It’s summertime, which means lots of delicious berries.
I recently attended a training on nutrition and mental health (for counselors), and it got me thinking about how I could easily introduce more healthy foods into my day. I don’t like fish, and tree nuts are out because of the food allergies, which means I don’t get a lot of omega-3s. (It’s okay if you want to tune out the nutrition nitty-gritty details here, I usually do). Anyway, those of us with food restrictions and picky palates can easily miss out on important aspects of our nutrition. For me, an easy fix to this is adding in ground flax seed to my diet. Doesn’t bother me, and it tastes kind of nutty, so I’m all for it! Also, blueberries are really good for you. So I decided I should eat more blueberries.
If there’s something you find you are missing in your diet, there may be an easy way to introduce it. Even for the most complicated of eaters. (One more complication for me: in the summertime, I get Oral Allergy Syndrome, which means that fresh fruits and veggies can make my lips swell up with hives because of the pollination process. The solution? Cook the fruits and veggies first.)
I don’t love the idea of adding supplements instead of real food, but I do love the idea of making healthy food easier. Which is why I decided to do some berry-smoothie prep.
So here’s what I did: cooked up some berries in a delicious manner, immersion-blended them, and froze the results in ice cube trays. It’s amazing what you can do with ice cube trays. The freezer is a lazy healthy person’s best friend. Now I can make healthy smoothies that won’t give me Kardashian lips! And I don’t have to rush to eat 30 smoothies in a week before the berries go bad.
Here’s how it’s done:
FIRST, the berry cubes.
Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a pot with a dash of cinnamon and a little splash of vanilla. Add a bunch of blueberries and strawberries, simmer on low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Next, either use an immersion blender to puree, or transfer to a blender to puree.
Let the whole thing cool and then pour into ice cube trays to freeze.
SECOND, to make Johanna’s healthy berry smoothie:
Into a blender add several berry cubes, a glug of milk, a healthy squirt of honey, a cup of your favorite yogurt, and 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of ground flax seed. And a bit of peanut butter if you’d like. Bananas optional. Blend, add some more water or milk for the right thickness, and YUM.
Berries. Berry cubes. And berry smoothies.