Food, Glorious Food:
photo: caliyogurt.biz Sometimes called healthy milk shakes, smoothies first became popular in the 1960s when American health food stores and ice cream vendors began offering this refreshing frosty drink. And while it is possible to load up a smoothie with as many calories as a milkshake, they are usually made with low fat yogurt and a dizzying - and nutritious - array of fruits, veggies and nutritious ingredients. Perfect for a midday snack or even a whole meal replacement, if you haven't made your own smoothie yet, pull out a blender and start the fun. MANGO MADNESS SMOOTHIE, PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA AND FLAX SMOOTHIE, GREEN SMOOTHIE, FRESH CHERRY SMOOTHIE, PEACH AND SPICE SMOOTHIE, AUSTRALIAN WORKOUT SMOOTHIE, COFFEE SMOOTHIE
Mango is sometimes referred to as a super fruit. It is rich in potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin B-6, Vitamin C and pre-biotic fiber. This juicy fruit also contains antioxidant properties; recent trial studies indicate that it may even afford protection against certain types of cancer. Even better, its sweet flavor holds just a hint of tartness. As for the added touch of cardamon, this stimulating spice is a detoxifying agent which also helps relieve stomach acidity and gas. You however will only notice how refreshing this fruit & dairy smoothie tastes.
MANGO MADNESS SMOOTHIE
2 cups nonfat vanilla yogurt
1 cup mango nectar
2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon cardamon
1 cup ice cubes
- Place the first four ingredients in a blender. Process until smooth.
- Add 1 cup of ice cubes. Blend until crushed and smooth.
Recipe courtesy of smoothieweb.com
photo: John Autry
Don't imagine that a healthy smoothie doesn't also taste sinfully delicious. And if you substitute frozen low-fat yogurt for the regular yogurt and throw in a 1/2 cup of crushed ice, the following recipe will taste like a peanut butter and banana shake -- but with a lot less calories and fat. So enjoy.
PEANUT BUTTER, BANANA AND FLAX SMOOTHIE
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons ground golden flaxseed
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana, sliced
- Place all ingredients in a blender, then process until smooth.
- If the smoothie mixture seems too thick, simply add 1-2 more tablespoons of milk.
Recipe courtesy of Cooking Light - Melissa Scott
Green smoothies should be made with organic vegetables and fruits. For the best consistency and biggest nutritional punch, it's recommended that a green smoothie's ingredients be blended from 50% veggies and 50% fruit. Called the powerhouse of smoothies, this drink is an easy and effective way to get all those vitamins, minerals, and anti-oxidents into one tasty meal. And a big dose of fiber too. Especially if you throw in flaxseed, raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds. When making a green smoothie with veggies, add a banana, avocado or mango for extra flavor and thicker texture.
1 bunch green leafy vegetable of your choice (50% of total)
Fruit of choice (50% of total)
1-2 bananas - or 1 avocado - to make the drink creamy
ginger, lemon, parsley or stevia to taste
- Place all ingredients in the blender.
- Add water (preferably filtered) to cover all ingredients.
- Drink immediately to derive the greatest nutritional benefit.
Here is another way to enjoy fresh summer cherries. This recipe is so good, you may want to think about buying a cherry pitter to make the prep work go a little quicker. And if you have a taste for cherry smoothies off-season, just substitute frozen cherries for fresh.
FRESH CHERRY SMOOTHIE
1 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1 cup low fat milk (regular milk, soy, rice or almond)
3 tablespoons vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon toasted wheat germ
- Combine all the ingredients in the blender.
- Add several ice cubes.
- Process until smooth,
- Serve immediately.
Recipe adapted from lovesummercherries.com
This peach and spice smoothie is not only a great pick me up, but it's also a great addition to any weight loss regimen. At only 95 calories per serving, this smoothie makes a perfect afternoon snack. As an added benefit, peaches are a wonderful source of beta-carotene, the cinnamon aids flatulence, and the ginger is a perennial stomach soother.
PEACH AND SPICE SMOOTHIE
3/4 cup orange juice (3 oranges, peeled and juiced)
1 inch gingerroot chunk, grated or juiced
1/4 cup milk of choice
2 ripe peaches, skin and pit removed, cut into chunks
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 ice cubes
- Pour the milk, orange juice and grated ginger or ginger juice into blender.
- Add peaches, cinnamon and ice.
- Blend on high speed until smooth.
- Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of The Ultimate Smoothie Book by Cherie Calbom
Before hitting the gym, try whipping up an Australian smoothie. Its all-natural fruit sugars will give you that burst of energy perfect for revving up your workout.
AUSTRALIAN WORKOUT SMOOTHIE
pulp and juice of 1 passion fruit
1 1/2 mangoes, peeled, pitted, and chopped
1 cup pineapple juice
1 banana, peeled and chopped
5 macadamia nuts (may substitute blanched almonds or walnut halves)
slice of pineapple as garnish
- Place the passion fruit, mangoes, pineapple juice, banana and nuts in a blender.
- Process for one minute.
- Serve immediately. If desired, garnish with a slice of fresh pineapple.
Recipe courtesy of Smoothie Heaven by Wendy Sweetser
No need to spend all that money for an iced coffee drink at the local espresso cafes. All you need for a basic coffee smoothie is brewed coffee, milk, ice and a sweetener. For a little extra flavor, add any of the following: a tablespoon of chocolate syrup, half a frozen banana, a dash of ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon of almond or coconut extract, 1 teaspoon instant coffee, 1 teaspoon honey or 1 tablespoon instant vanilla pudding. You can also substitute vanilla ice cream or frozen vanilla yogurt for the milk (which is how Starbucks makes it).
1/2 cup cold milk
1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee, cooled
1/2 cup crushed ice. Add more ice if you want to thicken the smoothie
1-2 packets Splenda, or 1 teaspoon of sugar
Optional toppings: whipped cream, shaved chocolate, ground cinnamon
- Place all ingredients except sweetener into a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Add sweetener to taste, blending once again.
- Pour into a glass. Top with whipped cream, shaved chocolate or cinnamon, if desired.
Recipe adapted from joythebaker.com