National Smoothie Day
Capitalizing on the bountiful fruits and vegetables available this time of year, National Smoothie Day on June 21st celebrates the refreshing beverage brought to you by the blender.
Using fresh ingredients, whole grains and punches of flavor, smoothies transform our fruits and veggies into a delightfully cool drink. Some smoothies incorporate herbs and spices, punching up the flavor level. The base ingredients include milk, yogurt, juice, and a blend of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables in a variety of combinations.
You may turn a little green when you consider adding vegetables to your smoothie, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. Both fruit and vegetable smoothies can pack in the nutrients, but be careful, the calories can also add up. Making smart choices will help keep your smoothies on the healthier side:
- Limit your boosters – Ingredients like nut butters, seeds, grains and protein powders increase the fat and calories. While these ingredients add flavor and even nutrients, include them in small portions. You can also limit them to 1-2 per smoothie.
- Control portion size – Just like our regular meals, smoothies can become oversized. Monitor the portion size for your main ingredients so that when your smoothie is complete, the calories and fat add up to a balanced serving. For example, one cup of berries, half a cup of yogurt and a tablespoon of a nut butter shouldn’t put you over.
- Avoid juices – Prepared juices add calories. If you need a little more sweetness, consider adding a calorie-free sweetener or limiting the juice to just a splash.
- Add veggies – Spinach, beets, kale and zucchini are just a few of the veggies that add nutrients and fiber without adding a lot of calories. And these veggies don’t add any offputting flavors.
- Add a little spice – Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and turmeric add flavor without adding calories. They also provide us with other benefits as well. Cinnamon, for example, may help lower blood sugar and blood pressure.
Smoothies make a terrific meal substitute, too. When you’re craving something sweet or need an energy boost, a smoothie can be the answer.