Try a smoothie for a boost on hot summer day! However, some smoothies you purchase at stores are packed with extra calories. Ask a dietitian: What are some healthy tips to make smoothies at home? Here are some ideas from Barb Himes with the Nooksack Smoothie Project.
Include healthy fats: 1-3 Tablespoons Some fats are good for people with chronic diseases such as DM (diabetes mellitus). These fats play an essential role in our body and can slow down the speed at which the sugar enters the blood stream. Too much fat can lead to weight gain, so adding 1-3 Tablespoons per serving will give you a nice healthy fat boost without too many calories. Try adding: almond or peanut butter, avocado, raw pecans, walnuts or cashews.
Add protein: ½ cup Protein can slow the absorption of food and offers essential nutrients for health. Some low sugar calcium rich protein ideas include: plain Greek yogurt, hemp seeds, peas, low fat milk or whey protein powder.
Fill up on fiber: 1 cup of veggies Fiber is our body’s natural scrub brush. Eating more fiber can help blunt blood sugar spikes, help lower cholesterol, and help make us feel full. Leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and chard provide many antioxidants as well as fiber. Carrots cauliflower, pumpkin and beets provide a rainbow of different nutrients to make your smoothie extra healthy.
Add flavor without adding sugar You can cut back on the amount of sugar in you smoothie by being careful when choosing ingredients. Drain off the syrup if you are using canned fruit, remember that milk has lactose which is a sugar, so don’t use more than one cup, check the label for added sugars in almond, soy and coconut milks.
Flavor and nutrient boosters: 1-3 tsp Try spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, cocoa powder, ginger or turmeric, green tea leaves, coconut flour, chia seeds or ground flax seeds to add a little flavor and nutrients without the sugar.
Make a meal of it A smoothie can seem like a drink, but can contain as many carbohydrates and calories as a full meal. Use your smoothie to replace breakfast or lunch.
Try these tips and video for How to Make Epic Smoothies at home with Eating Well.
The Nooksack Smoothie Project is giving away blenders, recipes, and smoothie ingredients to help you stay healthy this summer! In order to receive a kit you need to be an active registered patient at the Clinic.