Today, a very, very, very brief history of smoothies.
(For the long version visit Healthy Smoothie Headquarters.)
Smoothies have been around for centuries, appearing in different cultures throughout the world. In South America, it was a “fruit slush”. Mediterranean and Eastern cultures began serving pureed fruit drinks prior to the 1900’s. The “Orange Julius” appeared in the U.S. around the 1920’s, when a man with a sensitive stomach wanted a way to enjoy fresh orange juice.
In the 1930’s, refrigerators began appearing in American homes,
this allowed for frozen food, fruit and fresh milk in the kitchen.
The first Waring blender popped up in 1935.
The combination of refrigeration and blenders created smoothie growth and experimentation during the 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.
In the 60’s, smoothies were officially born. Healthy eating and juicing appeared on television for the first time courtesy of Jack Lalanne – a well known body builder.
Meanwhile, hippies are credited as the first to coin the term “smoothies” to describe fruit and juice based drinks they were consuming.
In the 70’s, a lactose intolerant young man “branded” the hippie’s term, and opened a business where people could get an alternative to the milkshake. The young man couldn’t help but notice how the drinks positively effected his allergies and blood sugar levels. His smoothie drinks were a hit with the health conscious hippies, and he became known as the “smoothie king”.
Smoothies are thick, shake type drinks filled mainly with fruit or vegetables and other nutrient dense ingredients. They make wonderful options for a meal or a snack when made with natural items. I like a smoothie in the evening as an alternative to a bag of cookies. I might only get a few less calories, but the calories I get are packed with nutrients and they satisfy my craving for a sweet.
The best smoothies are made with natural, nutrient-dense ingredients which provide vitamins and oils necessary for complete nutrition. Fat is required for biological functions and is burned by the body for energy. A truly healthy smoothie should have some dietary fat for the body to use in absorbing the vitamins. Check out this link to a bazillion different types of beautiful, colorful, healthful smoothies on Pinterest. (The page itself reminds me of Spring.)
Smoothies are better than multi-vitamins. Daily “multi-vitamins” aren’t regulated by the FDA and are not proven beyond the shadow of a doubt to have significant health benefits. Daily vitamins can be better than nothing for a diet suffering from malnutrition, but they lack fiber. Fiber is important for regulating blood sugar, keeping bowels regular, aiding in hunger control, and it may help prevent certain types of cancers. Bottom line, the best way to get nutrition is still from food, specifically fruits and vegetables. Consuming a healthful smoothie every day can give a person most of their nutrition in one dose.
I am no smoothie expert and I rarely drink green- colored smoothies For me, green is the new purple. My smoothies have plenty of green in them, but there are far more berries which results in a purple color and a sweeter taste – much more pleasing to the eye, and much more palatable for the tongue.
Here is the recipe and nutrition information for my smoothie (which my partner created) – Berry antioxidant smoothie with Kale and spinach. Check it out, try it or create your own.
It’s berry, berry good!