Here’s the scoop on smoothies

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smoothies and fruit

What makes a great smoothie? There are endless possibilities when it comes to creating a delicious drink. Plus, smoothies provide an energy boost as well as vitamins and minerals that your body needs. Choose one, two or more of your favorite fruits, add milk, herbs and spices like mint or cinnamon and even vegetables!

Tips for making great smoothies

 

Keep these five tips in mind for creating great smoothies:

  • Use fresh, ripe fruit blender
  • Use at least one cup of liquid per smoothie
  • Add yogurt to up calcium intake
  • Use veggies in addition to fruits
  • Instead of sugar, try adding a small amount of vanilla extract, cinnamon, honey or a sugar-free sweetener.

Popular smoothie ingredients

Here are some of the most common smoothie ingredients:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Sherbet
  • Honey
  • Sweetener
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Fresh or frozen fruit
  • Vegetables

There really isn’t a right or wrong way to make a smoothie. Choose ingredients that you enjoy and ingredients that supply what your body needs.

Build your smoothie

green smoothie

Choose your base. Low fat milk, soymilk, nonfat Greek yogurt can be used to start your smoothie. Add 100% grape, orange, apple or cranberry juice to your dairy base, but keep in mind that juice adds extra sugar and calories.

Add fruit. Fresh, frozen or canned fruits can be used for smoothies. If you’re using canned fruit, drain the water or syrup that the fruit is packed with. Bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, mangoes, apples, oranges and other fruits make for great-tasting smoothies!

Add vegetables. Vegetables like cucumbers, spinach, kale and beets are common smoothie ingredients. Chop them in small pieces and add water.

Extra nutrients. Chia seeds, flaxseed, quick oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, unsweetened cocoa powder or powdered peanut butter add nutrients to your smoothie.

Keep it simple. “Less is more” when it comes to smoothies. Remember that the more ingredients you use, the more calories there will be.

The National Dairy Council has a ton of great smoothie recipes, filed right with its milk recipes. More smoothie ideas can be found at Dairy Makes Sense.

Sources: OSU Extension Live Healthy Live Well, Michigan State University Extension, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Food

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.

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