This really isn’t a recipe as much as a method. After all, all you have to do really is stick things in a blender and mix it up. Not much of a recipe to that. But, since these yummy drinks are filled with inflammation fighting ingredients like berries, green leafy vegetables, flax, and nuts, getting in the habit of drinking these daily is a great idea and will help you feel better faster!
It’s also a super way to get yourself to eat a variety of vegetables that you might not eat otherwise. If you use enough fruit in it, you’ll honestly never even know the vegetables are in there!
My kids beg for these smoothies. They simply adore them, vegetables and all. I’ve even had kids at my house who are super picky eaters and never, ever touch fresh produce and live on Lunchables and pizza and Bagel Bites every day of their lives…and they’ve loved them too. I serve them along with popcorn when the kids have friends over for a movie night, and they all think it’s a “treat.” You have no idea how satisfying it is to see this drink get eagerly sucked in by kids who I know eat nothing but junk at other times!
All that’s involved is combining a variety of fruits, vegetables, and liquid in a blender and pureeing until smooth. That’s all there is to it. You can use whatever you want, but intentionally adding inflammation fighting ingredients turns it into a Pain Fighting SuperSmoothie!
With my blender I find I need to make sure I always use enough liquid or it seizes up on me. I suggest starting with the nuts with some liquid and just a little of the fruit, and then adding things a bit at a time, along with liquid, to keep things moving. As you go along, stick a straw in the blender and taste it, adjusting the ingredients accordingly.
If you make too much for you to drink in one sitting, just freeze for another day!
- Use whatever fruits are in season, and frozen ones out of season. In the winter I use bags of frozen berries, either from the grocery store or ones that I’ve frozen in the summer. When using frozen, just make sure no sugar has been added.
- Apples and pears will give good bulk to the smoothie, and are good fresh fruit choices in the winter.
- Fruits that I generally use, frozen or fresh and in varying combinations, are apples, pears, pineapple, mango, berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries), kiwi, and peaches. Occasionally I’ll use papaya and pomegranate. In the summer I’ll also use melons, cherries, apricots and plums and other seasonal fruits. You can use whatever you want!
- Add dates in for some extra sweetness. They’re naturally super sweet!
- Dried fruit can be really good, but just make sure it’s not sweetened. Sometimes that can be hard to find.
- If you’re not sure how to cut up a pineapple, read my tutorial!
- I tend to stay away from bananas in smoothies, as I find the banana flavor overwhelms the other fruits and makes it all taste banana-y, but that’s just my preference.
- Using frozen fruits makes the smoothie cold and slushy, but can also be hard on your blender. Add only a small bit at a time, and wait until it’s done before adding more.
- Particularly focus on berries, as they’re great inflammation fighters
- The sweeter the fruit is, the sweeter the smoothie will be, so use fully ripe fruit!
- You can use any vegetable that doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor. Stay away from using vegetables like radishes or peppers (unless, of course, that’s the flavor you’re going for.)
- Use dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, rainbow chard, etc. every time. They’re super for fighting inflammation and full of great vitamins and minerals. You don’t taste it at all, I swear.
- Other vegetables I commonly use are cucumbers, carrots, celery, and beets. Just a tiny amount of beet will turn the whole thing a pretty red – which is good when the color is a little unappetizing green-gray from the spinach! Butternut squash is also great and I use it a lot in the fall – it’s slightly sweet and so goes well with all the fruit!
- At first, put some of the veggies in, taste, and then adjust. If it tastes too vegetable-y for your tastes, add more fruit or toss in a couple dates. But add as much vegetables as possible. You should be able to increase the amount as time goes on and your taste buds adapt.
- Use unsweetened fruit juice to sweeten it up, but try to limit how much clear juice you use. Clear fruit juices are too easily converted to sugar in your body and can cause inflammation flare-ups, so try to stick to unfiltered , unsweetened juices. It should look opaque in the bottle because there’s still pulp in it – you shouldn’t be able to see through it. Apple cider is good, and I’m loving V8’s line of V-Fusion juices. (pictured above) They’re unfiltered and loaded with great flavor.
- Taste the smoothie as you go along and stop as soon as it’s sweet enough. You don’t want to overdo the juice. I find that tossing in a couple dates often does the trick when I want it sweeter, so try that first, and then only add more juice after that if you have to.
- If it’s sweet enough but it still needs to be liquified more, then add water. I’ve also used coconut water when I’ve had it on hand.
- If you soak dates to use them as a sweetener, save the water! This date water is good for adding in as the liquid in smoothies.
- Plain unsweetened Greek yogurt
- Ground flax seeds (flax meal) – flax is a WONDERFUL inflammation fighter. I use it in every single smoothie and never even know it’s there.
- Nuts, such as almonds, pecans, walnuts, and brazil nuts – all of which are great at fighting inflammation. Almonds also help even out blood sugar that might spike due to all the fruit and fruit juice. Put them in at the beginning so that they get ground up smoothly. I soak my almonds to make them softer – easier to digest and to blend up. Just soak them overnight in a bowl of water, and then drain and store in the refrigerator.
- Pepitas (pumpkin seeds), also an inflammation fighter
- Dash of cinnamon – cinnamon adds flavor and also helps even out blood sugar that might spike due to all the fruit and juice
- Coconut milk (read the label and make sure it’s only coconut milk with no sweeteners.)
(This was part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday so you can go there for more great ideas!)