Smoothies 101

13 Jul

There IS a delicious way of getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals.
The answer? Smoothies.

They are tasty and nutritious drinks that you can make at home and enjoy at any time of the day. With smoothies, it is easy to have that “5 a day” servings of fruits and vegetables.

Anatomy of a Smoothie
Did you know that on average a 20-oz serving of strawberry smoothie only has 155 calories? From the strawberries alone you get 2 grams of fiber. Add a few more ingredients such as flax seeds or a few slices of banana and you’ll have a high-fiber, low-calorie snack. That’s not all. Drink smoothie with your dinner and you’ll make the most out of your meal.

Here are the health benefits you can get from smoothies:

Fiber which improves digestion
Calcium which leads to stronger bones
Vitamins and minerals significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer
Anti-oxidants which prevent aging and strengthen the immune system
Nutrients that increase stamina and improve overall health
And the list goes on…

The amount of nutrition you can get from smoothies can potentially exceed the ones you get from solid food.

Use Proteins to Make Smoothies into a Complete Meal
Sources of protein like yogurt, cottage cheese, or tofu both thicken and bulk up the nutritional component of a smoothie. These ingredients can be a key to satisfying hunger. Smooth and soft tofu works best and is easiest to blend. For dairy eaters, there’s the old classic: yogurt, but cottage cheese also whips up into a very nice smoothie base. Sweetened yogurt can eliminated the need for additional sweeteners.

Protein/Thickener Options: yogurt, tofu, cottage cheese, and more

Fruit Makes the Smoothie Fun
High in vitamins and natural sweetness, flavor combination possibilities are endless when incorporating fruit into smoothies. Frozen fruit gives smoothies nice ice cream consistency and can be used instead of ice to make smoothies cold. Using frozen fruit also makes incorporating exotic or out-of-season fruits easier

Be wary of seeds and textures when adding fruit. Skins on pears or peaches and seeds in blackberries or raspberries are not necessarily bad, but they do affect the texture and may not pass through all straws or sippy cups used by children. Generally, juicier fruits are a better choice than fruits like apples. Bananas work well as an alternative to thickening smoothies with proteins. Very fibrous fruits can clog blenders and make for a fibrous smoothie.

Fruit Options: bananas, strawberries, mangoes, peaches, blueberries, papaya, or other favorite fruits

Smoothie Liquids Ease Blending
No need to get fancy with liquids. Water works just fine. Juices can be used in place of or in addition to other sweeteners. Milk or soymilk provide added protein. Alternative milk beverages add flavor.

Liquid Options: water, juice, soymilk, ricemilk, almond milk, hemp milk, cow’s milk.

A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Smoothie Go Down
But, don’t use granulated sugar, it does not dissolve well in cold liquids. Liquid sweeteners like honey, agave syrup or even maple syrup work great.

Sweetener options: honey, agave syrup, brown rice syrup, maple syrup.

Extras Can Boost Nutritional Value and Flavor
The list of possible extras at the average smoothie restaurant is quite long but vitamin powders and protein powders are common. Vitamin powers like Emergen-C come in a variety of flavors that can help mask a sharp or strong green. Protein powders from whey or soy are available in most natural food stores.

Smoothie Making Instructions
Add ingredients to blender in order presented, holding back at least half the liquid. Add additional liquid as needed to ease blending or reach desired consistency. Pour. Enjoy.

Lemon Raspberry Smoothie
1 cup lemon yogurt
1 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup lemonade
2 cups ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in blender and mix until smooth.

Banana Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup vanilla yogurt
½ banana sliced
4-5 strawberries, hulled and cut in half
2 cups ice cubes
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth

Berry of Youth Smoothie Recipe

1 cup low-fat cherry yogurt or yogurt of your choice
1 cup pitted cherries (frozen preferred)
1/4 cup cold cranberry juice
1 cup blueberries (frozen preferred)
Pour the cranberry juice in the blender first, then add the yogurt and the rest of the ingredients into the blender and blend until smooth.
Berry of Youth Smoothie Nutrition Facts (serving size – 1 cup)

Blackberry Apple Smoothie Recipe

1/2 cup of low-fat yogurt
3/4 cup of cold apple juice or juice of your choice
1 to 2 cups of blackberries depending on your taste (frozen)
1 medium size banana (sliced in smaller pieces)
Add ice cubes if needed
Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth, serves about 2 people.

Coconut Pineapple Smoothie Recipe

1 fresh banana (frozen and sliced into smaller pieces)
1-1/2 cups fresh pineapple (diced)
1/2 cup light coconut milk (unsweetened)
1/2 cup fruit sorbet of your choice
Add ice cubes if needed
Put all the ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth, serves about 2 people

Get Juiced Smoothie Ingredients:

1 medium banana
1 cup of passion fruit
1 cup of pineapple juice
1 cup of frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 cup of water
1 cup of ice
Squirt of lime juice (optional)

recipes from


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