Health conscious consumers are choosing to drink fewer beverages that contain artificial colors and ingredients. Instead, they’re opting to drink healthier 100% fruit juices and smoothies. In some cases smoothies are used as a meal replacement. In other cases smoothies are consumed as desserts or refreshing snacks. Meal replacement smoothies often consist of blends of fruits, vegetables, and in some cases protein and vitamin supplements.
One of the things that consumers seem to like about smoothies is that the ingredients are usually familiar. For the most part there’s no guesswork. According to Wikipedia, “A smoothie (occasionally spelled smoothee or smoothy) is a thick beverage made from blended raw fruit or vegetables with other ingredients such as water, ice, dairy products or sweeteners.” Smoothies made with fruit with the skin left on contain dietary fiber. The added fiber makes a smoothie healthier than drinking plain fruit juice. Smoothies that contain vegetables are sometimes referred to as “green smoothies”. A smoothie containing 40 to 50 percent vegetables would qualify as a “green” smoothie. Vegetables commonly used in smoothies include: kale, spinach, parsley, cucumbers, and celery. Health food smoothies may also include ingredients like yogurt, nuts, seeds, or superfruits like açaí and goji berries.
Smoothies can be purchased at juice bars and cafés. But making a homemade smoothie only requires a well-made blender (or food processor), one’s choice of fruit and/or vegetables, and enough liquid conducive to blending the ingredients together. Frozen smoothies can be made with frozen fruits or vegetables, or by simply adding ice to the smoothie’s other ingredients. The following is a recipe for a refreshing, homemade fruit smoothie. The listed ingredients can be adjusted to suit different tastes.
- 1 cup orange OR pineapple juice [Use 100% juice for the healthiest option.]
- 1/2 cup frozen mango cubes
- 1/2 cup frozen pineapple cubes
- 1/2 cup frozen sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen (or fresh) sliced banana [optional]
- cane sugar OR a natural sweetener like honey [optional]
- Pour juice into the blender.
- Add the frozen fruit and choice of sweetener.
- Blend until smooth.
- Add the desired amount of ice.
- Blending all of the ingredients a little at a time until the drink is at the desired consistency.