Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Minty Cucumber Honeydew Smoothie... I finished the challenge!
October brings to close my participation in the 30-Day Juicing Challenge of September. With goals of healthier eating and losing a few pounds, I am happy to report resounding success in both areas! More importantly, I now have a husband requesting his morning "Green Detox Super Drink" and kids who look forward to an after school blueberry or mango smoothie in place of chips and salsa or frozen burritos. While the official challenge may be over, our move towards healthier foods is not, and I'm ever so thankful to Teresa, of Eat. Drink and Be Skinny, for inspiring us to make better choices.
Closing out our month of smoothies and juices, I have one more new favorite to share, a lovely Minty Honeydew Cucumber Smoothie. With my mint plant continuing its takeover of my flower bed, I enjoyed snipping a few of his bountiful sprigs to flavor our morning drinks. Bringing a fresh, clean flavor, the mint combined with lime and sweet honeydew to bring an invigorating start to our day.
During September we shared a number of new smoothie favorites, and I in turn received a few emails and comments stating that juices and smoothies bring "too much sugar and calories into the diet". I absolutely agree that many smoothies on the market today truly resemble milkshakes more than any sort of health drink, however, I do believe that smoothies and blended fruit and veggie drinks can be a wonderful addition to one's diet - so long as they are used in moderation and with the proper ingredients.
For us, smoothies bring the addition of fruits and veggies that we wouldn't otherwise have had. My husband, not a huge salad fan, receives a nice dose of spinach or kale in his morning "Green Detox Super Juice", and my son, not a blueberry fan, amps up his antioxidants with a cupful of our Blueberry Cucumber Smoothie. That said, serving size is also an issue. We keep our serving sizes to about a cup to a cup and a half, thereby keeping the calorie count in check. Drinking pints of smoothie indeed throws the equation out of balance and yes, can bring too much of a good thing.
Personally, I prefer smoothies to juicing as blending a smoothie uses the entire fruit or vegetable thereby keeping the fiber in the serving. True, the fiber is broken down in the blending process and is not as intact as eating, say a salad, but much of it is still there in addition to vitamins from the skins and seeds (for example blueberries or kiwis).
In any case, this 30-Day Challenge resulted in a big success for my family and we've seen our fruit and veggie consumption increase in volume. Incorporating a few super foods, such as Camu Camu Powder, Flax Meal, chia seeds and Goji Berries has amped up our nutrition even more, and I'm enjoying the new flavor creations we've been experimenting with (well,most of them anyway...).
Thanks again to Teresa for making a difference for our family and for getting me in shape before my high school reunion. I'm keeping with the challenge for the foreseeable future... just because I like it.
Minty Honeydew Cucumber Smoothie
Fresh and clean, this minty green smoothie has been a fabulous start to our day!
1 1/2 Persian cucumber's, peeled and chopped
1 cup chopped honeydew melon
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp torn fresh mint leaves
2 tsp chia seeds (optional)
coconut water to thin as needed
Place all ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth, add a few tablespoons of coconut water if the mixture becomes too thick. (sometimes our melon was extra juicy and we didn't need the coconut water, other times we did... depends on the juice in the melon and cucumbers).
Garnish with a sprig of mint and enjoy!