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Even the name sounds tasty, cool, and satisfying. And for many people, they are exactly that. But one of the great things about smoothies is that they can be incredibly healthy as well as delicious.

The smoothie as we know it today has a relatively modern, but long history.

According to Tryst Cafe,

“The concept of the smoothie actually first appeared around the 1930s when health food stores on the West Coast began adapting Brazilian recipes and selling these pureed fruit drinks. Recipes for a ‘banana smoothie’ and a ‘pineapple smoothee’ first appeared in the 1940s Waring ‘Blendor’ cookbooks.”

While just about everyone today has had a smoothie of some kind, it’s true that not all of us are quite familiar with what a traditional smoothie is. Essentially, a smoothie is a chilled, blended, sweet beverage that is most often made from primarily of fresh fruit.

Of course, being who we are, it’s impossible to not add a spin on a culinary classic and today you will see smoothies made from vegetables or even chocolate. Most often a smoothie consists of crushed ice, frozen fruit, and honey. Many times, they will also contain yogurt or milk and – happily – even ice cream. And more often than not they have the consistency of a milkshake.

But one of the best things about smoothies is their potential for being a high-quality, healthy food drink.


Smoothies: From Smooth and Fruity to Smoothly Organic

For many smoothie aficionados, the ultimate goal of a great smoothie is to be both healthy and “clean” or organic. But a word of caution here: just because food is organic doesn’t necessarily make it healthy.

As one herbal health expert noted

“In other words, you could be on a 100% organic diet of potato chips, popcorn, donuts, and chocolate bars. You can walk into an organic supermarket and find just as many processed foods as a conventional supermarket.”

He goes on to suggest getting the best of both worlds and go clean and organic where possible.

If that’s the case for your organic smoothie experiment, then you may want to leave out the ice cream and chocolate! However, organic honey or yogurt may be quite acceptable. 

Many of us are familiar with the recent push for so-called “superfoods” and many companies are making variations of superfood smoothies to satiate the growing demand. In fact, several producers are shipping their products directly to customers and operate on a subscription basis.

And unlike the more traditional fruit-based smoothies, these so-called “Green smoothies”, on the other hand, are also made with fruit, but include significant amounts of plant-based liquids and leafy greens, typically spinach or kale. As a result, they’re big on iron, potassium, fiber, and vitamins.

But are organic smoothies really all that and a bag of (organic) chips? And what are the benefits of organic smoothies anyway?

The Major Benefits of Organic Smoothies

Any regular intake of fruits and vegetables are going to be beneficial to your body. However, many believe that the state of the fruit and vegetable foods in a smoothie can enhance or accelerate their absorption and digestion.

The following are some of the potential health benefits of drinking smoothies:

  • Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
  • Increased fiber intake.
  • Can serve as a meal replacement.
  • A nutritional balance of fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Helps manage food cravings.
  • Boosts vitamin C levels.
  • Can possibly help with conditions such as high blood pressure.

But experts warn that daily consumption of smoothies – organic or otherwise – can have drawbacks.

According to an article at the BBC’s Good Food website,

“However, when we blend our juice fruit, we’re breaking down the plant cell walls and exposing the natural sugars within. This effectively turns the sugars into ‘free sugars’, the type we are advised to cut back on. Free sugars may lead to dental decay, provide excess calories and cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels. For these reasons it’s best to enjoy your smoothie with other food, ideally at mealtimes, and to limit the number of glasses you consume.”

Of course, any type of fruit or vegetable produce item can be a beneficial addition to your diet, but are organic products inherently healthier?

Yes, according to none other than the Mayo Clinic which has noted that studies have shown small to moderate increases in some nutrients in organic produce. In addition, organic produce may have more of certain antioxidants and types of flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties.


So, What Do You Need to Buy for Your Organic Smoothies?

One of the wonderful things about life in Napa County is the abundance of organic produce and other food products. And here at Cal Mart we are proud to offer a wide range of organic and local produce.

But what are the really healthy choices when it comes to concocting your own “superfood” organic smoothie treat? Capri Lilly at Good Food Baddie offers up this concise selection of her favorite ingredients for her own healthy superfood smoothies:

Fruits: Especially wild blueberries, strawberries, papaya, mango, banana, cucumber, pineapple, pear, apple. Fruits are great to add to smoothies because they naturally sweeten the smoothie and provide tons of nutrients!

Vegetables: My favorite vegetables to use are celery, carrots, and spinach! Green smoothies are a great way to provide your body with a serving of vegetables.

Sea Moss: I use sea moss in almost all of my smoothies! It is an easy add-in and it’s practically flavorless, so it does not impact the taste of the smoothie. Sea moss has 92 of the 102 minerals the body needs! It’s an amazing superfood with endless health benefits.

But there are almost endless numbers of “secret” ingredients that one can toss into smoothies such as cacao, flax seeds, and maca powder

So, break out that blender, make your shopping list of smoothie ingredients, and stock up on organic goodies to create your own smoothie original. Or simply find a few of the hundreds of great smoothie recipes available online. 

Cal Mart can Smooth Your Way to Organic Treats

When it comes to organic produce and ingredients, Napa Valley, the home of Cal Mart, is a longtime source. And Cal Mart in Calistoga has also been a longtime source for great shopping in Napa Valley.

For over half a century now, Cal Mart, a locally owned and family-owned independent grocery store, has consistently provided a unique and enjoyable shopping experience for our customers. And we’ve been the “go to” destination for Napa Valley shoppers for more than five decades.

Not only is our team of employees proud to offer a healthy variety and wide selection in our grocery store offers, but they have helped to make Cal Mart the premier destination for fine Napa Valley wines, meats, cheeses, and fresh produce in Calistoga, as well.

It’s no wonder why we’ve become known as “Napa Valley’s Finest Grocery.”

If you’re looking to make healthy, organic smoothies and other beneficial dishes and drinks this year, then you need to know that we offer a wide variety and huge selections. And you will find this in our grocery, our meat and seafood section, and in our gourmet cheese department. In addition, we offer the best in quality wines and craft beers, too.

And don’t forget to explore our unique and hard-to-find specialty foods department!

By the way, the new year is also the perfect time of year to treat yourself or someone you care about to one of our beautiful gift baskets.

So, let us help you create healthy, organic smoothies and other great treats while you explore all that we have here at Cal Mart.

And while you’re here, please feel free to talk with our friendly and expert staff and then treat yourself to a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, or tea from our Coffee Bar.

Remember that at Cal Mart, you will always find something that is unexpected, unusual, and uncommon!

Stock Up On Great Snacks Before Your Trip