Many people have begun making smoothies for numerous reasons:
But if you're a professional truck driver, there are some things that you need to know before you start.
Fortunately, lots of foodstuffs can be whipped up into a smoothie.
A sample of smoothie recipes can be found on RecipeSource.com.
Here is one of Vicki's favorite recipes:
1 cup whole milk
1 medium banana
3 tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 tbsp cocoa
2 tbsp Chia Seeds
1/8 tsp stevia powder
All smoothie ingredients except milk and ice.
All ingredients except ice in blender before blending.
All ingredients, blended and thick.
Some smoothies are much more nutritious than others.
You can easily analyze your recipe for nutritional data by entering each ingredient and its amount in the form field of CalorieCount.About.com.
We made just such an analysis, a comparison, below.
If one of your ingredients comes up with a pink box in it, you may need to choose a specific option.
Vicki chose specific options regarding Chia Seeds and stevia powder and was amazed to see that her recipe above contains 870 calories!
Thankfully, there are much less calorie dense foods that you can blend into smoothies for truckers.
The trade-off, of course, is how and where you plan to store smoothie ingredients.
Note that some fresh produce perishes quickly or is temperature-sensitive.
If you're the type of person who wants to "chew" your food rather than drink it, undertaking this effort may not be what you want to do.
If your taste buds are intrigued for consuming smoothies, the next question is: "In what do I prepare one?"
The obvious answer is, "a blender."
But most blenders are so large -- and they take a good bit of power to operate.
Are there any options with a smaller footprint, smaller capacity, and smaller power requirement?
The answer is: Yes!
The following small blenders may be used in a truck.
They are listed from Amazon.com, with which we have an affiliate relationship.
Granted, the storage space for a smaller unit would be smaller than that required by a larger blender.
Also, if everything is contained in one unit, clean up could be quick and easy.
If the items you intend to blend can truly be blended with 250 watts of power, fine.
Because we had no APU in Mike's truck, the type of inverter that we used when he drove for his last regional trucking company could handle 1500 watts peak power.
So 250 watts of usage would have been a piece of cake.
However, your choice of ingredients may be harder or denser.
For example, if you want large ice cubes in your smoothie, more power will be needed to blend them.
Also, if you're into using whole vegetables and fruit in your smoothies, you will probably need more power.
We personally have a "mega" kitchen system from Ninja.
The system came with a base upon which a blender, a food preparation unit and a food processor can be used.
Along with the blender came two "Ninja cups" that are perfect for making smoothies, like the one shown here.
Some blenders just wear out faster, whether from hard usage or from the ingredients.
Before getting a Ninja system like the one shown above, we literally burned out two blenders.
That's one of the reasons why we always look at a product's warranty before buying.
One lady who makes "green smoothies" with ingredients like raw spinach and kale recommends buying a BlendTec blender.
One such unit -- which is said to be of commercial quality -- is shown below.
It is obviously much more expensive than the 250-watt products above.
However, this one also comes with a 3-year warranty.
We saw one online that had an unprecedented 7-year warranty. Wow!
This product uses 1560 watts of power.
Obviously, a 1500-watt inverter can't power this.
You will need a higher-powered inverter.
Will your trucking company let you have one in your truck?
The more liquid you have in your beverage, the more often you may need to stop to go to the restroom after consuming it.
Will this disrupt your ability to deliver your load on time?
If you suddenly go to a higher fiber smoothie, you may have some intestinal upset.
We recommend ramping up your smoothie consumption over time, starting with small amounts.
Don't forget to clean all of your blender parts after use.
This could be a snap if you have created a small kitchen in your truck.
Do you remember Vicki's favorite smoothie recipe from above?
It had 3 tablespoons of peanut butter in it.
(Actually, this was a guessed amount; she never measured it.)
For the sake of comparison, Vicki kept playing with the amount of spinach one would have to eat to get the same calories as is in 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
Because it is very low in calories, it would take about 13.5 cups of spinach to get the same number of calories!
(Could you even get 13.5 cups of spinach in a blender at the same time?)
Here are the nutrition facts side by side for these two ingredients.
This is why some people have turned to making green smoothies for better health and weight loss.
Spinach is just one of the "green" fresh produce items that can be put into this drink.
The flavor of a green smoothie can be adjusted with fruit or healthier sweeteners.
there could be payback over time in terms of
Money saving tip: If you have a home support team who is willing to search for you while you're on the road, he/she can look on eBay, Craigslist or other online ad sites for used sturdy blenders.
When changing your diet, give your body time to adjust.
Start slowly on changes.
Keep appliances that come in contact with food absolutely clean between meals.
We recommend using hot soapy water for cleaning kitchen appliances.
Do not burn out a blender by attempting to blend in too many ingredients without enough liquid.
If your blender is having a hard time, you need more power.
Consider carefully how you will store your smoothie ingredients in your truck.
You don't want for temperature-sensitive produce to wilt before it can be consumed.