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Smoothies – not just for Jamba Juice

07/26/2013

I like smoothies, but my main problems with them is they taste healthy. They taste fine, but they taste like fruit. I’m not much of a fruit fan, but I need to eat better and lose some weight. Then I heard about those smoothie replacement diets where a smoothie with protein powder replaces a meal. Unfortunately, although those are healthy, I know myself well enough to know that I will be hungry enough to cheat on that and eat a snack within the first few hours. So… how do you make a smoothie healthy, yummy, and a substantial substitute for a meal?

Well… you use real fruit! In one smoothie you should have two or three servings of fruit. One serving should be a banana because bananas have potassium among a myriad of other important nutrients including the harder-to-absorb ones like manganese, Calcium, Iron, and Zinc, which most fruit has. Also, a medium banana is only 105 calories. A cup of strawberries is 46 calories, and strawberries have protein as well as dietary fiber, although I only use about five big strawberries – maybe half a cup. For a third fruit, I like to use a handful of blueberries because they turn the smoothie an interesting pinkish purple, but they only have 84 calories for a cup – again, I use less, only about 1/4 cup – and they sweeten it, although I did put in a quarter of a nectarine yesterday. Anyway, if you add up the fruit I put in, I’m at a filling smoothie that so far is only 149 calories so far.

I don’t like protein powder. It usually tastes funny, and a lot of them leave your smoothie or shake kind of chalky – not cool. I like Silk Pure Almond vanilla almond milk. Its sweet, it doesn’t taste like cardboard, and its non-dairy (darn you lactose intolerance!). A cup of this stuff is only 90 calories, has 35mg of potassium, and 45% of the average daily requirement for Calcium (according to the box). It also is thick like cream, giving your smoothing a texture and flavor more like a shake than a smoothie. Yes, it does have sugar in it, though. So does the fruit. But I’m still at only 239 calories so far.

Sometimes I also put a splash of lemon juice, but that can make it tart and I’m not a big fan of tart. That’s why I’m not a big fan of fruit, if its tart. I don’t know how to measure the calories of an actual lemon, but I’ll guess I put in about 1-2 tablespoons of lemon juice in sometimes, and according to the bottle that I have that’s still Zero calories, and it is purported to be a great tonic for the body.

Finally, before blending, I put in flavored Greek yogurt. I like to use vanilla, key lime, or orange, and I use a whole 5.3oz single-serve container. The key lime flavor – which is the one I grabbed from the fridge just now – weighs in at 160 calories, 17g sugar, 135mg potassium and 11g protein. Which brings the whole smoothie up to 399 calories.

Considering that most of the meals I make are well over the recommended 500 calories, these nutritious smoothies I make (with whatever 3 servings of fruit I can scrounge up and a flavor of yogurt I enjoy) also fill me up. The one I just described to you is made with a thought toward potassium and protein. I eat them for breakfast and my muscles tend to cramp up after I exercise, so I built it for that purpose. When I have one of these in the morning I can make it to lunch, and because of the nutrition and the healthy source of sugar I feel better throughout my day.

I found all of the nutritional information on fruit from a wonderful website called Health-alternatives.com at this URL: http://www.health-alternatives.com/fruit-nutrition-chart.html. It has an actual chart of fruit and their nutritional values!

So what kinds of things do you like to put in your smoothies? Does anyone put, like, oatmeal or seaweed in theirs? I want to try one with oatmeal, but I’m a little nervous about trying it. What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever had in a smoothie?

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From → Home and Cooking

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