Why Chronicle Smoothies??

Why Chronicle Smoothies? Well, because I love smoothies. And I believe that smoothies are worthy of plenty of love. And I think it's fun to experiment, and share my experience with other like-minded smoothie fanatics.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sweet Sweet Sergeant Pepper

Props to my dear husband for this creation. It's great, because he's gutsier than I am (in his own words, when I asked him what's in it, he said "Everything but the kitchen sink"), and he's starting to get really adept at smoothie creation... It is an art, you know... My husband has been working really hard lately to get back in shape and lose a few pounds, and one of the things he's been doing is incorporating fresh, raw veggies into every single meal. Smoothies are a great way to mix it up (hehehe, yes I'm so punny) rather than always munching on celery sticks. I'm not dissing celery sticks, though, I swear, but you all know where my loyalties lay. So stay strong, because this concoction has some interesting goodies in it:

2 bananas
2 apples
1 avocado
1 cup balkan style yoghurt
1 handful red grapes
1 handful baby carrots
1 handful sweet peas
3 small sweet yellow peppers
1 handful broccoli
2 cups orange juice

One of the notable things about this smoothie is the lovely fragrance. You really don't notice how sweet those peppers smell until you put them into a smoothie. I have to admit, the flavour takes a little getting used to, but really, it's surprisingly nice once you give it a chance. Smoothies are a lot like life in that way, sometimes it's a little hard to get out of your comfort zone, but once you do, you reap the rewards. Smoothie on everyone, be gutsy!

Let me know what you thought of this smoothie in the comments below!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Truly Grape

I must confess, today's smoothie wasn't exactly an original creation... Between you and me, yesterday's smoothie was so filling that I couldn't drink it all, and so I used the left-over glass as a starter for today's. Yeah, that's right, I'm allowed to cheat on my own blog!!

Well, no, I don't really think I'm breaking the rules here. I actually think one of the greatest things about smoothies is that there really are no rules - everything goes. I mean, all I did was add some goodies, and today's smoothie was completely different from yesterday's.

1 glass of yesterday's smoothie
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 handful red grapes
1 cup orange juice
1 large stalks celery

Now celery is fantastic in smoothies, but you have to watch it because it can take over in the flavor department. When using celery, I found that 1 large stalk per blender or juicer full is about my limit, but I suggest you experiment by starting small.

I'm excited about this post, because this is my first time posting from my iPhone, so we'll see how it goes...

Let me know what you thought about this smoothie in the comments area below, smoothie on, everyone!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Thai Smoothie

This has got to be one of the yummiest smoothies I have ever made. Inspired by flipping through Thai recipes, and by thinking of more fun ways to incorporate coriander into my smoothies (it seems like I can never use up a big bunch of coriander fast enough before the last few leaves start to brown, and it just breaks my heart to waste the beautiful stuff), this smoothie is definitely a success.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1 lime, peeled
handful fresh coriander leaves and stems
1/2 avocado
1/2 cup frozen mango pieces
1 slice watermelon
1 can (400ml) coconut milk
1 1/2 cup pineapple juice

For this post I did my homework on coconut milk. It's a good source of manganese, iron, vitamin C, calcium, and Omega 3 (see Self Nutrition Data for more info), but it also has a heck of a lot of saturated fat in it, which isn't that great. In future smoothies, I might use the coconut milk in a lesser quantity for that reason. Although I have to say, this is a very filling smoothie, and foods with fat in them do help us get enough of that "satisfied" feeling so that we don't over eat...

As always, comments are welcome, Smoothie on!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Why Smoothies Rock

Since I have been on the go since 8am today and I didn't manage to fit in a smoothie, I thought today might be a great day to write about Why Smoothies Rock.

Firstly I'd like to thank everyone who has been following, supporting and commenting on this blog, whether on facebook, twitter, or wherever. The support has been overwhelming, especially hearing about people's experiences with my recipes, and how they have been inspired to smoothie on and to eat healthier. From the first day that I started writing this blog, it has been a wonderful spiral - inspiring me to keep my creative juices flowing and come up with fun, tasty concoctions every day. Thanks, all!

