Spring Fruit and Veggie Smoothies You’ll Love
I love smoothies! They have definitely been my craving throughout this pregnancy. The beautiful thing about smoothies is that there is such a great variety of ways to make them. My inner foodie likes the different flavor profiles and I like that a lot of great nutrition that can be packed into one delicious drink. Smoothies are great as a meal, snack or part of a meal. You can have it for breakfast, before a workout or to replenish your system after exercise. They are filled with vitamins, minerals, nutrients, antioxidants and even fiber, not to mention they are yumtastic during the spring and summer.
Basic smoothie formula
Here is a few steps for a basic smoothie formula. This will help you create your own delicious drinks. In general, you need some kind of liquid base. My recommendation is a low-fat or fat-free milk or milk substitute. This will offer some dairy, calcium and even a little bit of protein. I don’t usually recommend juice, because I would rather have you include actual fruit for sweetness and flavor. Juice can increase the amount of calories very quickly.
The next thing you will want to add is about 1-2 cups of fruit. This could include a banana and a cup of berries. You can add more if you are making more than one serving. The sky is the limit here, so play around with a variety of different fruit options.
If you are looking to add more nutrition, you can also add some vegetables. I recommend a cup of vegetables. Some of my favorites to use are green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, kale or even chard. I have also used carrots or red peppers, they are sweeter and add great color and flavor.
If you are looking for some protein, try adding one or two of the following: Greek yogurt, low-fat yogurt, tofu (it picks up the flavor of anything you mix it with), nuts (I personally like walnuts, almonds or pistachios), or even protein powder. I personally would rather have you choose a food source rather than protein powder, only for the simple reason that it is food.
There are some extras that you can also add to your smoothie, if you would like. This could include; seeds, such as chia seeds, sesame seeds, flax seed or flax seed meal for some extra heart healthy fat and fiber. You could also include honey or vanilla extract for extra flavor and sweetness, but I really feel like fruit will supply this natural sweetness, so you won’t necessarily need to add more. I also like to add ice to my smoothies for texture and because I enjoy my smoothies cold. Also think about adding some herbs for flavor. One of my favorites is ginger because it pairs nicely with various fruits. I have also used a little bit of basil or mint for added fragrance and flavor. Yum!
Smoothies I made this week
This week I made a couple of smoothie recipes with what I had. Here are some photos and the ingredients that I pulled together.
The Pink Smoothie
- 1 cup watermelon, chopped and de-seeded
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup low fat coconut milk
Blend all together and enjoy! This made 2 servings
The Green Smoothie
- 1.5 cups of spinach
- 1 mango
- 1 frozen banana
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup low-fat coconut milk
Blend all together and enjoy! This also made two servings.
Here are a few of my tips and tricks. One of my tricks is to freeze the over ripe bananas to use for my smoothies. Also know you don’t always have to use fresh fruit or veggies, you can buy frozen produce especially during the winter months. Sometimes I even pre-bag my smoothie fruits and vegetables and freeze it so that it is ready to go. Then, it just needs to be thrown in the blender with the yogurt and milk. It is a quick, easy and convenient way to make a smoothie.
Here are some other smoothie ideas from Shape to help inspire you.
In the end, you want your smoothie to add good nutrition to your day without adding extra calories. So be realistic about what ingredients you are using and how much you are consuming.
Do you have a favorite smoothie concoction? I would love to hear what you are making so I can try it too.
Photo Credit: Grace Derocha, A Healthier Michigan