When I first decided to make smoothies, I went crazy buying as many types of frozen fruit as I could find. This included:
As I mentioned, I love fruit, so I loaded up on pretty much all I could find. Vegetables, on the other hand, I decided to be a bit more conservative with, so I only started with 1 bag of frozen kale. I don't think I've ever really had kale before, so I had no idea what to expect with it.
I also decided to grab some juices (100% and with no added sugar, of course) to use as the liquid part of my smoothie. For the juice, I decided to focus on fruits/veggies that are harder to use whole such as:
- Passion fruit
Yes, I could buy apples and pears and cut them up, but my goal is to make smoothies in the morning right before I head to work and I don't want to take the time to do that, so juice it is!
I also decided to try a mixed fruit and veggie juice that Whole Foods had in their produce section. It's called Hawaiian Pear and it includes pineapple, pear, kale, spinach, and celery. The juice is actually quite good and it is the liquid in one of my favorite smoothies I've made so far (more on that later).
Since getting started, I've also added a few additional frozen fruits and veggies to my stash. On the fruit side, after buying the amazing Vitamix (more on that later as well), I bought blackberries and boysenberries, which I had previously shyed away from due to their seeds. After my new found love of kale - seriously it's great in pretty much every smoothie I've made - I also grabbed rainbow chard, spinach, collard greens, and I even found a bag of frozen beets!
In addition to fruits and veggies, I also often add aloe vera, flaxseed, and/or chia seeds to my smoothies. Aloe is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients and is supposed to aid in digestion; however drinking more than the recommended 2-4 oz can have adverse side effects. I pour a bit in before adding my main juice, so I don't add too much aloe. The flaxseed and chia seeds both boast micronutrients, fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids (I usually use one or the other in my smoothies).
I had some intial concerns with the chia seeds (remember how I mentioned that I hate seeds), but after taking a closer look I figured they'd be too small to bother me and they are! You do have to plan ahead though as they need to be soaked in water overnight, but shouldn't be left that way for longer than 24 hours or so.
These are the ingredients that got me started. Stay tuned to see some of my favorite recipes and some of my not-so-favorite recipes I've tried so far!