Summer is coming and if you're looking for a quick and easy meal to cool you down and take on the go, smoothies are your answer. Smoothies are fun to experiment with and let you use up slightly too ripe fruit, yogurt and veggies in your fridge/freezer. Quick tip: when bananas are too ripe for your taste stick them in the freezer. They will turn brown outside but don't let the color fool you- they are great to use for smoothies, banana bread or baby purees.
Nutrition facts: If you create a smoothie you like, you can get the nutrition facts by creating a profile in USDA's supertracker. Next go to "Tracking Food and Activity" then "My Recipe." This tool allows you to enter your ingredients, save the recipe and gives you tons of nutrition data on your creation. Note: Not all smoothies are healthy, and some are very high in calories, so this is an important step if weight management is one of your concerns. Read more about the "Downside of Smoothies" at the NYTimes.
Meal vs. Snack Smoothies: While everyone eats different amounts, my general rule of thumb is 200-300 Calories or less are snack smoothies, and 400-500 Calories or more are meal replacement smoothies. In the recipes below there are two snack smoothies and one meal replacement smoothie. All three recipes make enough for two servings so you can share one with a friend or save the rest for later. You can also drink the whole smoothie (Green Smoothie and Vanilla Berry Cherry Smoothie) as a meal replacement or cut the Peanut Butter Smoothie in half if you don't want leftovers.
Get Creative: If you like to be creative about your food, check out the design your own Smoothie table in the PRINTABLE RECIPE PDF. Pick and choose among the categories based on your own goals and tastes, but remember you always need a base to help it blend- more or less can be used depending on how thick you like your smoothie.
The Recipes: I created my own green smoothie by trying a couple I found online (Green Goddess Smoothie and Green Smoothie) and tweaking and combining the ingredients until I was happy. I tried two peanut butter banana smoothies and loved this one, so I posted as is- it was created by Liz at Thelemonbowl.com. I also wanted to bring you some different fruits not included in the other smoothies, so while I loved the Blueberry Mango Smoothie from NYTimes, instead I posted my own fruit and yogurt creation that uses two of my favorite fruits, raspberries and cherries.
Fresh vs. Frozen Fruit: I used frozen fruit in all my smoothies. You can always use fresh if you prefer, I personally just save fresh fruit to eat on it's own.
It's Not Easy Being Green Smoothie
makes two servings, created by Shira Hirshberg
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (base)
- ½ cup plain greek yogurt (texture & protein)
- ½ banana (flavor & texture)
- ½ cup frozen pineapple (flavor)
- ½ cup frozen mango (flavor)
- 1 cup packed spinach (vitamins)
- 2 tablespoons avocado (healthy fats)
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds (fiber & healthy fats)
Put spinach, milk and yogurt in blender first and then add other ingredients in any order. Blend until smooth.
Vanilla Berry Cherry Smoothie
Makes 2 servings, created by Shira Hirshberg
- ½ cup vanilla almond or soy milk (base)
- ½ cup 2% plain greek yogurt (texture & protein)
- ½ cup frozen cherries (flavor)
- ½ cup frozen raspberries (flavor)
- 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal (fiber & healthy fats)
Start with milk, then add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
The Peanut Butter Banana Oatmeal Smoothie
makes 2 servings, created by Liz at Thelemonbowl.com
- 1 cup skim, soy or almond milk (base)
- 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt (texture)*
- 2 bananas (flavor & texture)
- ¼ cup natural peanut butter (protein & healthy fats)
- 1 tsp cinnamon (flavor)
- 1 cup oats (fiber)
- 2-3 large scoops ice or more to taste (texture)
- * for extra protein use vanilla greek yogurt
- Place bananas, skim milk, and yogurt in a blender. Blend.
- Add oats, peanut butter, cinnamon, and ice. Blend until smooth.