“I like it. Because it’s very, very sweet and it’s smushy.”
That’s exactly what my 3-year old said when I asked her to describe “mommy’s smoothie.” Little does she know, it is packed full of essential immune-boosting vitamins from berries, spinach, kale, and other ingredients.
Last winter, I grew tired of paying top dollar for fresh organic berries. I gave each of my kids a couple handfuls of fresh berries every morning with their breakfast. That being said, I loved the fact that neither one of my children ages 3 and under had anything worse than a runny nose throughout the entire winter season. And last winter was the first one in which we decided to forgo the flu shot. And did I mention that both of my kids go to daycare? I am convinced now more than ever that organic berries boost immunities. So I spent several days over the Summer picking organic berries. I picked, froze and stockpiled fresh organic blackberries, strawberries, blueberries and raspberries all Summer long.
As the days have become shorter, the weather cooler, and colds more prevalent, I have begun putting my berries, and blender, to use. Surprisingly enough, I have even managed to add in other healthful goodies into our smoothies, and my kids keep begging me for them every single day. As of the past few weeks, I have made smoothies for my kids 2-3 times per week and supplement non-smoothie days with Nordic Naturals chewable multivitamins.
Immune-Boosting Green Smoothie
~2 cups of organic apple juice as a base at the bottom of the blender
1-2 handfuls frozen organic raspberries, blueberries, blackberries and/or strawberries – I usually use 3 of these 4 berries in each smoothie
1-2 long pieces of organic kale
1 c frozen organic spinach (or dark leaf lettuce)
1/3 cup of flax seed meal
1 TBL Arctic Cod Liver Oil (fish oil) – Stored in the refrigerated Health foods section at the grocery store. We use Nordic brand. It smells like lemons to me!
Any other fruit you’d like to throw in (peeled oranges, pineapple, apple slices, canteloupe/honeydew, grapes, etc.)
I start by adding 1-2 handfuls of berries. After the berries are well blended, I take out a long piece or two of kale, wash it/them, and throw in the blender whole. Then, I add the frozen spinach. Next, I add the flax seed meal and Cod fish liver oil. Then I add in other fruit like pineapple, peeled oranges, canteloupe, honeydew, apples, basically whatever fruit I have in the house.
If you’re making this smoothie for the first time, it might help to put the smoothie in a sippie cup or thermos with a straw that your kids cannot see through. The color of your smoothie should be dark purplish/greenish and not very appealing looking. However, the taste is AMAZING. Once your kids try one, they’ll be standing by the blender, watching every step, and super excited the next time you make one.
A few additional notes:
I keep the lid over the top of the blender as I dump stuff in and keep the motor running. As I throw ingredients into the blender, it tends to splash, so make sure to keep that lid close to the top to avoid a huge smoothie blowout. I have found that if you put all the frozen stuff in at the same time and then turn on the blender, the frozen stuff will probably get stuck in the blade at the bottom.
The only thing I would not recommend adding is a beet. I haven’t used them in smoothies, but I know people who have and they said that beets can completely ruin a smoothie. No offense to beets, they are extremely healthy for you. However, if you want your kids to try, like, and beg for your smoothies, they need to taste sweet!
I add fish oil to the smoothies once a week for the kids. You will probably want to discuss the fish oil with your pediatrician to determine how often to incorporate it into your child’s smoothie.
Do you make smoothies in your house?
What ingredients do you use/recommend?
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