By Maysam Youssef, RD
Smoothies can be a healthy choice or they may be little more than sugary water (not much different than soft drinks or fruit punch). Smoothies, made from whole, fresh or frozen fruit have higher vitamin, mineral, photochemical and fibre content, than juices and they can be a healthy choice. But beware of added ingredients such as fruit syrups, whipped cream or flavoured drizzles- these add on’s can turn your smart smoothie into a glorified milkshake, complete with 400 or more calories!
Here are our 5 key elements for a smart smoothie:
S- Serving: Watch portions. Limit portions to 1cup (250ml). Large smoothies can provide as much as 300-400 calories.
M- Measure: Choose those with the lowest sugar content. Aim for those with 10-15 gms of sugar per serving. Use small amounts of juice and add ice, to create texture.
A- Aromatic: Add cinnamon, ginger, lemon, mint, green tea or vanilla to add a great kick of flavour.
R- Radical: Chose a variety of fruit choices; add yogurt, flax or chia seeds, for added fibre and heart-healthy omega-3 fat. Add a healthy fat such as 1/2 an avocado or nut butter
T- Toppings: Skip the juice, syrups, whipped toppings and chocolate drizzle. Add a few frozen raspberries, a slice of cucumber, or a wedge of pineapple.
Other great tips to keep your smoothie smart-
– add a handful of the green stuff- kale, spinach or cucumber. This will have minimal impact on the flavour (it will change the colour), but can add a little more nutrition.
– switch up your yogurt- try adding kefier, cottage cheese or tofu, or even cooked lentils as a source of protein
– use frozen fruit- frozen berries, a frozen banana or frozen mango all make for great smoothies
– and our final time-saving smart smoothie tip- pre-blend your smoothie ingredients, then pour into muffin tins and freeze. Once frozen, pop the “smoothie muffins” into a freezer bag and keep in the freezer until ready to use. To make a quick smoothie, just pop a couple of “smoothie muffins” and some milk, and ice in the blender and blend!
-check out this great smoothie recipe