Blended fruit smoothies are available at almost any restaurant, café, or drive through today. While they are not super expensive, they can cost up to $3 or $4 for something you can make yourself for under $1. Most smoothies include fruit, fruit juice, yogurt or milk, and crushed ice – all of which are easily available in the summer.
Smoothies are a tasty way to up your fruit intake and typically your dairy servings too. Most smoothies are low in fat, sodium, and cholesterol; while being a good source of vitamins, potassium, calcium, and fiber. To keep fat grams at a minimum – leave off the whipped cream and use skim milk and lite yogurt.
- Start with ripe, quality fruit for the best flavor. To prepare it – wash fruit, and cut into slices or chunks for more even blending. Fruit can be frozen before blending to thicken smoothies. While almost any fruit can be used, popular choices are: bananas, strawberries, pineapple, peaches, blueberries, melon, and mango. Some people like pears, oranges, raspberries, or blackberries. Personally I don’t like raspberries or blackberries in my home-made smoothie – they become very seedy!
- Always use at least one cup of liquid – usually skim milk or fruit juice – when blending smoothies to prevent blender damage. Flavored/low calorie waters also make a good smoothie.
- I always use a regular size container of lite yogurt to up my dairy and calcium. Children’s yogurt tubes freeze well and can be a great quick addition to your smoothie.
- If you want to try a veggie – consider a little romaine lettuce, a few spinach leaves, a couple carrots, or a little broccoli. You may end up with a greenish tinge to your smoothie – so you might want to put it in a cup you can’t see through.
- To sweeten up your smoothie without adding sugar try a little vanilla extract, a dusting of cinnamon, a tablespoon of honey, or one packet of sugar free sweetener.
A friend and co-worker shared this recipe for a different type of smoothie – the Funky Monkey – Mix 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, 1 banana, 2 Tablespoons chocolate syrup, ½ cup skim milk, and ½ cup ice. Using blender, blend until smooth. Enjoy! (Thanks to Cindy Shuster, Perry County, FCS Educator, OSU Extension for this tasty treat.)
Smoothie Recipes can be found at:
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Site, in the Beverages Section of the Recipes.
http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/Recipes – The National Dairy Council’s Recipe Site, in the Beverage Section of the Recipes.
Author: Lisa Barlage, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension.