Sizing Up Smoothies & Juices

Growing up, my mom would make carrot juice everyday. There would be various kinds of carrot juice: carrot and beet, carrot, ginger, and apple, carrot and…you get the point. There was always carrot juice.  She would make me a big glass of it, and I’d either gulp it down super fast or go out on my front porch and pour it onto the grass. And this was how I was introduced to juicing. IMG_7448[1] Over the years, I’ve not only acquired a taste for vegetable juices, but now thoroughly enjoy them.  It could be just me, but I can feel the juice cleaning out my body as I drink it, seriously.  As with many things that are good for you, it takes a little extra time to make – but no more than 15 minutes for everything, from rinsing to chopping to juicing to cleaning. IMG_7438[1] Juicing is a great, arguably the best, way to detox the body. Juicing removes the fiber from the vegetables and fruits, allowing the body to soak up all of the vitamins and minerals without using extra energy needed to break down nutrients. Since the body is “bypassing” the digestion process, the body is able to focus on absorbing all of the goodness from the plants. If you’re looking to be motivated, even if you’ve already seen it, check out the documentary, Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.  Here is a link to the trailer http://www.fatsickandnearlydead.com/ It’s unbelievable.

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Whereas juicing is limited to vegetables and fruits (I tried spooning in spirulina to my juice once and it was definitely not successful), the art of smoothie making is just that. An art.  The creations that can be done to a smoothie are sometimes awe-inspiring – rainbow layers, granola and chia pudding bases, banana ice cream floaters, the list goes on. For now, the simple smoothie will suffice.

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A smoothie is more substantial because it still contains all of the fiber, making it more of a meal. There are plenty of options to add to your smoothie, too: nuts, seeds, spices, nut milks, nut butters, powders…Smoothies can be jam packed with protein, fiber, complex carbs and healthy fats.

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If you’re scooping in a dollop of yogurt, consider coconut milk yogurt instead. It also has live, active cultures, and it’s delicious, dairy free, and unlike Greek yogurt, it isn’t harmful to the environment. This is one of many articles that explains the harmful role Greek yogurt plays in our environment: http://modernfarmer.com/2013/05/whey-too-much-greek-yogurts-dark-side/

 cocnut-milk-yogurt

So whichever you prefer, juicing or drinking smoothies, doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’ve made a conscious decision to improve your health, which in turn, will improve your happiness : )

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Recipe for Juice shown above:

  • 10 large carrots
  • 2 apples
  • 1/2 large beet
  • 1 inch piece of ginger

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Recipe for Simple Smoothie shown above:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup spinach
  • 1/2 cup almond milk*
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tsp spirulina
  • 1 Tsp acai powder

Add everything together and blend!

*If you don’t have almond milk, increase water to 1 cup.

Tips for juices and smoothies:

Juices –

  • Include stalks/stems when juicing leafy greens.  The juice mostly comes from this area; the leaves usually just wind up in the disposal area.
  • Different vegetables and fruits heal various ailments and conditions.  Research which fruits and veggies are best for your needs, or feel free to contact me.

Smoothies – 

  • Freeze fruits to make a more frosty smoothie – I peel, dice, and freeze bananas, mangoes, and pineapple
  • Be wary of adding bottled fruit juices; even juices that say 100% juice contain flavor packets and sit in factories for months at a time

Happy Drinking! What are some of your favorites to add to juices and smoothies?

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Author: Balanced Bella

Hi, I'm Jaime and I am the recipe tester, photographer, and writer at balanced bella! All my recipes are vegan, gluten free, and 100% delicious!

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