occasion treat, homemade smoothies are a fantastic option for kids’ breakfasts or snacks, plus they’re a great way to use up overripe bananas, squishy berries, and big vats of yogurt. I realize everyone probably knows how to make a decent smoothie, but I have a couple especially delectable combinations that I’ve stumbled across, so I wanted to share. Both of these are delicious and healthy; you can probably guess which one is more kid friendly.
One note about blenders. If yours is 20 years old and you love it, great. Keep it and whirl away. If yours is 20 years old and it only blends the bottom inch of whatever’s in it, creates a weird burning smell, and often makes you want to scream, I suggest splurging on a new appliance. Look for a beefy, wide model with a powerful motor and all-metal drive for durability. I finally ditched my college-era Hamilton Beach for a new 6-speed Oster, which has a special ice-crusher blade. I looked at a few more-expensive blenders, but none seemed noticeably better than this $50 model. So far it’s working for me.
High-Protein Breakfast Smoothie
Ingredients (all quantities for both recipes are approximate)
1/2 cup crushed ice
5 large strawberries
1 scoop (maybe 1/2 cup) full-fat Greek yogurt, either vanilla or plain (The Oikos brand by Stonyfield is organic.)
2 tbs. organic almond butter (We use Maranatha.)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 packet organic whey protein powder (I’ve read a lot of conflicting reports about processed soy so we don’t eat that much of it, although I wouldn’t think a scoop of soy protein powder here and there could be anything but totally fine, especially if you’re lactose intolerant.)
Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Taste and add more of whatever is lacking.
Mom’s Favorite Smoothie (This one is slightly reminiscent of a blended salad, but it’s very refreshing and delicious; just check your teeth for kale bits before leaving the house and smiling at anyone.)
Small handful kale, roughly chopped or shredded by hand (remove the thick stalks)
1/2 cup crushed ice
1/2 squeezed lemon
1 tsp. diced ginger
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/3 cup orange juice
2 capfulls flax seed oil
Put all ingredients in blender and blend well. Enjoy.