4 Tips for Creating a Delicious and Nutritious Fruit Smoothie the Whole Family Will Love | Momaha

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By Marjie Ducey

You just finished your workout at the gym.

You’re hot and sweaty and a refreshing fruit smoothie sounds perfect.

Just be careful not to drink all the calories you just lost. Some smoothies have as much sugar as you’ll find in a dozen donuts.

You read correctly. Instead of fresh strawberries and bananas, a purchased smoothie is more likely to get its flavor from fruit syrups or powders with added sugar and fat. Some have more in common with an ice cream shake than a healthy snack.

“You can make a healthy smoothie,” says Tracie Jackson, nutrition therapist at Nebraska Medicine. “But if you’re thinking of buying it somewhere, it might not be all it’s supposed to be.”

Jackson, a registered dietitian since 1989, doesn’t say avoid them altogether. Just be a wise consumer and read the labels.

“Get the information and decide how it fits your dietary needs,” she recommends. “I would like one that has real fruit. Like berries, mangoes or bananas, rather than a powder or syrup.”

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If you’re making your own and want to make it more nutritious, Jackson has these tips:

• If you drink a smoothie instead of eating a meal, the fruit is carbohydrate. It’s a quick source of energy that won’t sustain you for long. So add yogurt to give you protein. Jackson freezes the fruit overnight, thaws it slightly in the microwave, then puts it in his Magic Bullet with yogurt or skim milk and grinds the ingredients.

• Instant breakfast drinks and protein powders can add needed protein and carbohydrates to your smoothie. Just make sure they’re balanced – you don’t want all the protein.

• Some smoothie recipes call for honey, which sounds healthy. But that’s just another version of sugar and its calories. “Fruit is quite sweet on its own,” Jackson says. “You have nothing to add. But if you must, opt for unsweetened apple or pineapple juice.

• Vegetables like spinach and kale are the perfect complement. “You don’t even know they’re in there and you just increased the nutritional value,” Jackson says. “It’s going to add good things without adding anything detrimental.”

Field and farm smoothie

1. Place one cup of frozen fruit, one cup of fresh spinach and 1/2 cup of soft tofu in a blender.

2. Add half a cup of milk and mix until the ingredients are smooth.

3. Use additional milk to achieve desired consistency.

4. Add sweetener to taste. Serve immediately.

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