Homemade blended fruit and vegetable drinks are an excellent way to consume daily vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients needed for proper health and physical functions. They can be enjoyed any time of day and make particularly excellent breakfasts, requiring minimal preparation and zero cooking. These whole, healthy beverages are also great for seniors who may have issues with chewing pieces of fruit or vegetables, or for anyone experiencing mouth pain (skip the ice, if that is the case).
Blending whole fruits and vegetables (removing any pits, seeds, peels) is best because the resulting beverages maintain their fibre benefits. Dietary fibre comes in two types: soluble and insoluble, and it’s found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. You’ll want to eat a variety of sources to get a lot of both kinds. All fibre helps with healthy digestion, maintaining a healthy weight, and lowering one’s risk for heart disease and diabetes. Juicing leaves the good, fibrous flesh of the veggies and fruit behind, which is wasting an essential, healthy component. Using a high-powered blender isn’t necessary to make these recipes, but it will provide the best, smoothest results. Those who enjoy thicker pulp can use a lower setting, and additional water, milk, nut milk, and 100% real juice, can be added as enhancements.
Preparing fresh, plant-based foods at home with the advice of one’s physician or home health care services means great health is convenient and easy from the comfort of home. Ask your or your family member’s Caregiver or primary physician which ingredients are best for your or their dietary needs, taking allergies and sensitivities into account.
Fresh juice bars are popular but be wary of any that add too much extra sugar and sweeteners, that serve heavy amounts of fruit juice, or that do not use whole ingredients.
Here are three easy recipes to try at home:
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 1 banana, peeled, sliced, and frozen
- 1 mango, skinned and chunked
- 5 large strawberries, hulled
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
- 2 cups of fresh kale
- 1 cup of water
- 1 cup of cranberries
- 2 oranges (peeled)
- 2 bananas
Blend the kale and water until smooth.
Next, add the remaining fruits, and blend again.
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (organic, if possible)
- ½ to 1 whole medium banana (frozen is good)
- 1 cup of shredded red cabbage
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ to 1 cup of ice
Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, using as much ice as needed for desired consistency.
When not preparing your own beverage, remember to ask about added sweeteners and other ingredients that are used to boost flavours but are bad for your health. A bit of honey or all-natural sweeteners are better than refined sugar or corn syrup. Not all smoothies are made the same! When making any significant dietary change, be sure to consult your healthcare provider. Notify personal Caregivers helping with grocery ordering or shopping about the desire for making whole, blended beverages.