Nutrition 101: Fruit smoothies

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It’s no secret that fruits and veggies are good for your overall health. Packed with nutrients and flavor, they add a bold freshness to our lives that is a feeling that is hard to mimic. Since we oftentimes look past the abundance of variety, we are stuck eating the same Granny Smith apples or naval oranges all the time! Just like we enjoy different types of music, our bodies enjoy different types of food. To make this a tad bit simple, I’ve constructed this blog to be about smoothies to get you through Summer break.

Smoothies are delicious, colorful, and easy to make. You’d be surprised about the enormous variation of different foods that can go into a smoothie. Yogurt, seeds and nuts are just a few of the optional ingredients to mix in with some fresh or frozen fruits and/or veggies.fruit-veg-rainbow

When making a smoothie, it’s a good idea to pack it full of nutritious ingredients. To make your smoothies, you’ll need a blender. Hamilton Beach makes a good one! It’s just the right size; not too big, and small enough to keep out on your counter for impromptu smoothie nights!blender

When choosing your ingredients, do it in parts. Juice, thickener, fruit, extras. Choosing your juice shouldn’t be too difficult. Just choose one you like and buy a bottle of it to keep in the fridge. I like pomegranate juice because I like the antioxidants. Plus, it gives a nice flavor to the smoothie…almost like cranberry juice. Another juice I like a lot is aloe vera juice. It aids your digestive system… which is good for this because fruit has pulp that is hard for your body to break down. I feel like I’m doing my body a favor. Coconut milk or water is good to as well as orange, apple and pineapple.

greek-yogurt-should-you-be-eating-full-fat-yogurtA thickener is important to have in your smoothie too. It adds a heavier texture than would be if you had not used it. Greek yogurt is my favorite. It also provides a good amount of protein to make you feel full. If you don’t like the flavor of yogurt, you really won’t even be able to tell it’s in there. The fruit masks the flavor. If you’re still reluctant, try ricotta cheese! Bananas are also really good, as well as peanut butter.

Fruit is the star when it comes to making a great smoothie. Choose what you like and don’t be afraid to get creative! Whatever is in season is perfect. Peaches, mangos, blueberries and strawberries are all good… you name it! Get colorful and see what tastes good together.

980xNuts and seeds are considered to be extras. As well as different oils and powders. Even supplements! Sunflower and pumpkin seeds grind up nicely when mixed with everything else and the texture is nice too. A little crunchy, so just add a small handful. Chia seeds are packed with nutrients and don’t really have a taste. They expand in liquid though… So your small handful will turn into a bigger handful when added to the smoothie. Try putting some oils into your smoothies as well. Coconut and avocado oils are great. So are flax seeds or just the oil!

Below are some recipes to get you started:

Strawberry Banana Smoothiestrawberry banana

½ C strawberries

1 Banana

½ C Pomegranate juice

½ C Aloe juice

1 C Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla

1 Tbsp chia seeds

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

 

Mango Blueberry smoothieblueberries-and-mangoes

1 mango

½ C blueberries

½ C Orange juice

½ C coconut water

1 C Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp avocado/coconut oil

 

 

Pineapple Strawberry Grapefruit smoothie

1 C pineapple

½ C strawberries

½ of a grapefruit

½ C pineapple juice

½ C coconut milk

Small handful of unsalted sunflower seeds

Directions:

Blend until smooth.

 

So everybody, stay on track this Summer and cool down with a fruit smoothie! You ‘ll wish you had started this sooner, but that’s okay. Better late than never! J

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