Discover how delicious healthy food can taste!
Perfect for nourishing breakfasts and snacks, smoothies are especially appealing in summer. Just drop a few ingredients in the blender, whirl, and you have a nutritious beverage that you can sip while you are getting ready in the morning or carry with you on your commute. Classic smoothies contain fruit, something creamy like yogurt, and liquid, but it is easy to boost nutrients by adding ingredients, such as almond butter for extra protein, or rolled oats for additional fiber. Since the entire fruit is used in a smoothie, you don’t miss out on the fiber—as you do when fruit is processed in a juicer. Smoothies are inherently very flexible. Here are a few combinations that we find tasty, nutritious, and appealing.
Blueberry-Banana Smoothie: Almond butter boosts protein and adds a rich, almost chocolately flavor to this classic smoothie. Place 1 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries, 1 medium banana (peeled and sliced), ½ cup nonfat plain (or vanilla) yogurt (or silken tofu), 1 cup orange juice, 2 Tbsp almond butter (or peanut butter), and 1 tsp honey in blender. Cover and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 (3/4-cup) servings. Per serving: Calories: 190. Total fat: 7 grams. Saturated fat: 0.5 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 70 milligrams. Carbohydrate: 31 grams: Fiber: 3 grams. Sugars: 21 grams. Protein: 5 grams. Calcium: 94 milligrams.
Berries & Greens Smoothie: Fresh kale is an unusual addition to a fruit smoothie, but you will be amazed at how well the flavor blends in—just try it. This is a great way to sneak extra anti-oxidants and fiber into your breakfast. When you prepare greens for dinner, chop a little extra to add to your morning smoothie. Place 1 cup unsweetened frozen blackberries (or frozen mixed berries), 1 medium banana (peeled and sliced), 1 cup low-fat 1% milk (or soymilk), 3/4 cup chopped fresh kale, and 2 tsp honey in blender. Cover and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 (1-cup) servings. Per serving: Calories: 130. Total fat: 1.5 grams. Saturated fat: 0.5 grams. Cholesterol: 5 milligrams. Sodium: 50 milligrams. Carbohydrate: 27 grams: Fiber: 4 grams. Sugars: 18 grams. Protein: 5 grams. Calcium: 140 milligrams.
Peachy Almond Smoothie: Ground oatmeal gives this summery smoothie extra body and fiber. This flexible formula works well with variety of fresh berries and stone fruits. Place 2 Tbsp rolled oats in blender; blend until oats are finely ground. Transfer to small bowl. Add 3 ice cubes; crush using ice-crush function of your blender. Add 2 cups sliced fresh peaches (or nectarines or strawberries), 1 cup almond milk (or low-fat 1% dairy milk), 2 tsp lemon juice, 1 tsp honey, and reserved ground rolled oats. Cover and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately. Yield: 3 (3/4-cup) servings. Per serving: Calories: 80. Total fat: 1.5 grams. Saturated fat: 0 grams. Cholesterol: 0 milligrams. Sodium: 50 milligrams. Carbohydrate: 17 grams: Fiber: 2 grams. Sugars: 13 grams. Protein: 2 grams. Calcium: 75 milligrams.
Additional Add-Ins: It is easy to tailor a smoothie to your nutritional needs. For example, if you are trying to increase your fiber intake, add ground flaxseed to your smoothie (1 Tbsp adds 1.6 grams fiber). To augment calcium, add nonfat dry milk powder (1 Tbsp adds 62 milligrams calcium). For a protein boost, add whey powder (1 Tbsp vanilla-flavored whey protein powder adds 4 grams protein).
Tip: Smoothies are most appealing immediately after blending. If you would like make smaller quantity, do a half recipe. Brush exposed portions of any leftover banana with lemon juice to prevent discoloration, wrap and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Alternatively, mash and freeze banana for later use in smoothies or baking.
Recipes by Patsy Jamieson
Originally published in Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter