Smoothies... It's All About the Fixings

For some of us in our “seasoned” years, the smoothie is a relatively new concept. We grew up eating our fruits and vegetables, not drinking them. But, over the past decade or so, the smoothie has become very popular.

A smoothie can be a delicious alternative to help make sure we’re getting the right amount of nutrients in our diet. Depending upon its ingredients, a smoothie may include a host of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other healthful benefits that help keep our bodies and minds healthy.

Smoothies are easy to make at home. All you need is a blender or food processor and some ingredients you probably already have in your refrigerator. The best ingredients to use are healthy ingredients, like fruits and vegetables. Obviously, smoothies made with high fat and/or high sugar items, like ice cream, peanut butter, sweetened syrups, or chocolate are not going to pack the same nutritional punch.

While smoothies can be a great addition to your daily diet and a convenient way to boost nutrition, some people come to rely on them a little too much. In most cases, it’s best to think of a smoothie more as a supplement or snack rather than a meal replacement. In other words, don’t stop eating your fruits and vegetables!

So what exactly is in a smoothie? Usually, a smoothie starts with some kind of healthy liquid like juice or perhaps soy milk or rice water. They include a blend of fruits, vegetables, or often both. Yogurt is a popular smoothie staple. You can find “ready-to-make” versions in the frozen food aisle of your local grocery store.

Whether you’re new to smoothies or you’re thinking about becoming reacquainted with them, adding smoothies to your diet is bound to add taste and some added nutritional value. Here’s a simple recipe to help you create your own delicious fruit-based smoothie.

Frozen Fruit Smoothie Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 2 cups any frozen fruit, such as peaches, plums, nectarines, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, blueberries, etc.
  • 3/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • Additional fruit and/or mint for garnish optional

 

INSTRUCTIONS

Place the juice, fruit, and yogurt in a blender. Blend until completely smooth. (You can add 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed as another healthy ingredient. It will give the smoothie a bit of a nutty flavor) Pour mixture into two glasses. Garnish with additional fruit and/or mint, if desired. Enjoy!

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