Apricot Smoothie

I very rarely eat any other fruits or vegetables besides my favorites, so to break away from routine a little bit I decided to look for a new smoothie flavor and thats when I ran across this Apricot Smoothie at Fitness Magazine

I must say that this smoothie recipe was good and different. It is the first time I have ever had toasted wheat germ and it was not as bad as I thought it would be, I think it is actually the ingredient that tied the smoothie together.

If it’s not already you should definitely add it to your list of smoothies to try (soon)!

INGREDIENTS:
3/4 cup soy milk
4 apricot halves (if not in season use canned apricots packed in juice)
2 tablespoons orange-juice concentrate
2 tablespoons toasted wheat germ
1/2 your choice of nuts
1 banana

In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together.

ApricotSmoothie

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Smoothies vs Juicing

blending-vs-juicing-20090803-135033

Whats the difference between Juicing and Smoothies?

Smoothies are made in a blender and contain all parts of the food, including the fiber and pulp.

Juicing involves taking vegetables and fruit and using a special juice extractor or citrus press to extract ONLY the juice of these foods.

Benefits of Smoothies

*Smoothies are a Meal. You can easily add protein ingredients (yogurt, milk, whey, eggs) to the smoothie or shake, making it a more balanced, nutritious meal.

*Smoothies Stabilize Blood Sugar and Energy Levels. Because smoothies contain fiber, the sugar and calories from smoothies are more slowly absorbed into the blood stream. As a result, your blood sugar levels remain stable and so does your energy. Juice, however, gives you a jolt of energy and vitality.

*Smoothies keep you full. Since smoothies contain fiber, you will feel full longer. High fiber content means longer time to digest, meaning you won’t become hungry very quickly.

*Smoothies Promote Regularity. Because of the fiber, smoothies help keep your digestive tract moving and provide “good” bacteria needed for good digestion.

*Smoothies Promote Weight Loss. Juice goes down quickly, is digested quickly and is absorbed into the blood stream quickly. What does that mean? You become hungry and need more food quickly. Smoothies, however, keep you feeling full and less hungry, helping you to fight off cravings and hunger pains. Since juicing requires many fruit and vegetables, the juice – ounce for ounce – is higher in calories and sugar than a smoothie.

Benefits of Juicing

*Juice Allows for Faster Absorption of Nutrients: Because there is no fiber, juicing fruit and vegetables reportedly provides the most concentrated and readily absorbed source of vitamins and minerals. Removing fiber from the food means that there is hardly any digestive work needed to process the food.

*Most of us have impaired digestion and that are bodies are limited in absorbing all the nutrients from the fruit and vegetables. Juicing supposedly helps to “pre-digest” them for you, so you will receive increased nutrition.

*Juice provides more fruit and veggies, easier. Because it takes A LOT of veggies or fruit to make an ounce of juice, you supposedly get a lot more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Further, because some people find eating fruit and vegetables difficult, it supposedly is more easy to consume them through juice.

*Juice is Nutrient Dense. A good amount of what you eat when you eat fruit and vegetables is water, vitamins and minerals, AND fiber. However, when you remove the fiber, all you get is the water and vitamins and minerals. This concentration is said to supercharge the system with phytonutrients which are important in warding off disease, cancer and other degenerative illnesses.

*Juice Cleans Your Liver. Juice helps to detoxify and de-sludge our liver.

*Juice Helps with Anti-Depression. As a result of the high concentration of minerals contained in juice, such as magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, and folic acid, there is reason to believe that juicing can help fight symptoms of depression.

*Juice Helps with Anti-Aging. As a result of the high concentration of antioxidants in juice, they believe that consuming juice can combat the damaging effects that free radicals have on skin, muscle and our internal organs. Antioxidants also help to ward off wrinkles and keep muscles toned.

Why Smoothies?

Smoothies Are Nutritious. The fruit and vegetables you use for a smoothie all contain the same vitamins and minerals you get when you juice them. You still get all of the antioxidants and age-fighting benefits.
Smoothies Cost Less. It takes less fruit and vegetables to make a smoothie than it does to make a juice. Juicing is messy and requires more fruit and vegetables.

Mushy Bananas

banana smoothie
After being out-of-town for a few days my beautiful bananas are no longer very beautiful, so I decided to try them in a banana smoothie. I absolutely hate throwing food money away and this seemed like a good alternative.

Banana Smoothie

  1. 2 bananas
  2. 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
  3. 1/2 cup milk
  4. 2 teaspoons honey
  5. pinch of cinnamon
  6. 1-2 cups of ice

Blend.

If you have a lot left over or just want to make a tasty treat make the smoothie as directed above minus the ice and put it in a piece of Tupperware and freeze. Then later you can have banana ice cream!

Perfect for Summer…

 Image

As summer is fast approaching, so is my desire to be on a beach basking away in the sunshine with sand between my toes and the sound of crashing waves in the background… Alas that is not at all possible right now. With no choice I turn to one of my all time favorite smoothies  Pineapple Coconut Banana Smoothie. The name alone reminds me of the beach! To create this magnificent concoction you need the following:

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup crushed or chopped pineapple
  • 1/4 cup sweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup ice
  • (optional) 2 tbsp sugar

As always combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. This recipe is enough for two 12 oz. glasses

Strawberries and Kale

Why Kale? Kale is one of the most nutrient enriched vegtables available and can be found in most grocery stores, so why not? Below is a Strawberry and Kale Smoothie recipe that I am sure will have everyone talking even those that are not big on veggies.

