By Gabrielle Meranshian, Priority Nutrition Care Dietetics Intern
Luanne J. Hughes, MS, RDN: FCHS Educator, Gloucester County
Smoothies can be a great option for a healthy, on-the-go breakfast, snack or dessert for kids and adults. Be cautious, though. Not every smoothie is a nutritious choice. Some are loaded with sugar, fat and extra calories. Choose your smoothie wisely to make a healthy addition to your daily diet. The ingredients you choose influence the nutrient content of your smoothie. A smoothie that includes healthy ingredients like vegetables, fruits, protein, dairy or “dairy alternative,” and fiber is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more.
An All-Around Healthy Smoothie …show more content…
Are you trying to eat more greens or calcium-rich foods? Are you trying to eat more lean protein or include more fiber daily? Or, do you need an alternative treat as a dessert replacement or a healthy, “on-the-go” breakfast? If chosen wisely, a smoothie can be a convenient and tasty option to promote a healthy lifestyle. Follow these steps to build a better smoothie.
Step #1 -- Choose A Base!
Bases provide the foundation for a smoothie. When preparing, add the base first, so it sits at the bottom of the blender. This will help blend all ingredients more easily. There are a variety of bases to choose from.
Dairy Bases: Reduced fat dairy bases such as skim milk and cottage cheese provide protein and texture to a smoothie. Yogurt is another healthy option and provides the creamiest texture and flavor out of the other bases mentioned. Greek Yogurt is very popular and very delicious. The texture is a bit thicker than traditional yogurt, and it has more protein and less carbohydrates. Greek Yogurt is packed with probiotics that help with digestion, …show more content…
Chop tougher leaves like kale and collards to help them blend more easily. Some experts suggest, also, that freezing leaves improves the blend ability and can help reduce bitterness, as well. . Avocados are creamy and smooth, making them great for a smoothie. Red/orange vegetables
Avocados and mashed red/orange vegetables such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and carrots add thickness to smoothies. They’re also rich in vitamins and antioxidants, which help protect against cancer and other diseases.
Step #4-- Boost Up the Nutrition!
Once you’ve built a better smoothie, try adding a booster to enhance the flavor. Add walnuts or almonds for a boost of protein. For a sweeter flavor add cocoa powder, honey, agave nectar or even cinnamon. Flax and chia seeds provide Omega 3 for a healthy heart diet. Adding these healthy boosters will provide a great flavor while keeping you fuller longer. Beans (black, red, white, kidney and navy) are full of fiber and protein, and give a smooth texture when