So what's so great about smoothies? Well, if quick, easy, and nutritious isn't enough, I have some more reasons to add. There is one thing I'd like to be clear on, so that there aren't any misunderstandings here. I for one ADORE cooking. I mean, I am passionate about my food, and I won't hesitate to toil all afternoon chopping and preparing for a Thai meal or a home-made pasta dish. I don't mind spending time cooking, in fact, I relish it (hehe, no pun intended) (yes, that was me laughing at my own unintended pun). So although smoothies are quick and easy, I don't use them as a way to cheat out of cooking, but they most certainly are a fantastic way to ensure that I'm getting all the fresh/raw fruits and veg that I require into my daily diet.

Another thing that's great about smoothies, is that some things are actually nutritionally best for us in the form of a smoothie. Leafy, green vegetables such as kale can actually be difficult for human beings to digest raw, and pulverizing them in a smoothie makes the nutrients more readily digestible.

Smoothie vs. Juice - the final word. Honestly, I used to be a juicing fanatic. And there are still many fabulous things about juicing. A beautiful, rich fruit and vegetable juice can be hard to beat. The reason why the smoothie gets my vote most of the time is that when you juice you lose most of the fiber. This is negative in a few ways: (a) most of us don't get enough fiber in our diets to begin with, now we're chucking it out instead of getting it in our system, (b) fiber helps fill us up, so when we don't eat it we feel hungrier sooner, even if our nutritional requirements are met by the juice, and (c) unless you have a bunch of eager horses or chickens, you're wasting a lot of good, wholesome food by juicing.

Finally, and this might just be me, creating new, fun, exciting smoothies is a blast. I never tire of it. Just when you think you've thrown everything you could think of into a blender together (and believe me, I have had that thought), you get inspiration from the oddest source. And to tell you the truth, I haven't made too many gross smoothies... yet...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brown Is The New Black

Ok I'm not going to lie, when I first laid eyes on this smoothie the color worried me a teensy bit. Today's creation was all Mike, and let me tell you, it was surprisingly delicious - nutty, sweet and creamy. Trust....... and enjoy!

(PS this ended up being a humongous smoothie, enough for 4 servings)

2 bananas
1/4 watermelon
1 cup mixed frozen berries
1 cup yoghurt
1 cup pineapple juice
1 handful sunflower seeds
6 or so baby carrots
2 stalks celery
4 pieces broccoli
1 tablespoon Salba®

For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Salba is (straight from their site, by the way) "the richest whole food source of Omega 3 fatty acids and fibre found in nature. Every serving (12 grams or approximately 2 flat tablespoons) of Salba® provides over 2,400 mg of Omega 3s, over 4,500 mg of dietary fibre, with less than 0.5 net carbohydrates per serving. Gram for gram, Salba® provides six times more calcium than whole milk, three times more iron than spinach, and fifteen times more magnesium than broccoli. Salba® is all-natural, has no trans-fats, is gluten free, has almost no carbohydrates, and is certified Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)."

Salba is actually a registered brand name for the seed of the Chia, or Salvia hispanica plant. For more info check out the Salba website, or the wiki. Smoothie on!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Berry Bonanza

This lilac beauty is as yummy as it looks. I'm starting to feel a little better, so I've indulged my yoghurt craving today with this smoothie.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1/2 cup strawberries
3/4 cup blueberries
3/4 cup yoghurt
1 cup pineapple juice

Cucumbers are fun in smoothies, because you really can't tell they're there unless you put a heck of a lot it, and they're nice and juicy. They're also a good source of Vitamin A, Pantothenic Acid, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Manganese, and a very good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Potassium, according to Self Nutrition Data, a great site for finding out what really is in your food.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


It's amazing what one plum did for this smoothie!! Sweet, purple, smooth, and yummy. Still trying to beat this cold, so I stayed away from the yoghurt today.

1 banana
1/2 large cucumber
1 green apple
1 small orange
1 lime
1/2 cup cold water
1 plum

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cold Buster

As you can probably tell from the name of today's smoothie, I have a fierce cold today. This smoothie is my attempt to banish it. I used lots of citrus here, and veggies, and honey. I stayed away from yoghurt since dairy products can increase mucous production, and avoided making it too sweet by using lots of fruits.

1 banana
1 lime
1/2 lemon
1 orange (that I mistook for a grapefruit...woops)
1/2 cucumber
2 sticks celery
4-5 leaves of sorrel
1 tbsp honey

Honey is great, in that it has lots of vitamins and minerals in it, as well as antioxidants. I found a cool site here that seems to be a pretty comprehensive guide to everything honey, check it out here. Smoothie on!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Zingy Speckle

The first thing I'd like to point out about today's smoothie is the fragrance... it just smells incredible (all you other coriander addicts out there will immediately understand what I'm saying here). And yes, it tastes just as lovely as it smells, and it really looks pretty, too, with all sorts of different colored speckles in it. Here are the ingredients:

1 small banana
1/2 medium cucumber (unpeeled)
large handful of red grapes
1 apple, cored
1 lime, peeled
1 handful of coriander leaves and stems, washed carefully (important step - it tends to be full of earth, which is very grainy in a smoothie)
1 cup pineapple juice
1 splash (maybe a 1/4 to 1/2 cup) grapefruit juice

Coriander, Coriandrum sativum (also known as cilantro) is a fascinating herb to me - mainly because of people's incredibly strong feelings towards it. No one seems to be like "Coriander, meh.". It's always either "Holy guacamole I LOVE the stuff!!! Inject it into my eyeballs, maaan!!!", or "Don't let it even touch the rest of my food, it'll contaminate everything and make it all taste like soap". In addition to its use as a fragrant herb, of course it has plenty of nutritional and medicinal value. It's great for the digestive system, and the bruised seed can even be applied externally as a poultice to help with joint pain. The leaves are full of antioxidants, too. Smoothie on!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Krisz' Peanut Butter Cup Surprise

Yesterday when I was telling my friend Krisz about my new smoothie blog, she shared with me her new fave smoothie recipe, and ladies and gents, it's a winner. She uses a standard blender for this mix - half a banana, 2 big tablespoons of organic peanut butter (no sugar or anything added), a spoonful of honey, about half a blender full of milk, and one ice cube. The most important part of this recipe, Krisz insisted, are the proportions, which I discovered for myself today when trying it out.

I was really excited to try this recipe, particularly because the first thing I did was throw some unsalted roasted peanuts into my Vitamix and turn them into my own home-made peanut butter.... This smoothie is absolutely amazingly delicious, and packs a great protein punch, and is the perfect cure to a chocolate bar craving.

As we all know, legumes in our diet are incredibly important, and peanuts are no exception. Full of protein, vitamins and trace minerals, peanuts have been shown to be great for the heart. Something that I didn't know until I did my homework, is that peanuts have lots of oleic acid in them (like olives), and actually rival the antioxidant content of many fruits. To my surprise, roasting them has actually been shown to increase antioxidant content by 22%! So peanut butter is great, but to be clear, I don't believe that applies to peanut butter that is so processed and full of sugar that in my opinion it cancels out whatever might be good about the peanuts... I'm talking about peanut butter with only one ingredient in it... Peanuts (go figure). FYI the peanut butter I made this morning was so delicious and creamy that you'd barely be able to tell the difference between it and the store-bought sugary brand. Do beware of the proportions in this recipe, as I added a bit too much peanut butter, so my smoothie was a bit thick and intense... Nothing a shot of milk didn't fix, mind you. But talk about fill you up!! I'm half way through my smoothie, and I'm full. Smoothie on, everyone!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Kermit D. Smoothie

Ok folks, today we're getting a little bolder and starting to bring out the big guns. Just trust me here, because this smoothie is absolutely delicious and sweet. So what we have here is half a medium cucumber from the garden, a couple of small celery stalks also from the garden, a handful of frozen strawberries and frozen left-over mango from yesterday's smoothie, a banana, an apple, about a cup of pineapple juice, and a few leaves of malabar spinach to top it all off.