The strawberries and greek yogurt are the perfect combination for the Kale and offer a great contrast in texture. To make this scrumptious nutrient filled smooothie you will need the following:

1 cup of tightly packed kale, washed and chopped
1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries
1 cup of non-fat or low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
up to 1 cup of ice

* Makes 1-2 servings

As always blend all ingredients until desired consistency is reached.

Let me know how you like this one. My kids love it, so I am sure you will too.

Strawberry Kale Smoothie

I Can’t Believe…

Not a Reese's SmoothieI Can’t Believe it’s Not Made of Reese’s Smoothie

While on the search for something sweet and savory I came across several smoothies that I found yummy and combined them and edited them to come up with this recipe. It is so delicious and perfect for those moments when I want nothing more than a few Reese’s and a glass of milk. I was afraid that the banana would take away from the taste of sinful decadence, but much to my surprise the flavor was covered by the cocoa and peanut butter, yet it provided the perfect texture when mixed with the chocolate and peanut butter duo. To create this sinful yet healthy treat you will need the following ingredients:

    1 large frozen banana (To freeze, peel the banana, chop in quarters, wrap in plastic wrap or plastic bag and freeze.)
    1 cup vanilla soy milk
    1 1/2 Tbsp. chunky peanut butter , such as Smart Balance
    1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. cocoa powder , such as Hershey’s Natural Cocoa
    1/2 tsp. of honey

Then Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Chocolate Mocha and Spinach

While on my quest for a healthier lifestyle I have come into contact with a company called Advocare. This company has meal replacement shakes that are full of nutrients and while I know that my smoothies are full of nutrients I know that they are not perfect and that they lack vital nutrients. There fore I have decided to take on these vitamin enriched shakes and add my own twist to them.

chocolatemocha spinach

For this smoothie I used the following:

    1 package of Chocolate Mocha mix
    9oz. Almond Milk
    1/2 cup of spinach
    1 1/2 cups of ice

I don’t do this to every shake, but every once in awhile it’s nice to have something a little different!
I know it does not appear that appealing, but it was oh so delicious!

This has approximtely 310 calories, but is packed with nutirients and protein.

Presidential Smoothie

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Parade Magazine’s Presidential Parfait

As I was going through Sunday’s newspaper (2/17/2013) I found Parade Magazine’s insert and began flipping through. While I was flipping through I found a recipe for a Presidential Parfait. It looked mighty delicious and healthy. I began to wonder if I could turn it in to a smoothie.

As it turns out it can be a smoothie. Some revisions had to be made to the original recipe because it was designed to make 4 parfaits, so to turn this lovely Parfait into a smoothie for one person I used the following recipe.

Ingredients:

5oz. of Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1/2 cup of frozen blackberries
1/2 cup of fresh strawberries
1/4 cup of granola

Add the ingredients and then blend until smooth. If it’s a little thick add Vanilla Almond Soy Milk until it’s of a consistency you like.

*According to Parade it has 200 calories.

Here is the original Presidential Parfait recipe from Parade.
This would also make a great 4th of July snack whether it is as a Parfait or a Smoothie.

presidential smoothie

Introducing the Amazing Grapfruit…

Benefits of Grapefruit

Grapefruit is one of my favorite fruits. It has so many benefits and it taste amazing, so this morning I am going to make a smoothie for all grapefruit lovers. This recipe is probably not one I would want to make if I were in a rush because of the prep work that goes into making the grapefruit smoothie ready. Since my family is out for winterbreak then timing is not an issue.

To prep the grapefruit for the smoothie it needs to be cut in half, so that the pulp and seeds can be spooned out easily. Then strawberries need to be washed and cut into slices (no need if you have a ninja or vitamix blender) as well.

Once all prep work is completed add ingredients in the order listed below.

Grapefruit-Lovers Smoothie:

    10-12 Ice Cubes to thicken
    1/4 cup of orange juice
    1 pink grapefruit cut in half
    1 cup cut strawberries

Blend. Pour. Sip.
*Refrigerate leftovers in blender bowl and then repulse when ready to drink

Benefits of Grapefruit

Early Morning RUSH

In an effort to have my oldest son at school on time I whipped together a smoothie using all frozen fruit. By using all frozen fruit I was able to cut down on prep time and just dump the ingredients in to the blender.

I havent been making smoothies for very long now, so I was a little hesitant about the actual health benefits of using frozen fruit for my smoothies. Through a little research though I have found that frozen fruit might actually be better than the “fresh” fruit bought at the grocery store.

Frozen fruit is picked when it is at its peak or ripe and then frozen. The “fresh” fruit that we buy at the grocery store is not picked when it is ripe, so that it has time to be shipped and shelved before it goes bad. By being picked before its ripe it actually doesnt get all the nutrients it should, therefore we do not get the full health benefits of the fresh fruit either. 

As long as there is no sugar added to your frozen fruit it probably a better and less expensive choice for smoothies at least when one is in a  HURRY.

Healthy-breakfast-1

Morning Rush Smoothie:

1/2 Cup Dole Wildly Nutritious Tropical Fruit
1/4 Cup frozen strawberries
1 container of Yoplait Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup of Almond Milk
*Blend until desired consistency. I like mine really smooth so I blend for a minute or so.

Overall this smoothie contains approximately 192.5 calories