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Former model, author and mother-of-three Catherine McCord is a strong believer in the healing power of smoothies. She's stopping by TODAY to share her top smoothie tips and a few of her favorite healthy smoothie recipes from her cookbook "Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age." She shows us how to make a leafy greens and coconut smoothie, an immunity-boosting smoothie with turmeric, a peanut butter and banana smoothie and a blue smoothie with mango and algae.
Prepping smoothies: What to do in advance
If you're anything like me, you want to make smoothie prep as easy as possible. I created a few strategies to streamline my smoothie making that cut my prep time in half — maybe even more.
Weekly smoothie prep
Just as I do for dinner prep, I create lists of the smoothies I want to make in the coming week and then make sure I have all the ingredients on hand.
Smoothie ingredient list
Keep a list of your smoothie ingredient staples on your phone or in your pantry so you always know what you need to buy the next time you are at the store. Help maintain your stock and save money by signing up for recurring product subscriptions.
One of my favorite smoothie prep strategies came by way of my husband, after he calculated how much time he was spending pulling out and measuring his dry ingredients every day. Setting up smoothie jars ahead of time speeds up prep time when you're going to make your smoothies. Line up five or six mason jars (one for each day of the week that you plan to have a smoothie) and put an equal amount of each dry ingredient (seeds, nuts, powders) in each jar. This is good to do on a weekend morning, or when you're not rushing to get out the door for work and school. It's a great system, especially if you are drinking the same smoothie every day or if your recipe requires a lot of dry ingredients. Just grab a Mason jar from the fridge each morning and dump it in the blender with whatever fruit and veggies you have on hand.
I'm a big believer that if you fill your body up with nourishing ingredients before anything else, you will feel it from head to toe. When you drink this green machine, you have all of your bases covered: a handful of kale and spinach for a mild greens flavor and a ton of antioxidants, banana and date for just the right amount of sweetness, chia seeds for protein and omega-3 fatty acids, flax seeds for fiber and frozen coconut meat and coconut milk for healthy fat with plenty of coconut flavor.
My mother didn't allow my brother and me many sweets when we were kids, which only made me want them more. Once every few weeks my dad would shuffle us into the car and take us for ice cream as a treat. On extra-special occasions he'd let me get one of my favorite desserts: a classic banana split. I still crave a banana split every now and then, but, for a healthier option, I developed this smoothie that you can eat with a spoon. And if you want to take it to a whole other level, add any or all of the toppings for the ultimate healthful indulgence.
My kids call this the Smurf smoothie on account of its intense blue color, which only enhances its drinkability in their eyes, but trust me when I say that you don't need to be a kid to love it. The kid (and parent) in me rejoiced the day I discovered magical blue algae powder. It is an extract of spirulina and can naturally turn food a shade of blue I had thought impossible. While you may cringe at the thought of putting algae in your smoothie, the taste is completely masked. And it delivers 24% of your daily iron, containing even more than spinach and is believed to support joints and increase energy.
As soon as there's the slightest chill in the air, I start preparing for that time of year when everyone seems to fall prey to cold and flu season. Instead of stocking up on bottles of vitamins and kids' multi-gummies, I start reinforcing our immune systems with tons of resistance-building foods. This smoothie is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants and superfoods that kick your immune system into overdrive, improve your gut health and even help you feel better if you've already succumbed to the worst the season has to offer.
If you like those easy smoothie recipes, you should also try these: