Healthy Fruit and Nut Smoothie

When I first started blending smoothies for the boys, the goal was simple – how do I get my boys to consume more fruits and veggies? Considering that the first smoothie I ever made for the boys was not tolerated well at all, I think we’ve made a lot of progress. G1 now looks forward to his smoothies as something enjoyable and G2 drinks a whole glass without fuss. The boys have had spinach, carrots, beetroot, tomato, cucumber, celery, and wheatgrass in their smoothies without complaint. G1, who doesn’t like bananas, drinks smoothies with bananas. G2, who hates apples, drinks smoothies with apples.

Now that they have tolerated their fruit and veggie smoothies so well, I figured it was time to start expanding their palates again by testing more “new” ingredients. The hope is that through the introduction of new flavours into their smoothies, they might one day accept the actual food in its unmasked flavour.

Testing new ingredients is always a tediously slow process because you can only add one new ingredient at a time. So far, we’ve added chia seeds, flaxseed, oats, grain powder, and nutmilks. However, after reading about carrageenan in nutmilks, I decided we should try to add the actual nut rather than a nutmilk.

See also: Is Carrageenan Safe?

Adding Nuts to Smoothies

The concern about adding nuts to a smoothie is the concern that it might affect the texture of the smoothie making it gritty. The best way to overcome this problem is to soak the nuts before blending them. Apparently, soaking is also a great way to improve the nutritional value of the nuts – bonus! Soaking also helps to remove natural toxins from the nut that can otherwise cause bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort associated with the consumption of nuts.

Soaking Time

The Blender Girl has a terrific chart for recommended soaking times for various grains, nuts, and seeds. We started with almonds, cashews and walnuts:

  • almonds – 8 to 12 hours
  • cashews – 2 to 4 hours
  • walnuts – 4 hours

After soaking, wash the nuts before adding them into your smoothie.

Nutritional Benefits

Nuts are nutritious and a great way to give your smoothie a nutrient boost. Here are some of the nutritional benefits of nuts we use in our smoothies:

  • Almonds
    • rich in dietary fiber
    • vitamins – vitamin E, B-complex (riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates)
    • minerals – manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium
    • phyto-chemicals – protects against diseases and cancers
    • mono-unsaturated fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids that help in lowering LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increasing HDL or “good cholesterol” in the human body
  • Cashews
    • vitamins – pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1)
    • minerals – manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium
    • rich in “heart-friendly” monounsaturated-fatty acids like oleic, and palmitoleic acids
    • zea-xanthin – an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant which protects the eyes
  • Walnuts
    • phyto-chemical – substances that may contribute to their overall anti-oxidant activity, including melatonin, ellagic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, and poly-phenolic compounds
    • monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all important omega-3 essential fatty acids like linoleic acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids
    • vitamins – vitamin E, B-complex (riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates)
    • minerals – manganese, copper, potassium, calcium, iron,magnesium, zinc, and selenium

More benefits of nuts

Quantity of Nuts

Although nuts are highly nutritious, you can have too much of a good thing. In our smoothies, we only add one serve of nuts:

Nut Smoothies

Cashew Nut, Chia Seed and Fruit Smoothie

This was one of the first nut smoothies we tried. Cashews are terrific for giving smoothies an added creaminess and a great first nut to try.

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple
  • 1 orange
  • 5 frozen strawberries
  • 1 tsp supersprout strawberry
  • 1 tsp supersprout blueberry
  • 1 tsp supersprout apple
  • 1 tsp supersprout wheatgrass
  • 1/3 of a large carrot
  • 1 large banana
  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 c farmfresh mango yoghurt drink
  • 1 large handful of grapes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds, soaked for 4 hours
  • 30g cashew nuts (approx 17 cashews), soaked for 4 hours

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