Sunday, April 28, 2013

Vegan Smoothies for the Summer

I know, I know. I was going to post the next part in my philosophy and animal rights series, but I was at an exciting and exhausting forum in Toronto yesterday, so I don't really feel like philosophizing. Instead, I'll write about vegan smoothies. :)
Smoothies are incredibly easy to make. You don't always need a food processor to make a smoothie-- a simple hand blender or egg beater can work, or even a fork if you are using mushy ingredients (like bananas).
I like simple foods and easy preparation, so I typically have something like this:

Simple Vanilla-Banana Soy Shake\
  • 1 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • any flavouring you'd like (optional)
Put in a medium-sized cup or glass, blend with a hand blender and enjoy! (Sometimes I substitute the vanilla soy milk for chocolate soy milk. It is also very good.)

However, there are plenty of other great recipes that you can use for a bit of variety. I look forward to making one or both of these when I have the time and ingredients:

"Green Goddess Smoothie" from alive magazine
  • 1/2 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 cup packed chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup packed parsley
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup coconut water
"Place all ingredients in blender and blend until very smooth." -alive


Mango Banana Smoothie, edited version of recipe from
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
  • 15 oz. mango pulp (organic) or 1 to 1-1/2 fresh mangos
  • 3 bananas (organic)
  • 8-10 ice cubes
"Chop bananas and, if using fresh mangos, chop mangos.
Mix all ingredients in blender and blend till smooth. Will be ready from blender because of ice.
(optional: add about 1 to 2 teaspoons cinnamon for extra kick)."

Serves 3-6.
(Note: the original recipe called for a bit of sugar, but I took that out. Why would anyone want to ruin a good smoothie with refined sugar???)

You can always make your own vegan smoothie recipes, as well. It's simple. According to alive magazine, there are five categories of foods you should consider putting in your smoothie:
1) Fruits and/or vegetables (I recommend bananas, mango, blueberries, and pineapple. Kale, Swiss chard, and spinach seem to be good choices for vegetables)
2) Liquid (you could use water, juice, soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, etc.)
3) Thickener (including bananas, coconut meat, oats, vegan yoghurt, ice, or even nut butters!)
4) Flavour (sweeteners like maple syrup, agave nectar, dates, stevia, and coconut nectar; spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg; vanilla/peppermint/almond extract; fresh herbs like mint, parsley, and cilantro.)
5) Nutrition booster (such as vegan protein powder (Vega is a good one), chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries, etc.)
You don't have to add all these elements into your smoothie. You could just pick one or two and experiment with it, if you'd like.

If you want to veganize your friends and relatives, try blending them a nice, cool smoothie on a hot summer day. Even if they don't go vegan because of it, they'll still enjoy a cruelty-free snack that opens their mind to the idea of veganism. It all does add up, since the vegan smoothie that they enjoyed replaced the non-vegan snack that they might have eaten.
And besides, who doesn't love to drink smoothies?

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