My almost 4-year old LOVES smoothies.
I thought I would show you her favorite.
Looking at the ingredients you may think ...
But if you try it, I think you might be surprised.
Oatmeal: whole grain, good carbs, fiber
Banana: potassium and more, and it adds that sweetness essential to a smoothie
Kefir: an excellent source of protein and probiotics. Similar to yogurt, but with more diverse colonies of probiotics. Kefir is typically thinner than yogurt, which makes it perfect for smoothies.
I just obtained some kefir grains so I can make my own using raw milk.
Double healthy score!
(warning: inserting opinionated preaching right here) ...
Whether you choose yogurt or kefir the key is to get it plain and unsweetened. In my opinion, if you're trying to get probiotic benefits yet the product is full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, not only are you adding unwanted calories, you're negating your efforts by feeding the bad bacteria in your gut with the sugar. So to answer your question ... yes, you should only consume plain, unsweetened yogurt or kefir. What about artificial sweeteners? Stay away from those too! So many, many reasons why. I could do a whole 'nuther post right there. Don't think you like plain yogurt or kefir? Well, in this smoothie you don't need it sweet. But on it's own, if you have to have it sweet, stir a little fresh fruit or honey in it. If you must. But give plain a try, it's really not so bad. I promise!
(stepping off my soap box now to get back to smoothie making)
Cinnamon: so many benefits are being found, and it just adds a nice flavor.
Fish Oil: I know, here's where you go, eeew! But it's just a teaspoonful and you can't even tell it's in there. Don't go overboard though or it will taste peculiarly fishy. It's a sneaky way of getting in your essential fatty acids. Google it if you want more info. Again, I could do an entire post on fish oil. Maybe I will. Later.
Do you have a Magic Bullet?
Or you can use a blender.
I LOVE my Magic Bullet.
Start by finely grinding the oatmeal ...
It will be nice and powdery.
Then add all the other ingredients.
Cram as much as you can in there.
Give it a good whirl.
Thanks to the blueberries and the spinach it will turn this nice greenish, purply color. It does taste better than the color looks. But my almost 4-year old thinks the green color is cool. It's like magic when it starts blending and the color emerges.
The beauty of smoothies is that you can customize it and add, or not add, whatever you choose. But I think that this particular smoothie shows that you can add a few odd things, like oatmeal, spinach and fish oil, get some great health benefits, and it still tastes good.
So go ahead, sneak some healthy stuff in your next smoothie.
See? It's not yucky at all!