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Healthy Smoothies to Start Your Day

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What better way to start your day than with a delicious, healthy smoothie? Smoothies can help you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your diet, and they usually provide a dose of hunger-squelching protein and fiber. Smoothies are also quick and easy to prepare -- essential for on-the-go nutrition for busy people (that probably includes all of us, right?). However, whipping up the same ol' smoothie day-in and day-out can get a little boring. Never fear! I'm here to provide some unique, delicious and healthy smoothie recipes to help prevent boredom.


Banana Almond Smoothie

1/2 medium banana
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 ounce almonds (about 11 kernels)
a sprinkle of nutmeg
a couple ice cubes

Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving.

Per serving: 220 calories, 8 grams fat, 33 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber and 8 grams protein.

Berry Good For You Smoothie

1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup unsweetened plain almond milk
1/4 cup frozen blueberries
2 teaspoons fresh ginger root
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
a splash of lemon juice

Blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 125 calories, 3.8 grams fat, 21.5 grams carbohydrates, 2.4 grams protein and 7.3 grams fiber.

Peachy Keen Smoothie

1 cup unsweetened plain or vanilla-flavored almond milk
1/2 cup fresh peaches
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt
a couple drops pure vanilla extract

Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving.

Per serving: 122 calories, 2.7 grams fat, 18 grams carbohydrates, 5.5 grams protein and 2.8 grams fiber.

Wonderful Watermelon Whirl

1/4 cup skim milk
2 cups chopped watermelon, seeds removed
1 to 2 cups ice cubes

Blend the milk and watermelon first, then slowly add ice cubes until the smoothie reaches the consistency you prefer. Garnish with fresh mint leaves for a colorful, refreshing finish. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 56 calories, 0 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrates, 0.5 grams fiber and 2 grams protein.

Honey-Don't-Dew Me Wrong Smoothie

1 cup honeydew melon, cut into cubes
1/2 medium apple, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds

Blend until smooth. Makes 1 serving.

Per serving: 211 calories, 4.4 grams fat, 45 grams carbohydrates, 4.2 grams protein and 6.5 grams fiber.

Banana Oat Smoothie

1/4 cup oats
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 medium banana
1/2 cup skim milk
2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Blend until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Per serving: 168 calories, 1 gram fat, 33.9 grams carbohydrates, 7.5 grams protein and 2.5 grams fiber.

Keep in mind that you can increase the volume of any of these smoothies by simply adding a few ice cubes. Additionally, if you are diabetic or just someone looking to cut calories and sugar, you can use a natural, calorie-free sweetener, such as stevia, in place of any honey. If your smoothie is going to replace an entire meal, consider adding in some protein powder or nonfat powdered milk. These will bulk your smoothie with bone-building calcium and vitamin D.

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Kari Hartel, RD, LD is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian and freelance writer based out of St. Louis, MO. Kari is passionate about nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease through a healthy diet and active lifestyle. Kari holds a Bachelor of Science in Dietetics from Southeast Missouri State University and is committed to helping people lead healthy lives. She completed a yearlong dietetic internship at OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria, IL, where she worked with a multitude of clients and patients with complicated diagnoses. She planned, marketed, and implemented nutrition education programs and cooking demonstrations for the general public as well as for special populations, including patients with cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease, obesity, and school-aged children.

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