Summer is in full swing and it is HOT outside! Forget the soda and the ice cream. One of the best ways to cool off, hydrate, and load up on nutrition is to make a homemade smoothie. These are seriously my newest addiction. I have one for breakfast about 5 days a week and they are light but filling and they provide you with a steady stream of energy that will hold you over until lunch.
The trick is to keep the sugar low and the fiber high. Adding some healthy fat (flax seed, nuts or nut butter, coconut oil) will help keep your hair shiny and your skin glowing. Throwing in some yogurt or kefir will give you a probiotic boost. And fresh fruits and vegetables provide you with tons of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fiber.
I’ve been experimenting a lot so here are a couple of my favorite recipes:
Blueberry-Raspberry-Banana: Toss a banana, about 1/2 cup soy milk,1/2 cup greek yogurt,1 cup mixed blueberries and raspberries, 1 Tbs. ground flax seed, and a handful of ice into a high-powered blender (Such as a Vitamix or Ninja). Add more soy milk if necessary.
* If you like it sweeter add a tablespoon of honey or a little stevia. I also add a little green powder if I have it on hand.
Green Smoothie: Blend 1 banana, 1/2 mango, 1 cup of strawberries, 3/4 cup apple juice, 1 Tbs. ground flax, 1 tsp. grated fresh ginger, a handful of mint, and a handful of mesclun greens or kale, and some ice cubes.
These smoothies are nutritional powerhouses because you have so many healthy elements blended into one glass. They are a great way to get in your daily fruit and veggie servings and they’re extremely versatile. If you need extra fiber, add a spoonful of psyllium powder or some chia seeds. If you need to really reduce your sugar, use water in place of juice or soy milk. You can also add stevia to add sweetness without calories. You can add fresh ginger, mint, or cilantro to any smoothie to help with digestion. And you can always make them dairy free by leaving out the yogurt. If you need extra protein, add some walnuts or almond butter. You can also add some green powder (I use Amazing Grass Green Superfood) for even more vitamins and minerals.
Feel free to use whatever fruits and vegetables are fresh and in season or you can use frozen. Some of my favorites are raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, peaches, mangos, nectarines, dates, spinach, kale, and lettuce greens. So enjoy a refreshing smoothie today. Your body will thank you!