You know you want to put vegetables in your smoothie.
Because these carrots won’t taste like vegetables at all. Just creamy, vanilla-scented, cinnamon-spiked liquefied carrot cake. Get this in your belly, that’s all I’m saying. I found a secret that will keep you from sipping on hard, raw chunks of carrot no matter how weak your blender is—get excited.
This smoothie is also detox-friendly. Yay! Have you been wondering about my detox? It officially ended little over a week ago and I’m trying to retain some of the good habits. Mainly: smoothies.
Here are my final observations on the detox, though by all means—skip to the recipe for extreme carrot yum!
- The grand finish: So I started my detox on a Monday, which means my last official day would have been on Sunday, 2/10. What I didn’t take into account was my trip to New Orleans for MARDI GRAS that weekend (we drove down Friday afternoon)!! Talk about no way in hell was I going to be able to finish my detox. I held out for as long as I could—I prepped the butternut squash, quinoa and spinach for lunch on Friday, Subway salad for dinner—but in the end, the beignets prevailed.
- The interruption: was worth it. Sequin bras, lots of beads and cheap shoes were had (note to anyone who goes to New Orleans, ever: no one wants to walk around NOLA in open-toed shoes. No one.)
- The final numbers:I lost about 6 pounds at my peak weight-loss point, but some of that definitely could have been water weight. Since the end, however, I’ve been consistently weighing in under my former weight by about 3 pounds. Not the most exciting weight loss in the world, but better than nothing right?
- Results: I think I’ve definitely cured the worst of my sugar addiction, or am at least on the road to recovery. I think a combination of not eating sugar at all for nearly three weeks combined with a really healthy stream of vegetables, fruits, gluten-free grains and lean protein helped reset my palette. I still crave sugar, but maybe not quite as much because I know how crappy I feel after I eat it. Like really, my tongue feels dirty.
- What I learned: Everyone’s body works differently and I think what I appreciated most about this cleanse was what I learned about my body (and how to cook with onions and garlic!). I was dreading the first week of smoothies since I figured I’d be hungry and grumpy all morning long from running on a skimpy cup of fruit juice. What I found totally surprised me—the smoothies kept me the fullest for the longest amount of time—my stomach usually emptied out around 11 or 11:15, which was just close enough to lunch that I could wait to eat, eliminating my usual 10 a.m. snack. The cardamom quinoa porridge, on the other hand, felt like not a lot of food and left me craving more and hungry until lunch. Same with the muesli cereal. I felt the same craving after the banana oat pancakes and buckwheat muffins, although they filled me up eventually. Conclusion: my body does best with smoothies in the morning, for whatever reason. Eating carbs makes me crave more carbs and milk in the morning is a general no-go.
- Rinse and repeat: Would I do this again? Totally. I plan on incorporating many of the detox meals and principles into my everyday diet and showing you some of my favorites!
Did I have a total pig out session after I *officially* finished my detox? Um, no. But I did eat two completely luscious raspberry-stuffed chocolate muffins with absolutely NO refined sugar and felt like I had just won the lottery. And then on Valentine’s Day, I went to dinner with Erik and thoroughly enjoyed half my entrée of spaghetti squash and assorted veggies and devouring Erik’s sweet potato fries. Then, after dinner, when the mood struck me to assemble a mini cake out of the cake scraps in my fridge, layered with almond butter, raspberry jam and raw chocolate ganache? I ate half of it and didn’t even feel bad. Okay, I felt bad. But that didn’t stop me from eating two more chocolate covered strawberries.
And after that eating blitz, I decided it was time for some mild detoxing again. So I got back on the smoothie wagon. The first version of this smoothie involved raw carrots and a smoothie that was more chew-able than sip-able. Chunks of raw carrot slipped through my blender—gross. Steamed, softened carrots, however, blended like a dream.You can see a few chunks in these photos since I added rolled oats instead of instant, but these teensy chunks are far less offensive than shards of raw carrot.
Steaming the carrots adds a few more minutes to this recipe, but it’s so worth it.You could even steam a few cups ahead of time and store in the fridge for future smoothies because this delicious thing? I just want to make it every day. Ob.sessed. (Next obsession? This healthy cheesecake.)
Steaming the carrots beforehand is the key to making a velvety, luscious chunk-free smoothie. Carrots are the star of this smoothie, so use the best you can find (no baby carrots). Add more milk if you like your smoothies runnier and oats for for a more filling smoothie.
- 1 cup carrots, washed, peeled (if not organic) and chopped
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 1 small or medium frozen banana
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- dash of cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons oats, optional
Combine the carrots and water in your smallest saucepan over high heat and cover. Once the water comes to a boil, lower the heat to medium or medium high and steam for 5-10 minutes, until carrots are easily pierced by a fork.
Pour carrots and water (save all those nutrients!) into blender and add remaining ingredients. Process until smooth.