By: Megan Lautz, MS, RD, TSAC-F
Smoothies are a great way to boost your fruit and veggie intake without taking a ton of prep time.
A morning smoothie is an easy grab for the commute into the station or made to sip on during line-up. Smoothies are a great way to boost your fruit and veggie intake without taking a ton of prep time. Fruits and veggies are high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help to prevent chronic disease. Blending produce preserves the fiber content, while juicing does not. Fiber also prevents chronic disease and will help to keep you full until your next meal.
Tips for amazing smoothies
- Invest in a high-powered blender. A cheap one may not power through ice chunks or “gritty” vegetables like kale. A Ninja blender is a moderate-priced, high-power option.
- Opt for frozen fruit for a creamier smoothie
- Freeze your greens if they tend to go bad before use. Blend in a small amount of water and pour into ice cube trays. Pop into any of the smoothies below to boost your veggie intake.
- Let a bunch of bananas ripen, then chop up and freeze. You won’t have to take a gamble that your bananas will be perfect by the time you are ready for a smoothie.
- Keep calories low by adding small amounts of nut butter or watered-down juice. A teaspoon of peanut butter or four ounces of juice adds plenty of flavor.
- If you need the additional calories, use juice, nut butter or oats to boost the calorie content.
- Keep a variety of frozen ingredients to make a different smoothie every day.
Add the ingredients in the recipes below to a blender and purée until smooth. If you are daring enough to add greens, fresh spinach is a good place to start. Spinach will not alter the flavor of your smoothie, but it will change the colour to bright green!
Feel free to mix up the milk options based on your tolerance. Almond milk is a good option to keep the calories low and does not foam up like cow milk can. If you have food allergies, use whatever milk or juice you tolerate best.
If you are enjoying a smoothie as a meal, add protein powder or Greek yogurt to boost the protein content of the smoothie. Adding protein to post-workout smoothies will help to repair your muscles and encourage recovery.
Piña Colada: 1 cup coconut milk + ½ banana + ½ cup frozen pineapple + 1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
Strawberry Banana: 1 cup almond milk + ½ banana + ½ cup frozen strawberries
Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 cup banana cream Greek yogurt
Chocolate Peanut Butter: 1 cup almond milk + ½ banana + 1 tsp creamy peanut butter + ½ tablespoon cocoa powder
Optional: 1 scoop chocolate protein powder or 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
Blueberry Bliss: 1 cup almond milk + ½ cup frozen blueberries + 2 peeled nectarines
Optional: 1 scoop vanilla protein powder or 1 cup blueberry Greek yogurt.
Megan Lautz is a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer with a Masters in Sports Nutrition. Her consulting company RescueRD LLC is designed to help firefighters perform better, recover faster, and live longer. For more from Megan, visit @Rescue.RD on Facebook or Instagram.
Photo By Nathan Dumlao