How to Sneak Veggies into your Spring Smoothie
Spring is here and fresh fruits and vegetables will soon be in full harvest. If you enjoy smoothies, now is the perfect time to gather your favorite fresh ingredients. If you are interested in boosting the nutritional value of your smoothie by adding some vegetables but you are scared of how it will taste, try the following tips:
- Add the vegetables in very small amounts and only one at a time. Remember, your taste buds are constantly changing so you can develop a taste for something that you may have once thought was too bitter or strong.
- Use sweeter fruits, such as apples, pears, cherries or bananas to balance the strong flavor of green vegetables.
- Carrots, celery, and avocado have a lighter flavor so try these veggies first.
- Use cinnamon, peanut butter or yogurt to help hide the flavor of veggies.
- Use very ripe fruit as it has a sweeter taste.
Smoothies are a great way to pack in vitamins and minerals, but many recipes call for added sugar that just isn’t necessary. The sugar from fruit is enough to sweeten your smoothie. Watch out when a recipe calls for sugary ingredients, you may want to leave it out altogether.
Here are some things that can load your healthy smoothie with added sugar:
- Fruit flavored yogurt
- Protein powder with added sugar
- Sweetened fruit
- Fruit juice
There are endless ingredients to use in your smoothie, some you may have never have thought about. Try using your favorite healthy tea instead of milk or juice, use sugar-free pudding mix to add thickness without the calories of ice cream, or try freezing your fresh fruit and use in place of ice.
You can boost the nutritional value of your smoothie by adding any of the following:
- Flax seeds
- Chia seeds
- Cacao powder
- Whey protein powder
Here are three healthy, refreshing smoothie recipes to try:
Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 1 cup unsweetened chocolate soy milk
- 1 cup ice
- 1 banana
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach
Protein Berry Blast
- ¼ cup blueberries
- ¼ cup raspberries
- ½ cup strawberries
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt
- 5 baby carrots
- 1 cup fresh brewed green tea, regular or decaf
- 2 stalks celery
- ½ cup kale, baby spinach or other greens
- 1 cup ice
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut water
- 1 sliced apple
These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.