Enjoy More Fruits & Vegetables with Nutritious Smoothie Recipes

Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to work more fruits and
vegetables into your diet, and their fresh, fun flavors can win
over even the most produce-wary kids. The basic ingredients for any
smoothie are simply liquid plus fruit or vegetables. A smoothie can
be as healthy or low-calorie as you want, and they’re a nutritious
choice for breakfast or an afternoon snack. By making your own
smoothies, you can control the amount of sugar, calories and fat,
and you can easily add beneficial nutrients such as fiber, vitamin
C, ginseng or protein powders for an extra boost.

Dietary substitutions in smoothies are simple: You can easily
replace sherbet with regular yogurt to reduce the sugar content, or
use skim milk instead of ice cream for less fat ? without
sacrificing rich, satisfying flavor. Use milk, yogurt or
silken-style tofu for extra calcium. Try fresh or frozen fruit. (To
keep your smoothie healthy, avoid fruits frozen in sweetened
syrup.) Frozen fruit makes a smoothie colder, smoother and thicker;
a mix of both fresh and frozen fruit produces the perfect
consistency.

When you’re preparing the ingredients, keep in mind that the
smaller you chop the ingredients, the smoother your smoothie will
be. Dice ingredients according to your personal preference. There’s
no need for fancy equipment: a standard blender will work.

Here are a few recipes to try:

My Blueberry Heaven (from Slim Smoothies by Donna
Pliner Rodnitzky)

1/2 cup orange juice
1 to 2 tsp honey (optional)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup mango, diced
1/2 cup banana, diced

Mix all ingredients in blender using the pulse function until
mostly blended. Continue mixing, gradually increasing speed, until
mixture is smooth. Serves one.

Bran Appetit! (from Slim Smoothies)

1/4 cup nonfat vanilla soy beverage (or soy milk)
1/4 cup unsweetened mango juice
1 to 2 tsp honey (optional)
1 cup papaya, diced
1/2 cup banana, diced
1/4 cup silken-style tofu
1 tbsp wheat bran

Mix all ingredients in blender using pulse function until mostly
blended. Continue mixing, gradually increasing speed, until mixture
is smooth. Serves one.

Zippy Tomato (from The Smoothies Bible by Pat
Crocker)

1/4 cup tomato juice
2 tomatoes, cored and chopped
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
Half lemon, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 piece (1/2 inch/1 cm) gingerroot, peeled and chopped
Half chile pepper, chopped (or to taste)
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

In blender, combine all ingredients. Process until smooth. Season
with salt.
Serves 1 or 2.

Flu Fighter #1 (from The Smoothies Bible)

1/2 cup orange juice
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup elderberries
1/4 cup cranberry sauce
2 tbsp black currant jelly or honey

In blender, combine all ingredients. Process until smooth. Serves
2.

Share your favorite smoothie recipes and ingredients in the
comments section below.