If You Give Ryan A Smoothie, He'll Want To Pick His Straw

Smoothie making was a huge thing in our house. It always will be.

When I think about mornings with Ryan, I think of smoothies. Well, I think of a lot of things that made up our morning routine. But, smoothies were definitely an important factor.

It started the year before last when Ryan fell in love with Jamba Juice or "Juice Jamba” as he would say. I took him there on a whim before walking to the park. I told him it was a special treat. He drank the whole thing in less than two minutes and declared it the best kind of drink because of the straw. He loved drinking from a straw.

He started asking for "Juice Jamba" often and then I decided to just start making them myself. Because those suckers aren’t really that healthy, and the cost adds up quick. I bought fun colored straws and all kinds of fruits to blend up. I started freezing the fruit for colder, thicker smoothies and played around with fruit and veggie combinations too. I could pretty much blend up anything and Ryan would slurp it down, so long as he got to choose his straw. Smoothie making turned out perfect for squeezing extra greens and healthy things into his body.

Every morning he would help me pull out all the ingredients from the fridge and lay them out on the counter for me. I would pull the frozen fruit out of the freezer and take out his favorite cup. Ryan would think long and hard about which colored straw he would want to use on that particular morning. He usually always chose the green straw because there were no red straws, and the pink straws were always for me. "Mom, you have pink."

Us two, we made such a good team. We weaved in and out of each other in the kitchen and our chatter covered all the hot topics;

Can we go to the park instead of pre-school?

What shape is my "hamich" today? (sandwich. I always cut his sandwich into different shapes.)

Who goes fasters, Lightening McQueen or Dash? (Which he always followed up with running in place.)

Why does Caillou have no hair?

I miss everything, but mostly his voice. His laugh. His thoughts moving through his mind out to his little mouth.

Now a days smoothie making has resumed. It is a lot quieter as it is only me in there. But my son loved making smoothies every morning, and I need to pick back up from where we left off.

I pull all the ingredients out, just he would and spread them all over the counter.

I think about all of Ryan’s favorite things. I replay his words and actions in my mind.

I carefully choose which color straw to use. I now bounce between green and pink.

I wonder if he is watching me.

When I think of him watching me, I smile.

All these things may seem so small and meaningless, but I assure you they mean the world to me.

Something as simple as making a smoothie became such an important routine. It was an adventure every morning that Ryan and I got to experience. I miss it. I miss him.

I hope you can make smoothies too, I'm sure most of you do. You can make them with your little loved ones. You can get creative like we did. Ryan will love to see you choose your straws.

You can click here to see a past blog post where Ryan and I created some kid-friendly smoothie recipes.

Feel free to mix them up and create something of your own liking.

Happy Smoothie Making!


Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie

Ryan most likely would not have liked this.

But I love it! So I thought I'd share with all my pumpkin lovers out there.


What You Need

1/2 cup Pureed Pumpkin

Half a Banana (I like banana. You can also use dates!)

1/2 Handful of Oats (these make this smoothie filling. You can toss in a lot or a little.)

1/2 cup to 1 cup Almond milk (you might have to add more if your smoothie is a bit thick.)

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Vanilla

Drizzle of Maple Syrup (if you are feeling fancy)

Pinch of Flax Seed (not necessary, but I like the nutty flavor)

What You Do

-I like to freeze all my fruit for smoothies so the texture is thick. I start out by freezing my pumpkin puree in ice trays the night before I make this smoothie. Though you don't have to freeze if you don't want to.

-Toast your oats tossed in cinnamon in the oven for a quick 3-5 minutes at 375 degrees. Again you don't have to do this either, I just like the texture and flavor.

-In a blender pour in your almond milk. I say 1/2 cup, but make sure it covers your blender blades completely. You might have to add more milk in if the smoothie is too thick.

-Now just add the rest of ingredients (except maple syrup) and blend till smooth.

-Pour into a glass and drizzle the maple syrup on top.