Anatomy of a Healthy Smoothie
1. As a dietitian why do you love smoothies?
Many Canadians fall short in their fruit and veggie consumption and smoothies are a great way to get more of the key vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients into your diet that prevent chronic disease and increase health. Smoothies are a great solution for breakfast on the go and a healthy snack option for both kids and adults. They are also a top choice for post workout recovery for athletes.
The key is making sure your smoothie is a healthy one instead of a “smoothie imposter” that is disguised as a milkshake or fruit flavored Slurpee.
2. What do you mean by a “smoothie imposter”?
Many commercial smoothies are loaded with added sugar in the form of syrups, powders and sorbet (frozen fruit blended with sugar).
If you are buying a smoothie be choosey! Be sure to watch how your smoothie is made and ask about the ingredients added to your cup. If you see powders and stuff that scoops out like ice cream (ie sorbet) this is a smoother imposter.
3. Veggies can be added to smoothies?
Yes! Veggies can be added to smoothies! My favorite additions are kale, spinach and avocado but you can also add cucumber, celery, carrot juice, beet juice and more! As the consulting dietitian for Jugo Juice I have been thrilled to see the success of the vegetable line of smoothies including the Mighty Kale, which has been a top seller across Canada along with the newly launched Kale Nut smoothie that is one of my new favorites.
If you don’t think kids will enjoy a smoothie with veggies, think again. I blended kale, pineapple, frozen mango and unsweetened mango juice smoothies with my sons preschool last year and 21 out of 25 kids enjoyed their green superpower smoothie. (see recipe below).
4. What are the best ingredients to add to a smoothie?
I like to think of smoothie building in five easy steps:
- Start with fruit
Fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, mango, pineapple, banana, peach and more!
- Add a healthy liquid
100% unsweetened juice, milk, almond milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut water or fresh pressed vegetable juice.
- Consider a veggie
Fresh kale, spinach, swiss chard, avocado, cucumber as well as steamed veggies such as cauliflower, carrots and beets whirl away in any blender easily.
- Try a healthy addition
Hemp hearts, chia seeds, ground flax, yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, bran or protein powder are other great additions to enhance nutrition.
- Blend & enjoy!
Drink at home or place in a reusable coffee mug with a straw.
5. Recipe: Superpower Smoothie
Calling all kids (and parents/caregivers)! This groovy green smoothie tastes great and is packed with power! Blend this up for a superhero snack.
What you need:
2 cups frozen mango pieces
1 can 398 ml (14 oz) unsweetened pineapple including juice
1 cup unsweetened apple, mango or tropical juice
2 cups kale (wash and remove tough stems)
How you prepare:
Place all ingredients into a blender a blend until smooth. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 Servings. Per serving: Calories 155, Carbohydrates 38 g, Protein 1.6 g, Fat 0.5 g, Fiber 3.2 g
6. Where can I get more information?
For a copy of this recipe, smoothie building tips and more healthy living tips visit Andrea’s website at www.healthstandnutrition.com. For a healthy smoothie on the go visit www.jugojuice.com for a location near you.