I used to scorn the notion of drinking a smoothie in lieu of eating a meal. Such a thing struck me as emblematic of body anxiety masquerading as health-consciousness, supplanting pleasure with grim austerity.
Now that I’m older and wiser, I’ve moderated my views and discovered that there is, indeed, an appropriate time and place to drink your food.
At work, for instance. Working in a restaurant kitchen usually entails long hours of vigorous work without a break. Even though you’re expending a huge amount of energy, hastily scarfed odds and ends are usually all you get to eat. This is particularly hazardous when you make sweets and baked goods: it’s all too easy to eat nothing but cookies all day. Enter the smoothie: It’s a nutritious and healthy way to maintain your energy, prevent a crash, and keep your hands away from your mouth during service.
Smoothies are also a great option when you’re pressed for time, when you need energy but don’t have an appetite (an admittedly rare occurrence for me, but it has happened once or twice), and before or after a workout. Not only do you get to enjoy its cold fruity sweetness: you can pack it with greens and get a full serving (or more) of veggies in.
I like to make mine with frozen berries, bananas, yogurt, spinach or kale, flax seeds, and almond milk or juice. If I really need my smoothie to carry me through, I add coconut oil or peanut butter.
I’m glad I’ve been able to let go of my silly bias against smoothies and enjoy their many benefits. I won’t be convinced to add protein powder, however.