Written by Foundling Guest Blogger, Madeline Rizzuti, RDN and Photo taken by Carlye Husserl, RDN CDN
What is better than a cool, refreshing beverage on a warm day? How about a cool refreshing beverage with tons of health benefits!? As with most of the things we eat, the best way to know the exact ingredients in your smoothie is to make it yourself. All you need is a blender, fresh or frozen produce and a liquid base. Let’s get started!
Choose a flavor scheme that you like. Maybe you want more of a tropical, piña colada type smoothie with those Caribbean fruits like pineapple, mango, or coconut? Maybe you are the adventurous type and are willing to throw in some greens and other veggies to add health benefits and flavor? Or maybe you are a classic smoothie drinker who likes the simple and traditional taste of strawberries and bananas?
Select a base. Low fat cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk, or Greek yogurt are great additions to give your smoothie a creamier feel. These components will add protein, calcium and Vitamin D to your drink. Water is a good option too; you’ll hydrate your body without adding extra calories.
Throw in some fruit and veggies. Always be mindful of portion control, as too much fruit can add too many calories to your healthy snack. Fresh or frozen fruits will add vital nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants and folate. You may be surprised to find that you like some vegetables blended into your smoothie – and your body will thank you! The classic blendable veggies like spinach, kale and carrots provide low calorie flavor packed with Vitamins C & A and fiber.
Now let’s get creative: A teaspoon of ground flax seed or chia seeds will contribute to our growing list of smoothie health benefits by supplying omega – 3 essential fatty acids, magnesium, and phosphorous. Honey and agave are good natural sweeteners when used in moderation. Other natural flavors that pair great in smoothies are mint leaves, cinnamon or fresh ground ginger!
Fresh smoothies filled with fruits and veggies provide tons of essential nutrients that help nourish our bodies, strengthen our immune systems, and keep us energized. Many might be hesitant to throw some vegetables in their drinks, but adding different colored produce means more vitamins, minerals, and fiber! Do your body a flavor… I mean favor! Add a fresh, homemade smoothie to your daily routine!
Click here to read Maddie’s previous guest blog post about The Foundling’s Registered Dietitians.
*Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The New York Foundling, its funders, regulators, donors and/or employees.