Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How to find the perfect (healthy!) smoothie

In the summer, smoothies are a great way to cool down and can also be a great alternative to other snacks. However, not all smoothies are created equal. Here are tips to find the perfect and healthy smoothie to give you a cool boost in the last leg of summer.

  • Choose REAL FRUIT - Many places advertise smoothies with "real fruit", but this simply means that the juice they use was made with real fruits. These are usually packed with extra sugar that you don't need. Go to places where the fruit is on display.
  • Be picky, and watch your smoothie being made - Every new smoothie place is worth a try but be critical. Are those canned pineapples? Do the fruits look fresh?  Did they pour in A LOT of extra juices and only add a small amount of fruit?  These are factors that will determine if you will be coming back. 
  • Decide on the Dairy - Be aware that adding dairy products will increase the fat and calorie content of your smoothie. If it is included, ask for low fat milk or yogurt instead of whole milk or ice cream. Make sure you know the options at your favorite places. 
  • Customize! - Don't feel limited by the choices that are on the menu. Mix fruits to your preference, specify how much you want of something ( "just a few strawberries") and tell them how thick or thin you would like your smoothie to be.
  • Dare to "go green" - If it is offered, don't be afraid to add vegetables to your smoothies. Veggies like fresh spinach and carrots are easily masked, and give you an added boost of vitamins. 
  • Beware of boosters-  You may want to add a fat burner or protein boost to your smoothie. Just be aware that these can sometime change the taste, consistency and calories. Get details if you are not sure about your choice. 
While these tips may seem like a lot, it is all trial and error. To get the best tasting healthy smoothie you will have to shop around. However it will be well worth it. Real fruit smoothies can be filling, and serve as a sizable snack (often 20 oz) for under 400 calories. With blended coffees and juices, you must sacrifice size if you want to limit the calories

Fun Fact: A 24 oz Caramel Frappaccino is 510 calories,  has 50% of your daily saturated fat and 81 g of sugar!! Always  Be sure check the nutrition facts of any new smoothie place if they are available.

Have fun and Happy Smoothies!

Authors Choice:  Pineapple / Banana with a splash of coconut

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