Remember when I told you we'll get to some of the finer points of the Vitamix vs. standard blenders debate? Well, here's one of the main reasons. I don't know if any of you have ever tried to include apples in one of your standard blender smoothies. Or celery or spinach, for that matter. Well, what happens is that since those are pretty hard, fibrous creatures, your smoothie usually ends up pretty chunky, and I don't know about you, but I think that's kinda yucky. In a Vitamix, however, you just turn it up to high and leave it for about a minute, and you have the smoothest, fluffiest drink imaginable. We'll discuss the further advantages of that fact a little later on, but for now, if you have a standard blender, for this smoothie I suggest you omit the apple and celery, and maybe give the spinach a shot...

I thought I'd tell you a little bit about Malabar Spinach, or Basella alba today, even though you could just as easily swap it for regular spinach in this recipe. I'd never heard about this spinach (also known as Asian Spinach) until this year when I was introduced to it by my favorite exotic plant breeder as a perennial, climbing spinach, which sounded really, really cool to me. It's a really pretty plant, as you can see, and though the leaves are a bit smaller and thicker, and don't taste exactly the same, I've found it to be a great, easy-to-grow- spinach replacement, which doesn't bolt in the heat, so I love it.

Nutritionally, it's exactly what you'd expect from spinach: high in iron, calcium and vitamins A and C, packing quite a punch of protein per calorie. And when you put it in the blender, you get all that wonderful soluble fiber, too. Enjoy the smoothie, everyone!

Friday, September 10, 2010


I must say, I am especially proud of today's smoothie, it is absolutely sensational, and looks delightful to boot. The Lean-Green-Nutrition-Machine has a small cucumber from my garden, about a half a cup of Balkan style yoghurt, about a half a cup of fresh mango (I usually use the frozen stuff because it's both convenient and consistently fresh and ripe, but the fresh ones looked nice today so I grabbed one), a splash of orange juice, and last but not least, a handful of leaves of sorrel from my garden. It's nice and sweet, and the sorrel leaves give it a bit of a lemony tang. If you don't have any sorrel, I'm sure arugula would do the trick.

Sorrel, or Rumex acetosa, is considered to be much like spinach in that it is said to have blood-cleansing and improving qualities. It's got iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, some calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and dietary fiber in it, but because it's relatively high in oxalates, sorrel leaves shouldn't be over done by anyone who is prone to kidney stones or arthritis. It's also super easy to grow, and will grow all year long in a pot. Left outside it's a perennial, so it'll just keep coming back with a vengeance. Here in eastern Ontario it can get a little hot for it; I don't get many leaves in high summer, but in spring and fall I'm treated to beautiful fresh young leaves. I'm going to try putting some in a pot this winter, I'll let you know how that goes. (PS It's also really good in soup, but I digress...I just can't help myself)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


So today for our first smoothie together, I decided to be a bit of a purist. Start simple, and all that... So the ingredients are a large, pretty ripe banana, frozen blueberries, Balkan style yoghurt, and a mix of orange and grapefruit juice. Delicious and nutritious as it, isn't the colour purty??

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Secret Smoothie Weapon

Before beginning our smoothie journey together, I think it's important to have a little chat about an appliance that I find INDISPENSABLE in my smoothie crusade. In fact, the word "appliance" doesn't quite capture the magic... This thing, in my opinion, is a smoothie game changer. Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you (drum roll please)..... the VitaMix!

Look, I'm not saying that you can't make a perfectly awesome smoothie in your standard blender, because you absolutely can. But the power that this machine has allows it to literally pulverize things that you never before would consider putting into a smoothie (more on this in later posts).

The mixes that I'm experimenting with on this blog may not succeed quite as well in a regular blender, but I'll attempt to offer ingredient substitutions as often as I can. See you tomorrow with our first smoothie together!