We’ve made it to 2021 – and hopefully this year brings more positive news than the one left behind. Many people start off a new year with a promise of eating better and moving more. Maintaining healthy eating habits and exercising consistently can be a challenge, but there are ways to help you achieve your goals. An easy way to eat healthy is to drink smoothies.
Smoothies can be chock full of fruits, vegetables, protein and healthy fats. But they can also be high-calorie and high in sugar. Ideally, eating fruits and vegetables in their whole form is the best, but there are people who put all the vegetables or fruits they eat for their entire day into the smoothie. Without the smoothie, they likely won’t consume many (or any!) fruits or vegetables.
Smoothies are also great for meal skippers. If you don’t have time to sit and eat breakfast, healthy smoothies may be the answer. You need food in your system long before lunchtime. If you don’t eat first thing, you may get so hungry later on that you snack on high-fat, high-sugar foods. It is especially important for kids to eat breakfast. Kids who skip breakfast are more likely to eat junk food during the day and be overweight. One study showed that teenagers who ate breakfast every day had a lower body mass index (BMI) – a measure of body fat based on height and weight – than teens who sometimes or never ate breakfast.
Here are five smoothie recipes that are delicious and healthy. Frozen fruit and vegetables are great to use in smoothies because they make them creamier. It is also a great way to reduce waste – if you have sad looking bananas or wilted spinach, don’t toss them in the compost, toss them in the freezer! When you want to make a smoothie, these are both great to use.
Green Mango Smoothie
Combine ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. This makes one large smoothie or two small smoothies.
• 1 1/4 cup unflavored almond milk
• 1/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
• 1/4 ricotta cheese
• 1 Tbsp maple syrup
• 1/4 tsp vanilla
• 1/8 tsp cinnamon
• 3 or 4 raw almonds
Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into a chilled cup and enjoy! This makes one large smoothie, or two smaller smoothies. You can add more or less of the ingredients depending, on your taste.
Green Basil Smoothie
• 2 cups spinach
• 1/2 cup packed fresh basil
• 1 small cucumber, chopped
• 1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
• 1 banana, peeled sliced
• 2 cups plain almond milk
• 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
• 1 Tbsp hemp hearts
• 2 tsp honey
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. You can add more milk if you want a thinner consistency. This makes about 2 smoothies.
• 2 cups coconut water
• 1 cup plain kefir
• 1 very ripe pear, cored and diced
• 1 small banana, peeled and sliced
• 3 ice cubes
• 1/2 cup peeled, grated raw beet
• 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
• 2 Tbsp flax oil
• Quarter-size piece of ginger root, peeled and minced (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
• 2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
Place all ingredients in a blender at high speed until the you have a smooth consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy.
Tropical Green Smoothie
• 1 Tbsp coconut oil
• 1/2 of an avocado
• 1 tsp chia seeds
• 1/2 of a frozen banana
• 1 big handful of fresh spinach (or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach)
• 1 cup frozen pineapple
• Juice of 1 lime
• Zest of 1 lime
• 2 cups coconut water (use less if you want a thicker consistency)
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and blend well. Pour into 2 glasses and serve immediately.
Photo from here, with thanks.