Summer Smoothie: Quenching Your Grandchildren’s Thirst in a Healthy Way!

2-smoothieThe summer season is here! The grandchildren are out of school, and the outdoor fun has begun.  And so have the summer treats.

That smoothie at the Smoothie Bar around the corner looks most refreshing and tastes so delicious!  You cannot resist sharing this special treat with your grandchildren.  

But how nutritious is this smoothie? 

Recently I gave my grandchildren, ages 7 (twins) and 11, a quiz question:

“What do you think:  Smoothies  =  Healthy  (True) or (False)? “

Actually, their answer was not surprising since they know me too well and are totally biased. But then Ally said: “What about:  Smoothies  =  Yummy (True) or (False)? Some kids may not like your healthy smoothies. “ 

I was startled because I so took it for granted that everyone likes smoothies. All my  grandchildren and their friends when around love those I quickly blend together.

If you have never prepared your own smoothie, don’t wait any longer and get your blender busy. You can whip up in no time a blend of a few raw vegetables and fresh fruits into a delicious, natural energy booster.  And, the cost compared to a commercially prepared smoothie or a sugary drink from the soda fountain is only a fraction. 

The Smoothie Explosion

Over the last five years, smoothies have become very popular.  They are no longer a specialty drink served at a Juice Bar. Starbucks and many fast food chains like McDonald’s have expanded their milk shake varieties to include smoothies. Books and articles abound today describing smoothies as power-packed blends of fruits and vegetables, bursting with taste and health-boosting nutrients: smoothies for weight loss, detoxification, energy boost, fitness, and endless varieties of recipes.

How Healthy is Your Favorite Smoothie? 

Not all smoothies, especially commercially-prepared, will pass the ‘healthy’ test.  They look deliciously refreshing but may be high in calories and sugar content while low in nutrients. In many cases, artificial flavors or fruit syrups are used to sweeten the drink.Real fruits are often substituted with fruit purees or added in very small amounts. 

Even home-made smoothies could fall short on nutritional value.  Blend together fruit juice (high sugar content or artificially sweetened) with a scoop of ice cream, you will have a delicious but high caloric and nutrient-starved summer drink.

Sample Recipe of A Nutritious, Quick and Easy Smoothie

Enjoy this tested recipe Summer Breeze Smoothie. I included the main nutrient content for basic health information.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup yogurt (nonfat, plain), prefer Greek Yoghurt
  • 6 strawberries (medium), fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup pineapple (crushed, canned in juice, no sugar added)
  • 1 banana (medium)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ice cubes

 Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth (add water if you want it more liquid)
  2. Serve in frosted glass

Yield:    3 Servings (3 Cups (252g)

Nutritional Value per cup:

Calories:      130
Vitamin C:    50%
Vitamin A:    8%
Calcium:      10%
Protein:         4g

Cost:      $1.81 per recipe; $0.60 per serving

Sample Variation of the Tested Summer Breeze Smoothie

Depending which ingredients you have on hand, you can create unlimited smoothie variations while keeping in mind the basic nutrient value. I call them Quick-Fix Summer Treats. They all taste delicious and you know they are healthy treats or snacks the grandkids will love.

Put in a blender:

  • a handful of blueberries
  • a few strawberries
  • 1/2 banana (frozen works very well)
  • a scoop of plain, nonfat yogurt (Greek Yoghurt preferred)
  • 1/2 a cup of water or freshly squeezed orange juice or both
  • a few ice cubes

Blend . . . and the simple summer drink turns into a “wonder drink” to give you a refreshing, tasty boost that is vitamin-packed. The kids will ask for more!

Let your creative juice flow and experiment. It is great fun! You can mix a smoothie in any color, texture, aroma, and taste without ever compromising the nutrition value. You will be excited to create an assortment of super healthy, vitamin-packed  drinks from  a broad range of fruits and vegetables in various flavors everyone loves. And  if time allows, get your grandchildren involved with experimenting and tasting until they approve. They love it and you will be amazed how fancy the drink turns out at times.

Have fun and we would love to hear about your creative smoothies!

 

About Ute Goldkuhle

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