Healthy and Delicious Smoothies for Weight Loss
Article by Rain San Martin
Both a Healthy Shake and Icy Treat
If your looking for the perfect healthy treat to carry you over until sweet day, prepare a smoothie. When you blend a vitamin packed drink made with frozen banana's, you'll swear you used real ice cream when you have a sip. Desserts conventionally use a tremendous amount of sugar, smoothie drinks made with a high quantity of frozen banana's or juice use very little. The milk and sugar can easily be substituted for your favorite staples. For example: milk can be swapped with soy milk, and sugar can be replaced with agave nectar.
Healthy Chocolate Banana Freeze-Recipe
Prep time: 8 min Ready in: 8 min Yields: 1 shake
- 2 cups frozen banana's, cut in half inches slices and divided
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar or evaporated cane juice
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- Add 1 cup of the frozen banana's, vanilla extract, sugar, cocoa and milk to blender. Churn until mixed.
- Add remaining 1 cup of banana's gradually until the consistency is the same as an ice cream shake.
You don't need to spend much on a blender, pulse in smaller batches to extend its longevity.
Benefits of Cocoa Powder
You will read many articles about the benefits of eating chocolate, that dark chocolate has the highest concentration of antioxidants. Why not go straight to the source and give yourself a jam packed serving? Healthy chocolate banana shakes are just one place to use , you can also add coco powder to chili's, giving it a rich smoky flavor. Cocoa adds a natural dash of sweetness, making it easier to use less sugar. cocoa powder
According to Livestrong.com: Having as little as 2 teaspoons per day gives you a healthy boost of fiber, iron and magnesium. It boost's endorphin levels and serves as a natural antidepressant.
High levels of antioxidants are found in cocoa powder, which aids in minimizing aging and keeping your organs healthy.
Mix and Match Smoothie Freeze Variations
Following the ratio's from The Healthy Chocolate Banana Freeze recipe above, keep the fruit, milk and extract the same but you may substitute 1 cup of the banana's for any "frozen" fruit of your choice, and double the amount of sweetener you use (1 tablespoon per serving). Peaches, strawberries, blueberries, mixed berries or mango's should be added with your frozen banana base. This is key because no other fruit will give your freeze the consistency or flavor of an ice cream shake.
Here is a list of items you can mix and match for rich flavor and high nutrition:
- Cranberry's (use in moderation as they are extremely tart)
Milk, Yogurt or non-dairy substitute
- Greek Yogurt
- Grape Juice
- White Grape Juice
- Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
- Agave Nectar
- Evaporated Cane Juice
Healthy Green Smoothie Made With Avocado and Greek Yogurt
Tips for a Yummier Smoothie or Shake
- Buy a pewter mug for a seriously icy cold container.
Place the mug in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before pouring your smoothie in the container.
- Use all frozen fruit.
You will find many recipes that call for fresh fruit, they will often suggest adding ice as well. Ice unfortunately will water down the flavor of the shake. Frozen ingredients provide the same function as ice, without diluting the flavor. Also you will pack in more nutrition when you use fruit instead of ice.
Get Kids to Eat Their Greens With a Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are a great way for kids to eat broccoli, spinach, avocado and kale. The key is to blend more fruit than veggies, so the drink does not taste too earthy. In the beginning only add a tiny amount of frozen spinach or broccoli. Gradually add a few more veggies, yet make sure the overall taste is fruity, otherwise your green smoothie plan may backfire. Experiment and see what they respond to. Before long you may hear your kids asking you for a green smoothie everyday!
Health Spa Café- Greenman Smoothie Pitcher
Prep time: 8 min Ready in: 8 min Yields: 3 large or 4 small shakes
1 1/2 cups frozen spinach
1 1/2 cups frozen broccoli
1 cup frozen berries
2 frozen banana's-chopped
1 cup milk or soy milk
2 cups juice or green tea
2 cups water or more if necessary
3-4 tables spoons organic sugar / sugar to taste / or sweeten with more juice instead of water
Add all ingredients except the frozen banana. Churn until mixed well.
- Add banana's gradually until blended.
Makes 1 large pitcher of energizing smoothies.
The Negative Effects of Having Too Much Sugar
Desserts conventionally use a tremendous amount of sugar. Excessive sugar causes free radicals in the skin, contributes to diabetes and causes tooth decay, just to name a few ways refined sugar can harm you. You may have a daily habit of eating a large portioned sized sugary treat as a meal replacement, better to replace this daily habit with a healthy nutrient packed smoothie or homemade, naturally sweet energy bar. Reserve unhealthy fun treats for 1-2 days of the week to ensure maximum nutrition in your diet.
Healthy Smoothie Made with Banana's, Blueberries, Strawberries and Yogurt
Holiday Smoothies for Fall and Winter
You can prepare delicious frozen smoothies in the fall or winter, using different ingredients. For example: In the fall stock up on pumpkin puree and make pumpkin pie smoothies. Follow the same ratio of ingredients listed above, yet use 1 and a half cups of frozen banana's with 1/2 cup of pumpkin, add a few dashes of cinnamon and nutmeg, and you've got a healthy frozen dessert. Make a ginger-bread freeze using only banana's, add molasses in place of your sweetener and a dash of ginger and cinnamon. Try a caramel apple variation with caramel sauce in place of your sweetener, apples in place of fruit, and a dash of cinnamon.
Save Money by Making Your Own Smoothies
By making your own smoothie you will save lots of cash. Places like Jamba Juice and Smoothie King charge $5-$6 for most drinks. Better yet prepare a pitcher for the family and you may have a household of health conscious people. You don't need the most expensive to do the job. A lesser expensive glass model costing around $25 will work just great. You'll want to chop your frozen fruit into small pieces so that your blender will last. If your blender is struggling to blend the fruit or veggies you will need more liquid. Take care of your blender and look out for the smell of smoke, as this is a warning that it may be working too hard. blenders
Create the Habit of Having a Daily Smoothie
One of the best way to satisfy your fruit and veggie daily requirement is through having a daily smoothie. When you incorporate a delicious fruit or veggie shake in your daily meal ritual it will be much easier to keep track of your fruit / veggie intake. You may wish to consider two smoothies on a daily basis. One made with Greek yogurt, banana's, mango's and orange juice and another green smoothie prepared later in the day with spinach, broccoli, blueberries, green tea and grape juice.
There are other ways to include energy boosters to your smoothies by adding:
- chia seed
- nut butters
- green tea
Making and consuming these naturally healthy drinks will also make you feel fit. Your sending a message to your brain that your committed to health. The iciness of the beverage will also energize you. Give yourself a daily spa cafe experience, and blend yourself a healthy and yummy smoothie!
© 2013 Rain San Martin