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March 18, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 8 Faves: 2

4 Smoothies This Dietitian Approves!

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Wondering how you and your family are going to squeeze the recommended 5-9 produce servings into your day? Why not start the day off right and enjoy them within a delicious breakfast smoothie. A quick morning blend will not only taste great on-the-go, it will also help you accomplish mission impossible: getting your youngsters to enjoy fruits and veggies with a smile.

A smoothie becomes a powerhouse of nutrition when made with wholesome ingredients such as fruit, nuts, yogurt, and, yes, even vegetables. While the sight of leafy greens edging toward the blender may draw apprehension, when combined with berries the color is quickly camouflaged by the blues, blacks, and reds. As for the taste, unless you witness the addition of greens, it is very unlikely that you would even notice the addition (especially if you are using baby spinach).

Not sure if your morning will allow time for a fresh smoothie? Simply prepare them a batch ahead of time and store it in the freezer. Be sure to portion the smoothies into smaller containers, either Tupperware containers or resealable baggies, to ensure each serving will thaw out overnight and be ready to drink by the morning rush.

Once you become familiar with a few smoothie recipe favorites, invite your kiddos to help out by selecting and adding the ingredients for their own creation. Just be certain to teach them how to safely use the blender (e.g., never put their fingers near the blades, keep the lid on while blending) to ensure a safe and child-friendly production.

PREPARATION TIP:

Ice cubes or frozen fruit? If your smoothie is already quite nutrient dense, ice cubes are an easy way to thicken your concoction and increase the volume without adding calories. Ice cubes are also a great option for times when frozen fruit is simply not an option.

Berry Good Banana Smoothie

(Serves 1) (Prep Time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

5 ice cubes

¼ cup water

1 cup fat-free Greek blueberry yogurt

1 sliced banana (frozen if possible)

1-2 handfuls of fresh spinach

¼ cup blueberries (optional)

Directions:

  1. Add ice and water first.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, blend on high speed until combined.
  3. Pour into tall glass and serve immediately.

Chocolate Banana Smoothie

(Serves 1) (Prep Time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

1 cup chocolate flavored non-fat Greek yogurt

1 banana, sliced, frozen

2 TBSP cocoa powder or chocolate protein powder

2 tsp honey

Splash of fat-free or reduced-fat milk, plain or chocolate, if needed for mixing

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a blender, and blend at high speed until smooth.
  2. Pour into tall glass and serve immediately.

Go Greek for Almonds Smoothie

(Serves 1) (Prep Time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries

1 cup plain or vanilla non-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons nut butter

Splash of milk or water, if needed for mixing

Directions:

  1. Put all of the ingredients in a blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
  2. Pour into tall glass and serve immediately.

Vanilla Pear Smoothie

(Serves 1) (Prep Time: 5 minutes)

Ingredients:

5 ice-cubes

1 fresh pear, sliced

1 cup fat-free or reduced fat milk

2 TBSP vanilla protein powder

Splash of water, if needed for blending

Directions:

  1. Add ingredients to blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
  2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

Note: Plain or vanilla soy or almond milk may serve as a substitute for dairy milk in recipes.

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8 Comments

  • Can not wait to try these, they sound yuuuumm and amazing.

  • Love to hear that, Christine! Let me know which one is your favorite!

  • I love the recipes and will definitley try them.

  • Let me know how you like them, Christine! Cheers!

  • Jessica, how many smoothies is too many? I'm working on changing my diet to have two smoothies a day. Now I have the NutraBullet so my consist of a large handful of spinach, two pieces of kale, carrots, apple, strawberries, banana, and a table spoon of flax seed, pumpkin seeds, and Chi seeds. Then I have to add water to the fill line I would say it's a least a cup or so. I know the dark leafy greens can be good for you - but is too much bad for you? Also I will sometimes make the smoothie the night before for breakfast and store in the fridge does it loose it's vitamins overnight?

  • Hi Nancy,

    The American Cancer Society recommends we include at least 10 servings of fruits and veggies each day and if a smoothie is the way you are able to achieve this goal, I think that is phenomenal. Micronutrients do begin to break down the moment a fruit or veg is picked, so it is a challenge to receive every single one by the time we are able to consume it. I would not worry to much about the degradation of your smoothie over night. The small loss that may occur is nothing when compared to NOT consuming the produce at all. Light is a big factor in the breakdown, so if you are using an opaque container or rather not opening the fridge often, you will help to prevent some of the breakdown.

    If you are taking certain medications (such as coumadin), then yes, you can consume too many green veggies. But if you're in good health, I certainly would not worry about consuming too many :) Though as with all things, aim to mix it up. Despite your healthy smoothies, I would still encourage you to get fruits and veggies in their whole or cooked form throughout the day.

    Cheers to your healthy beverages!

  • thanks Jessica - I do eat raw veggies for lunch 3-4 days a week. Now I heard though that raw veggies aren't as good for you? What's that all about? I'm not sure if you get less nutrients compared to if you cook them briefly or if it's because of the possibility of contamination or bugs hiding in the broccoli?!?

  • Great question, Nancy. This differs per fruit and vegetable unfortunately. In most cases, the less you cook them, the better. In the case of tomatoes, the lycopene (prostate cancer fighter!) is much better absorbed if you opt for cooked or canned tomatoes.

    On another note, to absorb the healthy vitamin A in our produce, we need to consume them with a bit of healthy fats - think EVOO, avoados, nuts, or seeds. A great excuse to make our salads even tastier!

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