Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Smoothies are fun to whip up, tasty, and refreshing, especially as the weather heats up. With the right ingredients, they can be healthy, too. Once you know the basics, you can throw together a perfect snack—or even a meal replacement—for kids and adults alike. To get you started, we’ve assembled some helpful tips.

Order, please!

Place liquids in the blender first, then the next softest ingredients, then fresh or frozen fruit, followed by nuts and seeds. If you’re using ice, add one cube at a time at the end.

Create balance

When replacing a meal or when you want to feel satisfied longer, include a carbohydrate source (dairy, fruit, vegetable), a protein source (dairy, natural nut butter, protein powder, soy milk, silken tofu), and a healthy fat source (avocado, natural nut butters, nuts, seeds). Occasionally, it’s okay to substitute full-fat yogurt or milk in place of healthy fats.

Keep it fresh

Use seasonal fruits and vegetables whenever possible. Or freeze seasonal fruit for later use. Frozen fruits create a thicker consistency. If you have some bananas, melon, or other fruit that you don’t want to spoil, slice or cut them into pieces and freeze in individual portions to use later in smoothies.

Plan your calories

Pay attention to portions and calories. Are you having a smoothie as a snack or as a meal replacement? Calorie needs are determined by your age, activity, and whether you are male or female. Eating too many calories will make it difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

Serve it up

Thinner smoothies can be consumed from a glass. When the smoothie is thick, serve it in a bowl. Add texture via toppings liked chopped nuts or raisins, if desired.

Green Banana Smoothie

There are lots of ways to customize your favorite smoothies depending on your nutritional goals and what you have on hand at home. Here, we share several options for putting together a healthy Green Banana Smoothie.

Directions: Choose one item from each column.

Liquid Protein Fruit Veggie Fat Optional Flavor Add-in
¾ cup unsweetened
almond milk
(low protein)
½ cup vanilla
Greek yogurt
Medium banana,
fresh or frozen
3 cups spinach 2 Tbsp chopped
walnuts
¼ fresh lime
  ½ cup vanilla
regular yogurt
(less protein than
Greek yogurt)
½ medium banana,
fresh or frozen
+
1 kiwi, peeled
  ¼ avocado 1 Tbsp lime juice

Approximately 325-375 Cals, 45-50 g carbohydrate, 12-17 g protein, 12-15 g fat, 7-9 g fiber

Source: Barb Van Meerbeke, RD, LDN, with WellSpan Endocrinology

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