Recipes and Tips for Healthier Living and Smarter Budgeting

Monday, June 21, 2010

Healthy Smoothies

Some of you may be thinking this title is redundant, but it's really not. I have noticed that not all smoothies are created equal--either in taste or in healthfulness. For one thing, I have never understood why so many people think it necessary to add sugar to something that is naturally sweetened with yummy fruit anyway.

I have played around with making smoothies for several years and I love making them in the summer, especially (particularly with fresh, ripe, juicy summer fruit). Now nearly every time they hear the blender going, my kids rush into the kitchen and say, "Smoothies?" And if it is, they jump up and down and say, "Yay! Smoothies!" So yeah, we like them around here.

Here is how I make them (keeping in mind that smoothies are, of course, very versatile and if your family doesn't like a particular fruit or you don't have it on hand, you can easily toss in something else):

1 banana per person you are making the smoothie for (bananas thicken it up nicely)
2 c. or more frozen or fresh berries, mangos, kiwi, peaches or nectarines, etc.
1/2 c. or more milk
a couple large dollops of plain yogurt (which is easily omitted for my lactose intolerant child)
a couple large dollops of frozen juice concentrate (which adds extra sweetness and flavor, if needed)

Blend all together and pour into cups.

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Brandi M said...

I love smoothies too! My mother-in-law just gave us a vitamix blender and I'm excited to start using it. One thing my mom always added (that I love) is to put spinach in the blender. As much or as little as you like. If I want the whole blender full of smoothie, half of it is filled with spinach (that's the amount I like). Maybe your kids would like it too?

Katrina said...

That's an interesting idea and would be a great way to get more greens into my kids. Does the spinach blend up completely? Can you taste it at all?

Brandi M said...

I'll eat spinach other ways, but this is definately my favorite! I am so used to the spinach smoothies that I can't really taste the spinach. But I gave it to my friend Amy and she didn't like the spinach- she said it was too strong. Of course, I added alot to match my tastes. What I would recommend is to put a couple of leaves in to start, and see how that goes. Add more gradually as everyone gets used to it. (It will turn your smoothie green). Put the spinach in the very bottom of the blender- that way it will chop up better. I've never had a blender good enough to make it completely smooth, but the chunks that are left are pretty small. Another suggestion (I haven't tried) is to put the spinach and some juice, milk, or other liquid in with it in the food processor. That may make it smooth. Not sure on that one. We always drank it with small chunks no problem. Let me know what you think :)

Mommy Bee said...

I make mine thus
fresh/canned fruit
frozen fruit
milk or yogurt (or kefir) until texture is as desired

I vary which fruits/berries I put in, but I have found that frozen fruit/berries rather than ice cubes ensures that it never gets thin and runny as it sits. Using canned fruit (with it's syrup--whether home canned or bought) or a sweetened yogurt does away with the need for any extra sugar. (we usually have homemade yogurt too.)
Bananas are great for texture, but not all of us like them, and it can be hard to find decent ones up here (and I feel a moral dilemma over buying them because they are tropical and have to be shipped so far...but that's a whole other discussion!)

Brandi M said...

I ran across this blog:

Shennie said...

I fill up my blender with spinach too. But I can't get over the green color so I always throw in some frozen blueberries to make it a purple smoothie. And I can't taste the spinach just all the other yummy stuff.

Katrina said...

That's a good idea! Thanks, Shennie.


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