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Healthy Homemade Smoothies

by
author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Healthy Homemade Smoothies Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

The sweet, creaminess of a smoothie is proof that healthy eating doesn't mean deprivation. With the right combination of ingredients, you can pack a laundry list of essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients into a drink that tastes like a decadent indulgence. Blend milk, fruit, vegetables and other ingredients, and pour your smoothie into a chilled glass for a sweet treat.

Step 1

Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Prepare your ingredients. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables under cold, running water to reduce the risk of food-borne illness. Put fragile fruit, such as blueberries and raspberries, in a colander and spray them gently with cold water. Remove the peels, pits and seeds from peaches, apricots, mangoes and other large fruits.

Step 2

Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Pour a base liquid into the blender. Low-fat milk is one calcium-rich option, but soy and almond milk are also good choices. You'll need about one cup of milk for every serving of smoothie.

Step 3

Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Add protein. Made correctly, healthy smoothies make a filling snack or meal. Cottage cheese and Greek-style yogurt are both high in protein, but choose low-fat or skim varieties to limit saturated fat. Another option is peanut butter which has 4 grams of protein per tablespoon.

Step 4

Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Blend in a cup of produce. For a thick smoothie, use a 1:1 ratio of fruits and vegetables to liquid. Traditional smoothie fruits include antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and other sweet fruits such as peaches, bananas and mango. If you're feeling daring, add a dark leafy green. Spinach and kale are both excellent sources of folate and vitamin C. Avocado will make your smoothie extra creamy and add heart-healthy dietary fiber.

Step 5

Healthy Homemade Smoothies
Photo Credit Santy Gibson/Demand Media

Add your own special ingredient. Smoothies are incredibly versatile beverages which will accommodate some unusual, healthy extras you might not otherwise eat. Each time you whip up a drink, add a little of something new. For instance, you might include a tablespoon of flaxseed -- an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids -- or a scoop of fiber-rich oatmeal.

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