Wellness Matters

The Do’s and Don’ts of Making a Healthy Smoothie

October 11, 2016

The Do’s
  • Do choose smoothies for a refreshing snack or breakfast item, or an after-work  picker-upper.
  • Do include vegetables in your smoothies. Mixing spinach, kale, cucumbers or other vegetables is a great way to get that extra serving and still have a great tasting snack.
  • Do use fresh or frozen ingredients. Frozen fruits and veggies have all the same nutrients as fresh and are less expensive.
  • Do make a smoothie the night before and keep it in the refrigerator. They are great on-the-go choices for busy mornings.
The Don’ts
  • Don’t assume that all smoothies are healthy. Many smoothies from restaurants are too big and contain lots of added sugar.
  • Don’t choose syrup made smoothies. Try to find a smoothie shop that uses whole fruits instead of pre-made mixes or make your own at home.
  • Don’t over-do it on the fruit juices, choose low-fat milk or yogurt as the base to a healthy smoothie.
  • Don’t forget the protein. Choose nut butters, Greek yogurt, protein powder, low-fat cow’s milk or oats to add protein staying power.
Below are recipes for smoothies that are good and good for you:

Peanut-Butter Banana Smoothie
1 small or ½ large banana
½ cup skim milk or almond milk
1 tablespoon reduced-fat peanut butter or almond butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon
5-8 ice cubes
Blend until smooth

210 calories, 36g carbohydrate, 8g protein

Mixed Fruit Smoothie
1 cup mixed fruit or berries (frozen or fresh)
½ cup vanilla or Greek yogurt
1/3 cup skim milk or almond milk
1/3 cup frozen or fresh spinach
5-8 ice cubes
Blend until smooth

223 calories, 43g carbohydrate, 12g protein

Pumpkin Smoothie
1 cup pumpkin puree
½ cup skim milk or almond milk
1 small banana or ½ large banana
1 teaspoon brown sugar or honey
2 teaspoon cinnamon
5-8 ice cubes
Blend until smooth

195 calories, 50g carbohydrate, 6g protein

About the Author

Kate Towery, RD

Cone Health Nutrition and Diabetes Management Center


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