Fruit smoothies can be a great way to add a nutritious snack or a meal substitute to your diet. They’re great to grab after your morning workout as you head to work. The great thing about fruit smoothies is that they can be loaded with nutrients, fiber, and protein as well as vitamins and minerals. But, be careful, since fruit isn’t always the main ingredient in a smoothie, they can also be loaded with sugar and calories. Particularly those you buy from a retail shop.
That’s right, you may opt for the fruit smoothie over the ice cream cone, but you may not be saving any calories by doing so. The best way to make sure you’re getting a healthy fruit smoothie is to make your own. That way you know for sure what the ingredients are.
A fruit smoothie made just from fruit can have as little as 110 calories. But the larger, restaurant-style smoothie made with ice-cream and added sugars can top out at well over 1,000 calories. If you must purchase rather than make your own, look for smoothies that use fresh fruit rather than sugar sweetened concentrate.
When you make your own smoothie, your choices are only limited by your imagination. But if you’re skeptical about coming up with your own combination of flavors, try these great recipes. Keep in mind that, while these ingredients are natural and healthy, they’re not necessarily low in calories.
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
1/2 frozen banana, peeled and chopped
2 tablespoons powdered protein supplement
1 1/2 tablespoons flax seed
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
In a blender, blend the milk, yogurt, banana, protein supplement, flax seed, honey, and strawberries until smooth.
This is a great way to add the protein of an egg to your smoothie without having to worry about the dangers of consuming raw egg.
Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg, beaten
1 banana, peeled, cut up, and frozen
16 ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/3 cup halved seedless grapes, frozen
1/3 cup frozen blueberries
2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
Blueberries and halved seedless grapes (optional)
Coat a small nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-low heat. Add the egg. Lift and fold the egg mixture until set. Transfer to the blender. Add the banana, yogurt, grapes, blueberries and orange juice concentrate. Cover and blend until smooth.
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup frozen blueberries
½ cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup chopped fresh pineapple
¼ cup frozen dark sweet cherries
¼ cup orange juice
Chopped pineapple and/or fresh blueberries (optional)
Combine all ingredients except the extra pineapple and blueberries. Cover and blend until smooth. If desired, top with pineapple and blueberries before enjoying.
1 cup fat-free milk
1 medium banana, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch slices, and frozen
1 – 2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 cup small ice cubes or crushed ice
Combine milk, banana, sugar, cocoa powder, coffee crystals and vanilla in a blender. Cover and blend until smooth. Add ice cubes. Cover and blend until nearly smooth.
2 ripe small bananas
1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries
1 8 ounce carton vanilla low-fat yogurt
¾ cup milk
Peel bananas and cut into chunks. Place bananas, frozen strawberries, yogurt and milk into blender and blend until smooth. Enjoy!
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced (1-1/2 cups)
¾ cup boiling water
1 ½ cups apple juice
Cook carrots in boiling water in a small saucepan for about 20 minutes or until very tender. Allow them to cool. Transfer carrots and liquid to blender. Add the apple juice and blend until the remaining carrot is smooth. Chill and serve.
Lauren Hill writes for Hamilton Beach, a kitchen appliance company offering blenders, juicers and slow cookers.