Sunday, June 8, 2008

Smoothies: The Summer's Best Healthy Refreshment

SmoothieSummer is hot and something that’ll cool you off is always welcome.

That’s why it’s tough to get through summer without a smoothie -- and they’re seemingly everywhere, taunting you with their refreshing icy sweetness.

Why would you shell out five bucks for one that’s void of nutrition at a designer smoothie bar when you could blend your own healthy summer smoothies at a fraction of the cost? Plus, fruit smoothies are an excellent way to get a megadose of vitamins and antioxidants.

A few gulps can contain several servings of fruit, an all-too-important part of your diet. So, load up the blender, mash the liquefy button and down some healthy summer smoothies.

In season

For the best healthy summer smoothies, you’ll want to buy fruits that are in season.

It’s hard to tell what’s in season when you’re in a modern supermarket, where virtually every fruit or vegetable is available year round. Luckily, we’re here to tell you what fruits are at peak tastiness (and lowest cost) during the healthy summer smoothie season.

Look for bananas, grapes, kiwifruit, watermelon, figs, lemons, persimmons, blueberries, cantaloupe, peaches, plums, and strawberries. They’ll be your best bet for fresh, tasty summer fruit and refreshing and healthy summer smoothies.

Calorie counting

You may be worried about the massive amount of calories hidden away in a tall, frosty glass of pureed fruit.

Let’s take, for example, a power-sized Strawberry Whirl all-fruit smoothie prepared by the master smoothie blenders at Jamba Juice: It contains 30 ounces of liquefied fruit and a cool 370 calories. Sounds like a lot, but it contains a whopping six-and-a-half servings of fruit.

If you order the more manageable 16-ouncer, you cut the calorie count to 200 (and the fruit servings to three). Still, that’s a pound of fruit and 200 calories from fruit is a lot better for you than 200 calories from soda, which has no nutritional value.

If you make healthy summer smoothies at home, you can further reduce the calorie count of your favorite core-temperature-reducing icy treat.

Healthy Summer Smoothie Recipes

We scoured the internet for healthy summer smoothie recipes and then we tried them out. It gives us great pleasure to present to you four of the best healthy summer smoothie recipes that had our taste buds dancing the summer nights away.

Mango smoothie

This tropical delight is packed with equatorial super-nutrients and will give you a nice midday boost.

1 1/2 cups chopped mango (fresh, jarred or frozen)
1 cup guava or mango nectar, chilled
2/3 cup NESTLÉ CARNATION Evaporated Milk
Juice from 2 limes
1 tbsp packed brown sugar
Ice cubes (optional)
Sliced almonds (optional)

Combine first five ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve over ice and top with almonds if desired.

Strawberry smoothie

This straightforward strawberry smoothie will soothe your frazzled nerves and re-energize your energy supply.

2 1/2 cups strawberries
1/2 cup strawberry nectar
1 pitted peach
1 cup low-fat, plain yogurt or strawberry yogurt if you don’t have the nectar
2 cups ice

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve quickly -- before the ice melts.

Lemonade smoothie

This healthy summer smoothie is perfect for a hot day since its refreshing goodness will fill your belly and quench your thirst.

1 cup lemonade
1 1/2 cups of raspberries
1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt
2 cups of ice

Making healthy summer smoothies is one of the easiest things you can do. So, once again, combine all ingredients in your blender and blend until smooth.

Blueberry smoothie

Blueberries contain more antioxidants per ounce than pretty much anything else. This smoothie will help your body combat the damage done by free radicals.

1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 cup plain, low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup washed, stemmed blueberries
honey to taste
2 cups of ice

If you don’t have this by now, we’re wondering if summer has already fried your brain. We’ll repeat for your benefit: Mix all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Serve while it’s cold.

Smoothie Operator

Smoothies are popular for a reason: They taste great and they’re good for you. Make your own and you’ll save a ton of money, especially if you buy fruit in season. You’ll also ensure that you’re getting the most nutritional value out of your smoothies. So go ahead, fire up the blender along with the barbecue this summer.

Source: here

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1 comment:

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