Smoothies are a great way to get some of the five servings of fruits and veggies that the American Dietetic Association says you should have each day. Unfortunately, they can be inconvenient to prepare at home, and are sometimes hard to work into meals. Here are some recipes for healthy smoothies that fit breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
To make a great smoothie and avoid causing any damage to your blender, first add any liquid ingredients (such as milk), then any semi-liquid ingredients (such as yogurt), then any soft ingredients (such as bananas), and then any hard ingredients, such as ice or frozen berries. Pulse a few times until hard ingredients have started to break down, then move quickly through the blender’s settings, starting low, running each setting about 5 seconds. When you’ve reached the highest setting, run until smooth.
Healthy Smoothies For Breakfast
Breakfast is both the easiest and most difficult meal for smoothies. Breakfast is easy because many smoothies taste great beside (or instead of) normal breakfast fare. However, breakfast also tends to be the most rushed of meals, and sometimes this causes people to opt for fast food smoothies that aren’t as healthy as those made at home (Margee, 2009).
Fortunately, almost all smoothie recipes can be prepared ahead. While storing a blended smoothie (especially one that contains bananas) will often cause it to turn an unappealing brown, smoothie ingredients can be roughly chopped, added to a blender jar, and placed in the fridge overnight, and blended right before consumption.
Breakfast Smoothie Recipe: Coffee Smoothie
To make a coffee smoothie, blend 1 cup cold milk or plain plant-based milk, 1-2 tsp instant coffee crystals, half a ripe banana (which you should cut into 1-inch chunks), and sweetener to taste.
Healthy Smoothies For Lunch
Lunch smoothies are less likely to be the only thing eaten for lunch, so they need to be a bit lighter (meaning less filling) than breakfast smoothies. Often they can serve as a refreshing counter-point to other lunch options.
Lunch smoothies can be sweet or savory. Savory smoothies are often made with tomato or other vegetable juices and can help incorporate more healthy veggies into your diet.
Lunch Smoothie Recipes: Sparkling Apple Peach Quencher, Gazpacho Smoothie
To make Sparkling Apple Peach Quencher, blend a peeled and sliced fresh peach with 1/2 cup cold milk, 1/2 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup sparkling water, and a few ice cubes (note: you can also use 1/2 cup frozen peach slices, simply omit the ice).
To make Gazpacho Smoothie, blend 4 cherry tomatoes, 3/4 cup cold tomato juice, 1 tbsp fresh cilantro leaves, a small garlic clove, a few drops hot sauce (or more if you like it) and 1/4 tsp ground cumin.
Healthy Smoothies for Dinner
Dinner can be the hardest meal to integrate smoothies into. After all, dinner is often the most filling meal of the day, and nobody really wants to fill up on drinks and miss out on the pasta capraise.
Fortunately, some traditional dinner smoothies are ready and waiting to sit along-side your dinner plate: virgin (non-alcoholic) versions of favorite cocktails.
Dinner Smoothie Recipes: Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri, Virgin Margarita
To make a virgin strawberry daiquiri, blend 1 ounce fresh lime juice, 3 ounces frozen strawberries (or fresh, if available), and sweetener to taste.
To make a virgin margarita, blend 1⁄2 oz. lime juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, and sour mix to taste.
American Dietetic Association. (n.d). Fortify Your Health with a Nutritious Diet. ADA. Retrieved 16 June, 2010 from https://www.everydaychoices.org/eat_healthy_diet.html
Margee, E. (RD). (2009). The Best and Worst Smoothies. WebMD Medical Reference. Retrieved 16 June, 2010 from https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/best-worst-smoothies