The smoothie menus at juice bars list banana, berries, pineapple, yogurt or soymilk repeatedly. Kale or spinach often add green goodness to this lineup. But, mostly packed with carbs, smoothies do not contain much protein or fiber, unless they are purposely added.
For a super-smoothie with more balanced nutrition, Greek yogurt is an ideal base. It brings both significant protein and probiotic benefits. Building further, green tea keeps down calories and adds important phytochemicals. For seasonal flavor, I add some peach and berries (any kind) and include ginger and mint for a flavor boost. The yogurt and berries are tart, so honey is the finishing touch in this creamy smoothie.
Brainstorming with my editor about other ingredients that would make smart smoothies, here is the list of possibilities we assembled. Some of them may surprise you. I have tried them all and found that you get delicious results if you put sensible combinations together, like berries, oatmeal, plain yogurt, soymilk, and cinnamon plus cocoa powder. Or mango, coconut water, Greek yogurt, orange zest and mint. Check out choices on the list below and let us know what you combined.
Anything Goes Smoothie Mix and Match
- Base: Greek-style yogurt, milk, buttermilk, soy milk and other plant-based milks, soft silken tofu
- Fruit (fresh or frozen): Peach, pear or berries and cherries; tropical fruits – mango, papaya, pineapple, avocado
- Vegetables: fresh leafy greens – kale, spinach, romaine; frozen petite green peas
- Grains: Cooked oatmeal, brown rice or quinoa; wheat germ
- Nuts: Walnuts, almonds, nut butters – peanut, almond
- Seeds: Chia, flax, sesame or sesame paste (tahini)
- Ice Cubes: Frozen tea, herb tea, coconut water, coffee
- Herbs: Mint, parsley, basil
- Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, clove, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, chile pepper
- Natural Sweeteners: Honey, agave, maple syrup (1 teaspoon per cup)
- Other: Unsweetened cocoa powder, dates, instant coffee, vanilla extract, citrus zest
Berry Delicious Peach Super Smoothie with Green Tea
- 1 cup green tea, chilled
- 3/4 cup plain Greek or regular yogurt (5-7 oz. container)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen berries
- 1 cup fresh or frozen sliced peaches (about 1 medium-large peach, sliced)
- 2 tsp. honey
- 6 fresh mint leaves, 1/2-inch fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
In blender combine in following order: tea, yogurt, fruit, honey and mint, ginger or cinnamon. Whirl until smooth. Serve immediately.
Makes 2 (1 cup) servings.
Per serving: 145 calories, <1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 27 g carbohydrate, 11 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 51 mg sodium.
Something Different is written by Dana Jacobi, author of 12 Best Foods Cookbook and contributor to AICR’s New American Plate Cookbook: Recipes for a Healthy Weight and a Healthy Life.
The American Institute for Cancer Research champions the latest and most authoritative scientific research from around the world on cancer prevention and survival through diet, weight and physical activity, so that we can help people make informed lifestyle choices to reduce their cancer risk.
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Photographs by Heather Victoria Photography