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Healthy Smoothie Tips

smothies and veggiesSmoothies have quickly become a refreshing and tasty health trend among kids and adults of all ages. If made correctly, smoothies are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients that provide fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals your body needs for good nutrition – not to mention the convenience and ease of consumption.

However, smoothie success starts with the right formula.

“Typically, people use fruit juice, flavored yogurts, and added sweeteners in their smoothies that provide a lot of unnecessary sugar and calories,” said Shelli Meulemans, Registered Dietitian. “It is important that your smoothie has a good protein source, however, many protein powders are full of sugar or artificial sweeteners, are highly processed, and not a nutritious choice.”

It’s also important to account for calories when adding a smoothie to your usual meal pattern. Even a healthy smoothie can contain between 300 – 400 calories and many people don’t realize how it will impact their overall diet.

“If you’re trying to lose weight, smoothies should be used to replace a meal, such as dinner, not in addition to your regular caloric intake,” said Shelli.

Making a delicious, healthy smoothie is a snap – all it takes is a blender and a few simple ingredients. 

Follow these tips to get started:

  1. Follow the 60/40 formula: 60% fruits to 40% vegetables
  2. Blend in stages to avoid leafy chunks
    • Blend your leafy greens with a liquid base first.
    • Add in fruits and blend again.
  3. Balance frozen ingredients for desired chill
    • Freeze your favorite fruits like ripe bananas (peel first, then freeze), berries, grapes, pineapple, or buy frozen.
    • Consider replacing 1/2 cup frozen fruit with 1/2 cup ice to decrease calories.
    • Freeze your leafy greens too to keep them longer and add to blender frozen.
  4. Use raw, natural sweeteners
    • Flavor your smoothie with naturally sweet fruits, like bananas.
    • Avoid adding processed sugars and artificial sweeteners.
    • To make a dessert-like smoothie, consider adding a bit of maple syrup or honey with unsweetened cocoa powder.
  5. Ensure sure your smoothie has good protein source
    • Protein helps to stabilize blood sugars and keep you feeling full longer.
    • If you’re not using a protein-containing base, consider adding nut butter.
    • When adding protein powder, chose one that does not have any added sugars or artificial sweeteners.
  6. Prepare smoothies ahead of time for the perfect on-the-go snack
    • You can blend your green smoothie the night before and store it in the refrigerator (for up to 2 days).
    • Use an airtight lid to reduce oxidation and keep it as fresh as possible.
    • If using wheat germ, flaxmeal or chia, consider adding these ingredients right before eating to reduce how thick it will get.

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