The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends adults consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits each day. Fresh fruit is loaded with nutrients and vitamins, and it offers a number of health benefits. You can make getting your daily fruit fix fun by concocting different fruit juices and shakes. All you need is your favorite fruits and a blender, or a manual or electric juicing machine. Certain vegetables can also be turned into juice.
For a smoothie that provides you with a shot of vitamin C, combine two frozen or fresh bananas in a blender with half a cup of frozen or fresh blueberries and 1 cup of low-fat vanilla yogurt. Blend the ingredients until smooth. Pour and serve. Makes two servings.
Combining carrot, pineapple and orange in a juicer makes for a nutritious shake that is high in vitamins A and C. You should peel the orange since leaving the rinds on makes the juice bitter, unless you prefer some bitterness. Use a ripe pineapple that emits a mild aroma. An electric juicer is needed to break down the hard carrot and pineapple. Cut one small seeded orange into pieces, then peel, core and cut one-eighth of a small, ripe pineapple into small pieces. Chop two cleanly scrubbed carrots. Finally, cut up a quarter of a seeded small lemon. Juice, in order, the orange, pineapple, carrots and lemon separately, then stir together, pour and serve. Makes two servings.
You can make a tasty smoothie without the need for sugar. For a healthy strawberry smoothie, combine six frozen or fresh strawberries, six ice cubes, one cup of fresh orange juice, one peeled and cut banana and half a cup of vanilla or berry yogurt. Be sure you trim the stems off fresh strawberries before mixing them in the blender with the other ingredients. Blend for 30 to 40 seconds on a high speed, or until the mix is smooth and frothy. Pour and serve. Makes two servings.
Fruit Nectar Juice
This healthy juice mix contains an array of nutrients that provide energy for the day, which makes it a good breakfast juice. Combine half a cup of thawed or fresh raspberries, one peeled and sectioned orange and one pitted and sliced nectarine. Mix the ingredients in the juicer until all fruit chunks have been processed. Pour and serve. Makes one serving.
Honeydew Kiwifruit Smoothie
The honeydew and kiwifruit smoothie is low on calories and sugar and delivers a healthy serving of potassium and vitamin C. Combine two cups of chopped honeydew and one peeled and chopped kiwi with one small peeled, cored and chopped Granny Smith apple, 2 to 3 tablespoons of sugar and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Blend the ingredients until smooth, then add 1 cup of ice cubes into the blender. Continue blending until the ice cubes have turned the mix into a slush. Pour and serve. Makes three servings.