Donovan Ingraham, MSc. ANutr.
During this time of year, there is nothing more refreshing than enjoying a cold flavorful, beverage like a smoothie while you watch the sun set on the horizon.
Smoothies have become the latest healthy sensation, and most of us are familiar with the process of preparing a smoothie. However, smoothies that are purchased at the local smoothie bar, or pre-made from the grocery store can contain up to 29g of sugar, which is close to the sugar content of a soda!
To make sure you receive the health benefits you would like from your smoothie, follow these tips:
- Identify whether you would like your smoothie to replace a meal, or drink in addition to a main course. This will help you decide if you need to add a protein source, like almond milk or Greek yogurt, or if you can just use fruits and vegetables.
- Take a look at your ingredients. Are you using mostly fruit? Try adding a serving of dark leafy greens like spinach or kale.You will not taste the difference and will benefit from the added nutrients. This will also help you reach your recommended daily serving of 5-6 fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid using sugary fruit juice as the base for your smoothie.Try water or almond milk instead.
The recipe below, from Zipongo.com, is a tasty example of a balanced smoothie that contains lean protein, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats. Be sure to visit your Zipongo account via the Nutrition feature for more delicious recipes!
Pineapple Green Smoothie
1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
1/3 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup baby spinach
1 cup frozen banana slices (1 medium banana) 1/2 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1 tbsp chia seeds
1-2 tsp pure maple syrup or honey (optional)
Add almond milk and yogurt to a blender, then add spinach, banana, pineapple, chia and sweetener (if using); blend until smooth.
What is Zipongo?
Zipongo is an online library of healthy recipes.The Zipongo site can be accessed by navigating to the Nutrition page of the Virgin Pulse program and clicking the link to browse healthy recipes.
Members can earn 100 HealthMiles monthly for visiting their Zipongo account.