If you’re looking to add more fruits and vegetables into your diet but aren’t sure where to start, Catherine McCord is here to help. The creator of the popular blog Weelicious recently released her latest book, Smoothie Project: The 28-Day Plan to Feel Happy and Healthy No Matter Your Age, which gives practical tips and recipes for incorporating smoothies into your daily routine — and now she’s sharing her wisdom with PEOPLE.
You might think you know all there is to know about making the frozen drinks. Just dump and blend, right? Not exactly. Many smoothies can pack tons of sugar without balancing ingredients that add fiber, healthy fats or vitamins. Some of McCord’s favorite “super boost ingredients” are chia seeds, flax, and nuts — and yes, even frozen cauliflower (you can’t taste it!).
In a round up of her best hacks, the founder of the One Potato meal delivery service shows you easy ways to get the most out of your smoothie — and offers time-saving tips to make the process worth your while. There’s a reason her fans include stars like Jennifer Garner, Guy Fieri and Ree Drummond.
Read through her tips below to take your smoothie game to the next level, and then scroll to the bottom to get her recipe for Golden Milk, a frozen twist on the age-old turmeric drink with anti-inflammatory and digestion benefits, from her new book Smoothie Project.
Frozen cauliflower is a smoothie secret weapon
“It makes smoothies creamy, contains only 20 calories per cup, and incorporates a vegetable (without tasting it!),” says McCord. “Cauliflower also retains the color you’re trying to achieve if you desire a smoothie of a certain color; pink (strawberries), red (raspberries), yellow (mango).”
“Place labeled plastic shoe bins in the freezer with your frozen fruits!” she suggests. “Shoe bins make looking for smoothie ingredients even easier.”
Streamline the process
“One day a week, line up smoothie jars for super boost ingredients like collagen peptides, chia or hemp seeds, any nuts, powders, etc. and add them in like sand art. When you’re ready to make your smoothie just place fruit, vegetable, liquid and your smoothie jar ingredients in your blender and you’re ready to go. This also works great in labeled zipper bags in your freezer.”
“As soon as you buy hemp seeds, chia seeds, wheat germs, flax seeds, or bee pollen, pour the ingredients in glass jars and freeze them. This way you can see all of your super boosts and they will stay fresh up to a year in your freezer.”
Make adding greens a breeze
“Puree spinach, kale, chard and more with your favorite liquid and pour into ice cube trays to freeze,” says McCord. “Whenever you make a smoothie add one or two into your blender.” It’s also a great way to use up greens before they go bad in the refrigerator.
“To save time in the morning make your smoothie the night before, place in a glass jar and cover tightly with a lid preventing air from getting into the mixture. In the morning take the lid off, pop in a reusable straw and go!”
Catherine McCord’s Golden Milk
½ fresh or frozen banana, peeled
½ cup fresh or frozen mango chunks
¼ cup frozen cauliflower florets
½-inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and chopped, or ¼ tsp. ground turmeric
1 Tbsp. honey or maple syrup
2 tsp. coconut oil
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 pinch freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup milk of choice
Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.