Thursday, May 14, 2015

Smoothie Me!

I've gotten on a smoothie kick lately so I thought I'd share some of my favorites that I've made along the way. And of course my total expert (in my mind at least) smoothie advice! No I really don't have any sort of nutritional education background, but I do read a lot of about this stuff. I should probably advise you to talk to an expert or your doctor or something like that so nobody can sue me.

There's a big debate right now ... which is better: smoothies or juicing? I personally can't do the juicing, I've tried and the flavors just aren't there for me. I'm also a firm believer in using every part of the food and juicing leaves behind much of the fiber in your fruit and veggies by just extracting the "juice" of the food. Fiber is good for you, you should get some of that. Now some can also argue that smoothies are not the best choice because the blender "heats up" the food while spinning and can cause nutrition loss. I'd personally like to lose a couple of nutrients in favor of getting more fiber and utilizing the entire fruit or veggie I am using. Don't be wasteful! Now that you know where I stand on that debate let's begin ...

First let me start by saying, if you make your smoothie with fruit there is zero reason to add any sweeteners such as honey, agave, etc. Your fruit has tons of natural sugars so don't waste your time with the add ins. You don't need them! And if you plan to make smoothies for your kids, I promise they won't know you didn't add any extra sugar. Did you hear that? No added sugar no matter how healthy that sugar claims to be. It's still sugar people! And let's face it, you probably have enough of that in your body right now anyways. (guilty...)

I use a single cup Ninja blender. No I didn't spend $300 on it like some of their models, I got mine on Black Friday a couple years back at Wal-Mart for $30. It's the 600 watt version for anyone who wants to track it down. It gets the job done for what I want to make so I consider it good. Others may disagree.

Keep portion size in mind, you don't need the entire blender full of the smoothie to get the health benefits of drinking smoothies. You are probably getting more fruit and veggies through a single serving of smoothie than you normally would for breakfast so it's a win.

And my last tip, if at any time you don't have enough liquid to get the job done you can add a bit of milk or better yet, water. No needed for juices which are usually packed with extra sugar. Also, I always use fresh bananas to help with the liquid issue. 

Here's a quick rundown of some of my favorite smoothies I've put together. 

I've already told you that fiber is important but so is protein. Most people don't get enough protein during the day, especially at breakfast. This smoothie is a great start to the day!
1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
3/4 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
1/2 cup spinach
If there isn't enough liquid, I'll add 1% milk to help out on this one.

This is one of my favorite combos, I love peaches and mangoes together!
1/2 cup frozen mango
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup cubed cantelope
1/2 banana

I'm a berry lover (aside from blueberries, that I'm trying to learn to love). The only downside to berry filled smoothies are the seeds. The taste is so good, I can look past them.
1/2 banana
1/2 cup frozen berry medley (raspberries, blackberries, strawberries)
1/2 of a mango, fresh

You get so many vitamins from smoothies but this one is packed with an extra punch of vitamin C.
1/2 cup frozen tropical smoothie blend (strawberries, mangoes, pineapple)
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1/2 cup spinach
1 kiwi
handful blueberries

Do you have any low calorie smoothies that you enjoy? I'd love to hear your ideas.

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