Getting Healthy with the NutriBullet
For Christmas, my husband’s boss, as he does most years, gives each of his employees the same exact gift. They usually have an office holiday luncheon and during the luncheon the gifts are handed out. This year, when my husband came home, he had a big box with him. While I had kind of heard of this product before, I never really paid attention to what it was and what it did. What was it? It was a NutriBullet. Soon after my husband’s holiday luncheon, I swear I started seeing the NutriBullet being sold every where I went. Costco, there it was. WalMart, yep it was there to. The grocery store, yep I saw it there too. Bed, Bath & Beyond, of course it was there too.
Billed as the “superfood nutrition extractor” the NutriBullet claims that instead of juicing or blending your fruits and vegetables that the NutriBullet extracts all of the nutrients to transform your food into a “superfood” which then makes you healthier, lowers your blood pressure, your cholesterol and balances your blood sugar to make you healthier and feel better. According to the NutriBullet, the problem with juicing your fruits and vegetables is that you remove all of the fiber, which is healthy for you, from your foods. When you blend your fruits and vegetables, a blender can’t fully process everything leaving behind big chunks of food which isn’t pleasant to eat. But, with the NutriBullet and it’s technology, it extracts all the nutrients from your food and leaves behind a perfectly blended, smooth, nutritious smoothie. I’ll admit, I was a bit skeptical of the whole thing when my husband first brought it home. In fact, it sat in its box in our living room for a few weeks before we even touched the box. However, my husband started telling me that quite a few people in his office were bringing their green smoothies to work and really enjoying them. Then, I noticed that people who worked in my office building had their own green and red smoothies with them. And of course, I saw this system being sold everywhere. I almost felt like it was kind of a sign telling me I should give this thing a try. After all, what’s the worse that could happen? It doesn’t taste good? If that’s the worse, then it couldn’t really be bad as it was pure fruits and vegetables in every serving without any additives. Ok, my husband and I decided to give this thing a try to see how it turned out.
I finally pulled the NutriBullet out of its packaging and read all the instructions to make sure I knew what I was doing. The system consists of one base, which contains the motor, a screw on cap with the blades that will attach to the base to make your smoothie, a tall cup, 2 short cups (one with a handle), a screw on handle you could use for the tall cup or the cup without the handle, and 2 lids that fit on either the short cups or the tall cup so that you can refrigerate your drink when you’re finished making it, if you want to save it for later. The entire system is compact enough that you need very little space on your kitchen counter to make it work.
Once you have the system set up, all you really need now is the fruits and veggies to create healthy, nutritious drinks. There is a recipe book that comes with the system that provides basic recipes that you can use and guidelines you can follow to create these smoothies. But the basic rule of thumb is that the smoothie you create should be 1/2 vegetables and 1/2 fruit. The terrific thing is that if you create your smoothie correctly, you’ll never taste the vegetables in your smoothie as the sweet natural sugars of the fruits will overpower any taste the vegetables have. However, you’ve got to use vegetables that are easy to blend and break down, are nutritious, and are very mild in flavor. Spinach, kale, spring greens and romaine lettuce are all very popular choices. For us, we started with baby spinach. Take 2 handfuls of baby spinach, rinse it, and then stuff it into the bottom of the tall cup. You should see that the baby spinach fills 1/2 the cup to the max line indicated on the cup. I’ll say that even though my husband and I have nothing against spinach, we generally don’t buy it at our house. And the idea of eating handfuls of spinach in a smoothie kind of threw me off. How could I blend fruit and spinach and really not be able to feel like I was drinking in mouthfuls of grass or spinach or something green and gross? I guess I was about to find out.
Next, you’ll need to add something creamy and smooth that also creates volume and texture for the smoothie. The most commonly used fruit here is bananas. You generally see bananas used in fruit smoothie mixes of any sort because the banana really is healthy, but also creates a nice thick blend when it’s broken down and very smooth and rich texture. To switch things up a bit, or if you didn’t like bananas, you could avocado. So, take either a whole banana or a whole avocado and throw it into the tall cup right on top of the spinach. I love bananas, so there was no question that I’d be using bananas. Now what goes so well with bananas? Well strawberries of course. Strawberries and bananas are like the perfect match made in heaven. So, I took a few strawberries and throw them into the cup as well.
The suggestion is that you should try and use four different types of fruits for the 1/2 of the smoothie made of fruits. The more fruits you use, the more varied in flavor your smoothie will be. That doesn’t even take into account the different nutritional value you’re getting from each of the different fruits. And this is where you can really get creative with your drinks. So, I threw in a quarter of an orange with the rind removed.
