Smoothies are hotter than ever, and restaurants and juice shops offering them on their menus seem to be popping up everywhere. For people who tend to skip out on eating produce, smoothies can be a great opportunity to consume some of the nutrients their diets typically lack. The downside is the majority of store-bought smoothies are loaded with added sugar. Many of our clients want to avoid added sugar by making their own smoothies, but feel intimidated and don’t know where to begin. If this describes you, have no fear—we’ve got three great nutrient-packed smoothie recipes that are perfect for beginners.
Something to keep in mind before whipping up your smoothie: Adding something frozen, such as ice cubes, frozen bananas, frozen strawberries, or any frozen fruit tends to make the smoothies thicker and more satisfying (think having ice cream versus drinking juice).
This is a fabulous post-workout smoothie. It’s hydrating and refreshing and a great source of potassium, which helps to restore fluid balance and prevent muscle cramps, while also aiding in muscle contraction. You also get a dose of vitamin C, as well as a carb-and-protein combo that helps repair muscles and tissues and aid in recovery. The ginger adds a delicious kick and is known to help ease digestion.
Note: The level of sweetness people prefer varies a good deal. If you make this smoothie and want it slightly sweeter, add a few extra tablespoons of frozen pineapple or a teaspoon of honey or some stevia. We also adore ginger so we add extra (the calories are negligible).
4 ice cubes
6 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
1/4 cup frozen pineapple tidbits (Trader Joe’s has great ones)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger*
*Note: We personally prefer to add in about ½-inch chunk of ginger without grating it first, which makes this very easy. However, if you’re not sure if you’re a fan of ginger, start with the recommended grated amount and then, in the future, use less or more without grating or measuring.
Put all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.
Per serving (not including optional honey or stevia): 232 calories; 1 g fat; 141 mg sodium; 45 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 3 g fiber; 30 g sugar
This delicious smoothie packs protein, calcium and loads of antioxidants from strawberries, cocoa powder and spinach. It also boasts vitamin C to keep skin firm and to promote strong teeth and bones. The spinach is so mild you won’t notice it, but your body will appreciate the fiber and nutrients. Note: You can substitute unsweetened vanilla almond milk for the skim milk—just keep in mind that, although you’ll cut the calories by 40 per cup, you’ll also lose the protein.
Note: Just like the Pine-ana Ginger Smoothie (see above), to make this smoothie slightly sweeter, add an extra teaspoon of honey or some stevia. Again, the honey isn’t accounted for in the nutrition information below.
1 cup skim milk
1 cup frozen, unsweetened strawberries
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
Handful spinach (about ¼ cup)
1 teaspoon honey or 1 packet of stevia
In blender, mix everything until thoroughly smooth and combined. Enjoy!
Per serving analyzed with skim milk and stevia: 169 calories; 1 g fat; 139 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrate; 10 g protein; 5 g fiber; 22 g sugar
This smoothie makes a fabulous breakfast and is a twist on classic peanut butter and jelly. The blueberries are antioxidant powerhouses and the yogurt provides protein to keep you feeling full and to keep your energy on even keel; the calcium will keep your skeleton strong. The peanut butter rounds out this yummy smoothie with more satisfying protein and heart-healthy fat.
Note: As with the other two smoothies (listed above), if you would like this smoothie slightly sweeter, add an extra teaspoon of honey or some stevia.
1 cup frozen blueberries
6 ounces nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons peanut butter (if you want peanut butter flavor but with fewer calories, try substituting PB2 or another powdered peanut butter
Blend all the ingredients together. Enjoy!
Per serving (not including honey): 259 calories; 6 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 215 mg sodium; 38 g carbohydrate; 16 g protein; 5 g fiber; 31 g sugar