Monday, June 3, 2013

Make it Monday: Let's make smoothies!

One of my favorite things to make for breakfast is a smoothie. I usually don't feel all that hungry in the morning, so a smoothie is a great thing to quickly make and bring with me. They are a great afternoon snack as well. My kids also love to add their own fruits (and I can sneak in some flaxseed) to make theirs. We use a Magic Bullet to add whatever we want and mix it individually. During the winter, I use frozen fruits, but right now there are so many yummy fruits that are in season to add!

Here are some of my favorite recipes:

Breakfast to Go
1 cup fat-free milk (or almond milk)
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie (because, who can't get enough peanut butter?!)

6-8 ounces almond milk (or skim milk)
1 scoop of vanilla whey protein powder (I use a Cytosport 100% whey vanilla I got from Costco)
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
1/2-1 medium banana
1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed
a few ice cubes

Very Berry Smoothie
Baby Spinach
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
1/2 cup-1 cup Plain greek yogurt
ice, if desired

There are really so many options on what you can put in your smoothies. Here are some tips on making your own smoothies at home:

1. POUR IN YOUR LIQUID Use four to eight ounces of liquid, such as water, almond milk or skim milk. If you use fruit juice (which is high in sugar), limit to six ounces or less.

2. ADD FRUITS AND VEGETABLES Try 1/2 to one cup of produce, such as berries, mango, kale, or tomato. Frozen produce is just as healthy as fresh and makes smoothies cold with less ice.

3. THROW IN FATS AND PROTEIN Limit to one serving of healthy fats to keep calories in check. Try a tablespoon of nut butter or seeds. You can also add any kind of protein/whey powder.

4. ADD SPICES AND SWEETENERS Honey, agave nectar, and other sugars have few nutrients, so use no more than one teaspoon. Add 1/4 teaspoon of ground spices, such as nutmeg or ginger.

5. TOP WITH ICE More ice (1 cup) will give you a thick, milkshake-like consistency, while less ice (1/4 to 1/2 cup) will produce a thinner smoothie. Use less or no ice if you're using frozen produce.

6. EAT BETTER: A few drops of vanilla, orange, peppermint, or almond extract will boost the flavor of your smoothie without adding calories.

7. IN THE MIX: Kiwi, spinach, and carrots add fiber and vitamins to smoothies. One cup of spinach has more than 100% of your daily need for Vitamin K and half your need for Vitamin A. So, go ahead, add some!

We would love to hear your smoothie recipes! What is your favorite go to smoothie recipe?

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