What Makes a Smoothie?
Smoothies can be a great way to get in a dairy and fruit serving or
two. They’re good for breakfast, a snack, or as dessert in the evening.
Most importantly, they can provide you yet another opportunity to get some healthy phytochemicals in your diet!
Smoothies seem to come in and out of popularity. And, there doesn’t seem to be any particular definition of what exactly makes a smoothie. I’ve seen “smoothies” that are really just glorified milkshakes. If there’s ice cream in it, or a high concentration protein mix, I have a hard time calling it a smoothie.
I also hesitate to call it a smoothies when “smoothie mix” is poured out of a box and mixed with ice. For it to qualify as a smoothie for me, it MUST have real fruit and shouldn’t contain a lot of added sugars.
The amount that you are drinking can make or break it’s healthfulness. Often the size that is sold in the juice or smoothie shop is far too large. If it’s a snack, 8-12 oz. would be about right. 12-16 oz. would be good for a meal size.
Basic Smoothie Recipe:
- Fruit (frozen berries, banana, orange, mango, papaya, etc.)
- Yogurt (I use plain low-fat, you can also use flavored; I've also heard of tofu being used)
- Liquid (juice, soymilk, lowfat milk, water, or a combination of these)
- Put the fruit in the blender first.
- Add the yogurt (for two people, I usually use about 1½ cups of yogurt)
- Pour in enough liquid so that it almost reaches the top of the fruit. (my mistake in the past has been not enough liquid. Then it was hard for the blender and made a fruit cement, instead of a smoothie!).Blend until smooth, some stirring is required depending on your blender.
- Then you can add any extras that you think might be good such as ground
- flax seed, extra ice, honey if it's not sweet enough or a few leaves of spinach for a vegetable kick. (With all the fruit and other flavors, you don't taste the spinach.)
A note about blenders. If you are making smoothies or other things in a blender on a regular basis, I would recommend investing in a Vitamix, or other high quality blender. I used to use a regular blender, and would always get mad at it because it wasn’t powerful enough to blend up ice or frozen fruit. Now that I have the Vitamix, I don’t have to worry about that; I just have to make sure my dog’s not too scared of the noise!