How about some blueberries? I’m not the world’s biggest blueberry fan, but I find that blending it all up in the NutriBullet transforms it into something I can handle. I’ve also added a quarter of an apple diced into small pieces. And at the very top there are a few raspberries. But, you really can add anything you want. Since making this the first few times, I’ve since tried mangos, cantaloupe and grapes as well in varying combinations. You could also try kiwis, pineapple, blackberries, honeydew, and really, any kind of fruit you want. Oranges are also a good option too, especially for the sweetness they bring to the smoothie due to the natural fruit juices. And for added texture and flavor and health benefits you could also add almonds, flax seeds or other supplements.
Once you’ve filled up the cup halfway with greens, and halfway with fruits, you’re ready to add the last part. It’s time to add water. The water gives the smoothie a bit of moisture so that it makes it easier to blend together the fruits and the greens. As suggested in the materials provided, you should really try to refrain from adding liquid such as fruit juice (i.e., orange juice or pineapple juice, etc.) as those fruit juices have added sugars and other ingredients. When you only use water, you’re not adding anything to the smoothie and allowing the natural sugars and sweetness from the fruits themselves flavor the smoothie and it allows the smoothie to remain as pure and healthy as possible. On the cup, you’ll see a “max’ line, just fill a little bit of water until you reach the max like.
Screw the blade cap on tightly to the top of the cup so that it’s secure and won’t leak as it blends. Now invert the entire cup and place it on the receptacle where the motor for the NutriBullet sits. The top of the cup becomes the bottom, the bottom becomes the top. The little bit of water that you poured in and the fruits that you put on top of the greens now start to fall down on top of the blade. When you start the motor, the fruits will immediately blend with the water and be blended down to a liquid smoothie.
Most likely, when the blending starts, you’ll see that the smoothie is a nice pale pink or orange color, or perhaps purple color depending on what the dominant color of the fruit you added to the cup was. Eventually, after a few seconds, the suction power of the blades will drawn the greens down into the smoothie. And you’ll see immediately that the greens get eaten up by the blades and are ground down to liquid combining with the fruits that were already blended.
Your smoothie will go from a pinkish-orangish color to a nice green color as the color of the greens tends to dominate the smoothie. At this point, you’re blending until you have a smoothie to the consistency that you prefer. You’ll see that all of the bits and pieces of the greens and the fruits have all been blended and their nutrients extracted. What you’re left with is a liquid green drink, or a healthy green smoothie.
Admittedly, the first time my husband and I made a green smoothie and gave it a try, we weren’t sure what to expect. The color of the smoothie, truthfully, isn’t the nicest thing in the world, and the thought of drinking a “green smoothie” was somewhat unappealing. So we said “bottoms up” and gave it a whirl. After a sip, both of us kind of tasted it, looked at each other and were surprised. The “green smoothie” tastes nothing like the color of the smoothie at all. For all intents and purposes you can’t taste the greens, or in our case, spinach, at all. The spinach has been ground to a liquid pulp and all you get are the nutrients and vitamins from the spinach but not taste or flavor of it at all. What you do taste is a smooth, rich fruit blend. Depending upon the fruits you put into your green juice you may taste a variety of different fruits. If your banana was really ripe, you’ll probably taste the banana or at least smell the essence of the banana. The strawberries tend to have a pretty strong, and sweet, flavor. The sweetness of the orange also tends to shine through. When adding a mango, it tends to make the smoothie more volume and body and you get a slight exotic, tropical flavor, but you don’t really “taste” it. Essentially, it’s like your drinking a fruit smoothie where you just blended a bunch of fruit with water. You don’t taste the greens at all, and except for the color of the smoothie, you don’t even realize you’re drinking greens.
My husband and I have been thoroughly surprised by how much we’ve enjoyed this Christmas gift. We never thought we’d be making green smoothies every day to take to work to enjoy. It really does provide us with a nice boost of energy and helps both of us get through the day. It’s quite filling too, so you don’t really feel like you need breakfast every morning. We’ve enjoyed playing around with various combinations of fruits and have been completely awed by how much natural fruits and vegetables we’re consuming now on a weekly basis just because we’re making green smoothies every morning. It’s satisfying to know that we’re trying to live healthier and eat cleaner. And the great part about this is that making a green smoothie each morning for both of us to take to work only takes 5 minutes in the morning to literally toss the greens and the fruits in the cup and then let the NutriBullet do all the work. It’s quick, easy, healthy and satisfying. That’s a combination of words put together in once sentence that I hardly ever mutter.