Who doesn’t love a sneaky way to give kids more servings of their fruits and veggies? Moms and dads can be radical alchemists when it comes to nourishing our brood.  Smoothies are what I call a “gateway” health food. These heat-beating and nutrient-dense beverages will make wild-colored milk mustaches a trend.

Here are some user-friendly smoothie hacks to check out:

Always add two dates and a quarter lemon with the rind (Trust me on this.) Remove the seeds but keep the rind. Full citrus rinds contain limonene which is a powerful anti-cancer component. Dates are nature’s little powerhouse of deliciousness and nutrition. Dried goji berries or dried figs work as well. The sweet and sour of this combo will neutralize any funk from any not-so-delicious components that you try to sneak in there.

Frozen bananas. Here in Hawaii, when I’ve got a couple of bags full of ripe apple bananas in my freezer, I feel like I’m ready for an apocalypse. Probably the equivalent of a freezer loaded with processed elk in Colorado, but island style.

Quality salt. Yep! Strange right? Just a pinch, nothing crazy, will bring out all the good flavors in your blend.  

Diversity. Raw cacao is a great source of magnesium. Add nut butters for a plant-sourced protein punch and you can’t go wrong with some hempseed for the same reason.

Extracts. Keep a little stash of extracts on hand to really jazz things up flavor-wise. Peppermint, almond extract, vanilla, and citrus essential oils are great. Just make sure they are food grade/ therapeutic grade.

Peppermint Matcha Smoothie 

1 cup ice 
2 frozen bananas 
1 tsp good quality matcha 
2 cups oat/nut/ or regular milk 
Tiny splash of peppermint extract 
Couple sprigs of fresh mint 
1/4 tsp good salt 

Blend and enjoy! It’s like a shamrock shake gone good.

Chef Maja Liotta is a private events chef and Maui-based mother of three. Additionally, Maja is passionate about sharing the holistic benefits of food and cooking, providing nutritional consultation and private cooking classes for clients looking to broaden their practice using foods to optimize their well-being.