Superfood Smoothie Guide

superfood-smoothieNot all smoothies are created equal, especially when it comes to nutrition. When you base your smoothies on superfoods, you can slurp a world of nutrition in just one glass — at times 100-300% compared to smoothies made without superfoods.

Including fast and tasty smoothies can even help you to meet some of your health goals including weight loss, clearer skin, or better digestion!

Smoothies can also work as fast, low-cal meal replacement, that you can whip up in 5 minutes — a quick fix to “reset” your body after a holiday splurge. Be sure you build them the correct way though, by including good quality protein sources (that are also superfoods) such as kefir or other cultured dairy like yogurt, nuts and adding incredible healing greens like kale and spinach.

Then add in antioxidant rich fruits like raspberries, cherries, pomegranate and blueberries.

Equipment

Having a good quality blender or mini blender makes all the difference in taste and texture — especially if you’re combining fruit with vegetables. My all-time favorite blender, Blendtec, makes silky smooth drinks and smoothies, and processes the kale and spinach into an ultra fine puree that not even the worst veggie-hating kid can detect when mixed with rich-tasting berries like blueberries.

My second go-to blending system is the Magic Bullet. This little mean smoothie machine takes up very little counter space and has a blade strong enough to chop ice. Blend directly in the plastic drinking cups, then pop the cup in the dishwasher for easy clean up.

Green Mango Smoothie

kale-mangoThe color of this smoothie comes from spinach, an uber-superfood — not unripe mango. Sweet ripe mango sweetens this smoothie making it ideal for people who are not fans of vegetable-flavored smoothies or green juices. That’s why this is a great starter smoothie for newbies, and a fantastic way to ease greens into your breakfast. Just 1 cup of spinach adds 300% of your daily needs for vitamin A and 60% folate — a nutrient that women oftentimes don’t get enough of — along with a good dose of calcium, vitamin C, and iron just to name a few.

Serves 1

1 cup cubed frozen or fresh mango
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons chopped pecans, pistachio, or peanuts
1 teaspoon stevia

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 2 cups): 296 calories, 12g protein, 47g carbohydrates, 7g fat (1 g saturated), 4mg cholesterol, 3g fiber, 126mg sodium

Chia Berry Delight

chia-berry-delightChia seeds, a protein-packed powerhouse superfood, are also high in plant-based omega 3′s. Unlike flax seeds, chia seeds don’t need to be ground to unlock the benefits, and chia adds delightful crunch and texture helping you to feel like this smoothie is more like a meal.

Frozen berries are great from freezer to smoothie, but berries are much more than just a smoothie base. They are also potent superfoods — low in calories, high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants that give berries their brilliant color and help fortify out bodies against disease.

Serves 1

1 cup frozen berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or a mix
1 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon stevia
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 230 calories, 11 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 11 g fiber, 131 mg sodium

Coffee Banana Chip

Like chocolate, coffee is a rich-tasting superfood that has surprising benefits! Some studies have shown that coffee may lower the risk of many diseases by 20-25% including Parkinson’s, type-2 diabetes, liver cirrhosis, and colorectal cancer. Coffee “beans” are actually the dried berries of the coffee plant. They are naturally very high in antioxidants but get this — you can only get its benefit from caffeinated coffee since the antioxidants are washed away when the beans are decaffeinated.

Serves 1

1 cup sliced fresh or frozen banana
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
1/2 cup cooled coffee
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoon ground flax
1 tablespoon bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon stevia or 1 tablespoons local honey, (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 289 calories, 9 g protein, 43 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat (3 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 9 g fiber, 69 mg sodium

Carrot Grapefruit

redbellpeppersmoothieGrapefruit, a citrus superfood, will give you plenty of vitamin C (which is a powerful antioxidant and can help fight the aging process). Maintain that glowing complexion, protect gums for a gorgeous smile and help lower cholesterol by including it in your diet. Check with your healthcare practitioner about consuming a lot of grapefruit if you’re taking prescription drugs though. Certain prescription drugs should not be combined with grapefruit juice: their potency can increase because grapefruit doesn’t allow them to break down, causing them to build up in your system.

Serves 1

1/2 grapefruit, pink or white
1 carrot, peeled
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoon chopped almonds or macadamia nuts
1 teaspoon stevia or 1 tablespoons local honey, (optional)

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 312 calories, 12 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 12 g fiber, 150 mg sodium

Blueberry Vanilla Spice

raspberry-kale-almondLooking for superfruits that won’t be hard on your waistline or your wallet? Frozen blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are healthy freezer staples that taste as good as fresh but are a lot budget-friendlier compared to the fresh version. Their antioxidant load doesn’t get damaged by freezing and the deep chill makes them perfect for smoothies. But if you do have a pint of fresh berries and you’re worried about them going bad, just pack snack bag portions and transfer to the freezer, for tasty smoothies on demand.

Serves 1

1 cup packed frozen blueberries
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons chopped pecans or hazelnuts
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon stevia

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 271 calories, 11 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 12 g fiber, 66 mg sodium

Goji Raspberry Burst

Goji berries (native to the Himalayas) can be found in the US in dried form and have a rough texture and a tart, smoky flavor. Don’t let their tough exterior fool you, these little wrinkled berries are seriously beauty food. They have 20-times the antioxidant power of prunes (that already rank extremely high in antioxidants) and contain over 3-times more than blueberries.

Serves 1

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 carrot, peeled, cut into thirds
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
2 tablespoons goji berries
2 tablespoons ground flax or chia seeds
1 teaspoon stevia

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 337 calories, 14 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 21g fiber, 149 mg sodium

Double Chocolate Crunch

Chocolate is a sinfully delicious food that also happens to be a superfood when you prepare it the right way: Real chocolate that contains 70-100% cocoa is where the health benefits lie. Cocoa has been studied for its ability to combat cancer, heart disease, and high blood pressure. But you won’t find any of those benefits if you’re eating milk chocolate bars, so use 100% real cocoa unsweetened cocoa in your smoothies and baked goods.

Serves 1

1 cup frozen raspberries
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
4 ice cubes
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon stevia

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (Serving size: 1 1/2 cup): 267 calories, 10 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat (4 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 16 g fiber, 68 mg sodium

Citrus Smoothie

Citrus SmoothieSmoothies can be a no-mess way to get in vital nutrients that you may be lacking in your everyday diet, like vitamin C and calcium. Kefir is a yogurt drink that’s packed with good bacteria that can minimize bloat, improve the quality of your skin, and sooth digestion. And citrus is a tangy superfood that is being studied for its ability to curb cravings naturally and slow the growth of cancer cells. If you take prescription medication, check with your doctor before eating grapefruit.

Serves 1

1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
1 cup orange or grapefruit sections
8 ice cubes
2 sprigs of fresh mint
1 teaspoon stevia

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving
(2 Cups): 226 calories. 7 g protein, 48 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fat (1 g saturated), 6 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 81 mg sodium.

Cherry Almond Smoothie

Cherry Almond SmoothieFrozen cherries are a great fruit to keep on hand for snacks and quick desserts! Ideal for smoothies, cherries are naturally sweet, the frozen whole black cherries are fairly inexpensive, and store for months in your freezer. If you use fresh cherries, chill before serving.

Nuts, like almonds are a delicious, rich kitchen ingredient that add protein and texture to your favorite smoothie recipe. They are also a good source of fiber and essential minerals like zinc and selenium. Nuts also contain the “good kinds” of mono- and polyunsatured fats that help fight inflammation, and are being studied as a food that reduces the risk of coronary disease.

Serves 2

1 cup frozen or fresh pitted cherries
1/2 cup plain reduced fat yogurt or kefir
8 ice cubes
1/4 cup toasted whole almonds
2 tablespoons ground flax
1 teaspoon stevia
1 teaspoon almond extract

Place all ingredients in a blender along with 1/2 cup water and process until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional Stats Per Serving (2 cups): 273 calories. 12 g protein, 31 g carbohydrates, 12 g fat (1 g saturated), 2 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 96 mg sodium.

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