Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

A smoothie can be a go-to breakfast, post-workout re-fuel or the perfect snack. What’s more? Drinking a smoothie is an easy way to sneak in a serving or two of fruits and veggies towards your daily goal. Here’s how to blend a fruit- and veggie-packed smoothie that’s nutritious, satisfying and energizing.

6 Steps To A Better Smoothie

  1. Choose a Liquid
    Start with a liquid base such as low-fat milk or soymilk that delivers protein, vitamins, and minerals with a sensible amount of calories. If using juice, choose 100% grape, orange, cranberry or apple varieties and try adding just a splash of it to a milk base so you don’t miss out on the protein.
  2. Add Fruit Flavor
    When adding fruit flavor, most fresh, frozen and canned forms shine in smoothies. For calorie control and to cap added sugar, choose plain, unsweetened frozen fruit and drain canned fruit packed in water or light syrup to reduce excess sugar.
  3. Pump Up the Protein
    Protein is the key to a satisfying smoothie. Give your smoothie an added protein boost with nonfat Greek yogurt, natural peanut or almond butter, or silken tofu.
  4. Make It Veggie-licious
    Even vegetables can be added to smoothies. Just remember to use mild-tasting veggies so their flavor doesn’t overpower the other ingredients. If using a standard blender, you may need to chop them very finely or add a little water to help the blending process. Blender-friendly veggies include beets, carrots, kale/spinach, avocado and cucumber.
  5. Nutrient Boosters
    Super-charge your smoothie with flavorful and nutrient-packed blend-ins like flaxseed, chia seeds, quick oats, spices (cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger) or unsweetened cocoa powder.
  6. Less is More
    Remember to keep smoothie ingredients simple and take a ‘less is more’ approach. The more ingredients in a smoothie, the more calories it contains.

Recipes

Green Machine Smoothie
Makes: 2 smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 (5.3-ounce) container nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup 100% orange juice
  • 2 cups baby spinach or baby kale
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • ½ granny smith apple, cored and sliced
  • 1 cup white grapes

Directions
PLACE yogurt, grape juice and greens into a blender and PULSE to combine. ADD remaining ingredients and BLEND until smooth and SERVE.

Mango-Berry Smoothie
Makes: 2 smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 (5.3-ounce) container nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • ¼ cup quick or old-fashioned oats
  • ½ cup frozen mixed berries
  • ½ cup frozen mango

Directions
PLACE all ingredients into a blender and BLEND until smooth and SERVE.

Left with leftovers? Store smoothie leftovers in the refrigerator and use them within one day.

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