Meet Charlotte Martin, Winner of Our Wild Your Smoothie Recipe Contest
Find out what she loves about smoothies and how she avoids that dreaded smoothie rut.
Now that the winner of our “Wild Your Smoothie” recipe contest has been announced, we’re excited to get to know our grand-prize winner Charlotte Martin. Charlotte is a registered dietitian from Northern Virginia and creator of Nutritiously Twisted, an online blog devoted to putting a healthy twist on favorite standby recipes. As winner of the contest, Charlotte will be joining the Wild Blueberry Association of North America this summer on a trip to Maine to explore the Wild Blueberry Barrens.
Charlotte had never heard of Wild Blueberries before the contest. She has never been to Maine, although she confesses to loving lobster, and we think she has a big treat in store. I sat down with Charlotte recently to talk about her nutrition philosophy and what she loves most about smoothies.
How did you get into the dietician field?
I was a math and science person, but I never wanted to be in a lab. While in college I discovered that there was a track for becoming a dietitian. The classes were small and it sounded interesting, so I switched my major. I had always been interested in food and nutrition; and I loved reading about diets. In fact, I ended up doing my honors thesis on the Paleo Diet and saw first-hand that faculty on that diet started dropping a lot of weight, losing a lot of fat mass, and even started going off their cholesterol medications. But as with any single diet, it was hard to adhere to, and I learned that diets are more complex than one might think.
Tell us about your nutrition philosophy.
When I first started out as a dietitian, I was a bit closed-minded. But over time, I have become more open minded. I believe there is not one perfect diet for everyone and that as dietitians we need to accept all the tools out there. For example, if a whole foods diet is not working for someone, then it’s ok to include meal replacements, such as nutritionally-balanced shakes, bars, or other food item intended as meal substitutes. As long as people get all of the food groups, there is no singular way of eating for everyone. It’s important that dietitians be open-minded. If someone is asking for a certain diet—I think it’s important that we don’t roll our eyes, but rather see how they can incorporate that diet in the healthiest possible way.
When did you launch your blog Nutritiously Twisted?
I launched it in 2016 and I’m already in the process of redesigning it and switching platforms. I love cooking and making healthy recipes, and I also love doing TV segments and writing articles. When I started getting into social media, I found that I wasn’t getting as much engagement and I didn’t have anywhere to send people. That’s when I realized I needed to formally launch a website with a blog. This has increased my visibility and allows my friends, family, and clients to find me and my recipes.
Were you familiar with frozen Wild Blueberries before the “Wild Your Smoothie” recipe contest?
I was not, and when I went looking for them in my local grocery story, I could not find them. I eventually found them at my local Safeway. Now I’m a big fan because I’ve learned they are nutrition superstars, packed with disease-fighting nutrients and intense flavor.
What do you love about smoothies?
I love a lot of things about smoothies.
- They are super convenient.
- You can fit a lot — healthy ingredients, heathy fats, healthy carbs — into a smoothie.
- They are filling.
- They are nutrient dense, in terms of vitamins and minerals.
- You can get creative and experiment with smoothies.
I make a lot of high-protein smoothies with heathy fats and fiber. I also like to experiment with different thickeners, like Greek yogurt and avocado. Lately my thing has been peanut butter, and of course, Wild Blueberries.
What’s the best way to avoid a smoothie rut?
I don’t tend to have this problem because I like to experiment with different ingredients. But for those who do find themselves in a rut, I highly recommend using the internet. There are so many amazing recipes out there in every flavor profile. If you want an apple pie smoothie you a can find dozens of them online. You can use resources to find recipes and look up recipes that suit your dietary needs. In other words, if you need more protein you can search for “protein smoothies.” Spices can add health and taste to your smoothies too, and almost everyone has spices in their pantry. I’ve recently been adding vanilla extract.
Can you talk about how you developed your Wild Blueberry Flax Muffin Smoothie recipe?
Honestly, I’m a Starbucks addict. I had heard of the contest and I was trying to come up with something creative. I saw these blueberry muffins at Starbucks and thought that would be amazing, but that’s not too creative. So, I thought, how can I make it more creative? I decided to add golden flax seed, which I love adding to my baking and omelets. Because I was at Starbucks, I was also thinking about coffee. So, I thought, what about combining an entire breakfast—fruit, grain, yogurt, and coffee—into one smoothie?
How did you create that beautiful frosting-like topping?
I knew I wanted to incorporate Greek yogurt into my recipe. Everyone knows they can mix yogurt into a smoothie, but I wanted to make it stand out. So, I used a zip-lock bag, cut the tip off, and pressed out a frosting like topping. Then I sprinkled a little flax seed on the top.
What are you most excited to see this summer in Maine?
Well, I have never been to Maine, and I am very excited to see it. I looked up pictures of Bar Harbor and it looks beautiful. I’m really looking forward to seeing the growing and harvesting of Wild Blueberries. I’m also curious about the freezing and preserving process.
We’re excited to welcome you to Maine this summer, Charlotte! It’s going to be a memorable and educational trip.