Building a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothies are supposed to be healthy. Here’s how to make sure they stay that way.

Ever since you first heard of smoothies, your mouth has been watering. When you’re sipping on a smoothie, your mouth is in taste heaven. When there’s no smoothie in your hand, all you can think of are strawberries, bananas, and blueberries. But if you’re not careful, your smoothies can turn into nothing more than an average dessert.

To make sure your smoothie is as healthy as it is cold and delicious, you’ve got to have more than a good blender. You’ve got to have the right building blocks as well.

Building Block: Fruit

In a healthy smoothie, the most basic building block is fruit. Ideally, you want to go with fresh fruits that aren’t sitting in sugar water or have been made unhealthy in some other way. Rather, you want fruit straight off the vine or tree. Raw fruit that hasn’t been tampered with will ensure you the most powerful smoothie punch.

Some of the most common fruits found in smoothies include bananas, strawberries, and blueberries. But don’t let this keep you from getting creative. No matter what your favorite fruit is, you can toss it in the blender for a delightful, flavorful smoothie. From cantaloupe and mango to pineapple, raspberry, and melon, you can include any fruit you can find in your smoothie concoction.

Want the thickest, most delicious smoothie possible? Toss the fruits you plan to use for a smoothie in the freezer before you go to bed. In the morning, toss them in the blender. It’s a simple, yet effective way to get the thick smoothie you want.

Building Block: Juice

Once you’ve got your fruits picked out, you’ll need to find a complementary juice. As with the fruit choices, there is one juice that is picked much more often than the others: orange juice. However, you can toss in whatever type of juice you want to spice up your smoothie.

For variations on your favorite smoothie, give apple juice, grape juice, or cranberry juice a shot. Each different juice will affect the consistency, thickness, and flavor of your smoothie, so keep trying out juices until you find the perfect flavor for your pallet.

Building Block: Yogurt

When you have lots of different fruits and flavors, you’ll probably want something to pull them all together into one cohesive whole. Enter stage left: yogurt. Low-fat or fat-free is the best choice, and since most yogurt falls into one of these categories, it is also an easy choice to find.

With the right amount of yogurt in the mix, your smoothie will go from a yummy treat to a must-have each and every day. While you’ll probably rely on vanilla yogurt for most of your smoothies, using strawberry, strawberry banana, blueberry, or other flavors will enhance your smoothie instantly!

Wake Up and Smell the Smoothie

Need a better way to get your day started? Get your morning off right with this easy-to-make Wake-Up Smoothie recipe.

Yields:
3 servings, 1 cup each
Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups orange juice (go for calcium-fortified for added benefit)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 1/4 cups frozen berries of your choice (good options include raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and/or strawberries)
  • 1/2 cup low-fat silken tofu or low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda Granular (optional way to add flavor that causes the smoothie to be a tiny bit less healthy)

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients and put in a blender. Cover and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Serve immediately. Smile.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 139 calories; 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams monosaturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 28 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams protein, 4 grams fiber, 19 milligrams sodium, 421 milligrams potassium.

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Green Weight Loss?

Need more convincing that greens should be a regular part of your diet?

People who consume green smoothies report fewer cravings for unhealthy food and tend to snack far less than when they aren’t getting their greens.

So sip your green smoothie with a big smile, knowing that you’re turbo charging your health and expediting your weight loss.

Green Smoothie
Green smoothies consist of 3 basic ingredients: greens, fruit and water. Have fun experimenting with a wide range of varieties of both the greens and the fruit in order to reap the most benefit. You may be surprised to find that the simple combination of greens and fruit is quite delicious.
Servings: 1

Here’s what you need…

  • 1 bunch (2 cups) red dandelion greens (feel free to use spinach or any other dark greens)
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 banana
  • 1-2 cups filtered water
  1. In a high speed blender mix the ingredients until smooth.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 199 calories, 1g fat, 47g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, and 6g protein.

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