One of the more delicious and cost-effective ways to get your servings of fruits and veggies each day is to drink a smoothie. Making your own is both easy and fun. It’s also a much healthier alternative to store-bought smoothies that often come packed with whopping amounts of sugar. Skip the standard smoothie options and opt for a refreshing and even healthier twist on the traditional yogurt, banana, and juice variety.
A high-end blender helps with consistent blending and the more powerful motor can handle hard bits like nuts, vegetables with stalks, and more. Of course, your standard blender works just fine, too. Smoothies are best enjoyed right after you blend them up, since the nutrients and vitamins are most potent immediately after blending.
Here are four sensational smoothies with a combination of fruit and vegetables to try out for any time of day:
1. Red Smoothie: Featuring a combination of red cabbage, berries, and almonds, this smoothie is high in antioxidants and absolutely sublime. For this recipe, you’ll need: ½ cup of fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice, a handful of frozen berries of your choice, ½ cup of chopped red cabbage, a small handful of almonds – about 6 – or 2 teaspoons of almond butter. Add a spoonful of honey and a few drops of almond extract for a fragrant almond flavor. Blend together for about one minute until consistently blended then pour it into your glass. This makes about one full serving.
2. A Berry Beet: The dreamy berry red color of this smoothie is a big part of its appeal for me. With an antioxidant and vitamin-rich blend of blueberries and beets, it also offers you a lot of energy in a refreshing way. For this recipe, you’ll need: ½ cup of fresh-squeezed or store bought orange juice, 2 tablespoons of granola, 1/3 cup of cooked or roasted chopped beets, ¼ cup of low-fat, plain yogurt or the same amount of coconut milk, an ice cube, and one teaspoon of honey or agave syrup. Toss everything in the blender and blend for one minute. This makes up one full serving and it tastes best to enjoy it right away.
3. Green Machine: This is a nutrient-rich smoothie that is subtle, spicy, and a great lunch option. Yes, the combo of arugula leaves and pear may strike you as strange, but it’s a real winner. To make, combine these ingredients in your blender: ½ cup fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice, 1 cup of tightly-packed arugula, 1 tablespoon of walnuts, ½ of a ripe pear (cored and peeled), a quarter size piece of raw ginger, 2 to 4 tablespoons of plain low-fat yogurt, and a couple ice cubes. Add a tablespoon of wheat grass or ground flaxseed if you have it. Blend it up and sip slowly.
4. Tropical Smoothie: The chunks of frozen mango make this a yummy treat for breakfast or lunch on a warm day. For this, combine these in your blender: ½ cup fresh-squeezed or store-bought orange juice, ¼ cup of frozen mango chunks (can be found at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods), a splash of milk, one banana broken up into pieces, and ¼ cup of low-fat plain yogurt. Blend vigorously and pour into your glass to enjoy.
Whether you need a boost of energy, want to drink to your health, or substitute a meal with something quick and healthy, these smoothies are the way to go. Drink, exhale, and relax.