The deep, dark days of winter are still upon us and most of us just want to curl up with a good book and something warm. But sadly, the kids still expect to be fed. And the snacks! Oh my goodness the never-ending snacks.
Fortunately, if you have a blender and you stock ice cubes (and if you don’t I’m questioning our friendship) you’re about a third of the way towards putting together a healthy and delicious snack.
And yes, I said ice cubes but you need to get over that part because smoothies aren’t just for summer.
Smoothies make a great breakfast for kids who don’t want to eat much before school, and they’re a great after-school or pre-activity snack if you have a few extra minutes for prep and clean up. It might seem like a pain to pull everything out, blend, pour and clean up but prepping and pre-packaging your kids’ favourite combinations will help save time.
The sky is the limit for smoothie recipes in that they are entirely customizable around colour, taste and texture preferences. And you probably have most of the ingredients in your fridge, freezer or pantry already.
Below you’ll find a list of staple ingredients, followed by some optional add-ins. The beauty of smoothies is that you don’t really need a recipe, but I’ve listed some of my all-time favourites just because.
STAPLE SMOOTHIE INGREDIENTS
- Milk product (almond, coconut, regular, cashew, soy, etc.)
- Ice (usually not needed if fruit is frozen)
- Water (regular, or coconut for extra electrolytes)
- Fruit (fresh or frozen)
- Chia, hemp and/or flax seeds
- Honey and/or maple syrup
- Nut butter (peanut, almond, Wow, etc.)
- Greens (spinach, kale, romaine, cucucumbers)
- Greek Yogurt (flavoured or plain, depending on preference)
- Coconut oil
- Avocado (substitute for yogurt depending on taste, or for a dairy-free option)
- Matcha powder
- Fresh ginger
- Wheat germ
MY FAVOURITE SMOOTHIE RECIPES
- Reset Button. Heavy on the fruit, this is the recipe that started it all for me when it comes to smoothies, and my kids love the bright green colour. Please don’t tell them it’s spinach! Originally published in Oh She Glows Everyday by Angela Liddon, it’s easily altered for taste. Remove the mint if it’s too strong for kids and replace the kale with spinach or a spinach and romaine blend. http://kitchenonfourth.com/reset-button-green-smoothie/.
- Orange Creamsicle from Sally’s Baking Addiction. It doesn’t get more kid-friendly than this, and with only five ingredients it’s a cinch to pull together. https://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2014/07/09/orange-creamsicle-smoothie/
- Cheerful Chocolate. I had you at chocolate, right? Substitute banana for avocado if you need to and use the dark chocolate colour to hide a few greens. I won’t tell! My favourite is also from Oh She Glows (where she suggests a moms-only version using espresso powder!) but you can check out Pinterest for some variations. https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/260997740887791487/?lp=true
- Peanut Butter and Banana. High in protein and overall yum, this is hands-down my kids’ favourite. I even send it to school in a thermos, substituting Wow Butter for the nut butter. This is also a great recipe for hiding seeds like chia and flax, too. https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/peanut-butter-banana-smoothie-recipe/
- Strawberry Raspberry. If your kids won’t touch green with a ten-foot pole, a bright red strawberry raspberry combination is a great option. I love these smoothies because they are rich in colour and antioxidants, and the flavor and ingredient combinations are endless. Add bananas, blueberries, a dash of fruit juice, sweetened or unsweetened yogurt …. The sky is the limit. Most of my favourite receipes can be found here, on Yummly. https://www.yummly.com/recipes?noUserSettings=true&showRegistrationModal=true&q=strawberry%20raspberry%20smoothie&start=0&ingredient-count.max=5&excludedIngredient=vegetables