Sensational Smoothies for Summer and Beyond

In the heat of the summer, smoothies are great for a quick snack or for a refreshing meal replacement. To get the most out of your smoothie, check out the following tips.

  1. Do some mental math when creating your smoothie:
    • If you are drinking a smoothie as a meal, 350 – 400 calories is a reasonable amount of calories. For a snack size smoothie, aim for 150 – 200 calories.
    • While fruit is a healthy ingredient, remember that 1 piece of fruit, or 1 cup of fruit is typically a serving.
  2. Keep tabs on added sweeteners:
    • Taste your smoothie before adding any extra sweeteners. Smoothie ingredients, like fruits and fruit juice, flavored plant-based milks or fruited yogurts may provide plenty of sweetness.
    • Dried dates, figs or prunes are nutritious options to add sweetness to a smoothie. If using dried fruit, soak in hot tap water to soften before blending.
    • This Mixed Berry Smoothie is sweetened with just a hint of honey.
    • A dash of vanilla sweetens up this Creamy Mango Smoothie.
  3. Add a protein punch:
    • A protein rich smoothie makes a more filling and substantial drink. Good protein options for smoothies include plain low-fat yogurt, low fat milk, soy milk, silken tofu, chickpeas, or white beans. Some like to add protein powders, like whey or pea protein. Keep in mind that non-dairy milks, like almond and coconut milk only provide a minimal amount of protein.
    • This Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie is made with Greek yogurt and includes a whopping 16 grams of protein is a cup serving.
  4. Consider including plant-based fats:
    • Nut butters, seeds, like chia, hemp or ground flax seeds, and avocados can make your smoothie extra filling. Stick to about a tablespoon of seeds or nut butters or about a quarter of an avocado per serving to avoid adding too many calories.
  5. It never hurts to add some vegetables to the mix:
    • For an extra shot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, throw in some spinach leaves, carrots, beets or even some canned pureed pumpkin. If trying to “hide” vegetables in a smoothie, berries can mask the green color well!
    • This Green Smoothie includes kale, apples and a banana.
  6. Do not forget the whole grains:
    • Toss in leftover oatmeal or soaked oats to get the rich addition of whole grains and added body to your beverage. Oatmeal and other cooked grains, like barley or bulgur will help your smoothie become a meal. Just a ¼ cup of cooked grains per serving will do the trick.
  7. Get creative with flavor boosters:
    • Add a sprinkle of cocoa powder, cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, or unsweetened matcha powder to add flavor and other health benefits to your smoothie.
  8. Do not toss your over ripe fruits and wilting vegetables – freeze now and blend later:
    • Most fruits can be frozen – simply cut fruit up in 2–4-inch pieces, lay on a baking sheet and place in the freezer. If freezing bananas, be sure to peel first. If freezing stone fruits, like peaches or plums, remove the pits. Once frozen, measure fruit out in to 1 to 2 cup servings and put in a freezer bag. Be sure to label and date the contents!
    • Green leafy vegetables, like spinach and kale, are often used when making smoothies. Blanching is recommended prior to freezing to maintain optimal color and flavor. Simply blanch clean greens in boiling water for 2 minutes, then plunge into cold water for 2 minutes. Pat dry, and coarsely chop before placing in labeled freezer bags.
  9. Or, blend fruits and veggies first, and then freeze:
    • Fill your blender halfway with loosely packed greens, add a few tablespoons of water and puree until “smooth-ish.” Pour into ice cube trays. Once frozen, store vegetable cubes in a freezer bag. The greens will be ready to go for your smoothies!
    • This trick works for fruits too and helps to save space in your freezer.
  10. Remember, anything goes:
    • Ask your family for ingredient ideas and get them blending!

How Can We Help You Today?