Looking for a quick and easy way to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet? Start with your blender!

Juicing vs. Blending

Juicing is very popular today and can definitely give you juices packed full of vitamins and minerals. But one downside is you lose the rich fiber we get from whole fruits and vegetables. An alternative approach is to simply blend the whole produce for the rich nutrients as well as retention of fiber content.

The right equipment

Buying a high speed blender can be a wonderful tool to make it easy to incorporate blended fruits and vegetables into your diet. A traditional blender will work as well, but the high speed blenders are better for pureeing fresh fruits and vegetables for a creamy, delicious drink. In addition, their uses may include making nut butters or grinding coffee to a fine consistency. Of course, be cautious of the different purposes you may use your blender for as you may not want a crossover in the flavors.

There are many on the market with a wide range of price points. The Vitamix is a wonderful high end blender. If you want to make the investment, it will be a tool that will last you for years. There are other brands - Ninja, Hamilton Beach, and Blendtec. In addition, a lower priced blender the NutriBullet is a small but very useful tool.

As much as I would love to have a Vitamix, I purchased a NutriBullet some time ago. I thought it would be a good way to make it a habit of consuming healthful smoothies without a large investment and it doesn't take up too much space in my small kitchen. It does not have the power of the higher end models, so the end product will not be as fine, but even the less expensive models can do a good job and better than your standard blender.

Cooking simply

I am always looking for ways to simplify my cooking. As much as I enjoy cooking, the time I hope for is not always available. The high speed blender has several benefits:

Minimize chopping to make a fruit and vegetable smoothie or soup.
Creamy finished product because the product is pureed leaving no chunks behind.
Saves time - no need to peel produce first, the blender will pulverize the skins too.
Delicious and healthy

I have found this blender to be a great addition to my kitchen tools. You can be creative and come up with a multitude of different food combinations. Here are a few that I like.

Green Smoothie

½ cup fresh or frozen strawberries (wash, no need to remove the stem)

½ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup kale (stem removed)

1 ½ cups coconut milk or rice milk

1 TB ground flaxseed

1 TB pumpkin seed protein powder

Nut Butter Smoothie

1 banana

1 cup fresh or frozen berries

1 cup fresh spinach

2 TB almond butter

1 TB ground flaxseed

8 - 12 oz. cold water (to desired consistency)

Tomato Soup

28 oz. can whole, peeled tomatoes

1 cup chopped fresh basil

1 TB minced garlic

Approximately 4 C vegetable broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine tomatoes, basil and garlic in blender. Blend until a smooth consistency. Heat vegetable broth, add to blender and blend until soup reaches desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Author's Bio: 

Lynda Enright, MS, RD, CLT is certified as a Wellness Coach and LEAP Therapist who partners with women who want to look and feel amazing by helping them lose weight and reduce inflammation which can cause fatigue, bloating, acid reflux, congestion, brain fog or achy joints. For FREE tips on how to lose weight and keep it off, visit http://www.BeWellConsulting.com