Kale is going national. Not only is it being explored by McDonald’s and Olive Garden, but it’s also making its debut in more than 4,300 Starbucks locations. The Sweet Greens Evolution Smoothie includes a juice base of celery, mango, apple, banana, cucumber, spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, lime and parsley, plus nonfat Greek yogurt. Additional smoothie options on the menu include Strawberry and Mango Carrot. Customers can also add in fresh kale or additional yogurt upon ordering. The 16-ounce serving clocks in at 170 Calories, with 0.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of protein, 36 carbohydrates, 32 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber, which makes it a healthy choice for breakfast or an afternoon snack. “You are actually taking in three food groups: veggies, fruit and dairy, and getting the nutrients that come with it,” says registered dietitian Toby Amidor. Can’t get to your local coffee location? Make our favorite smoothies, below. Read more
The best way to add sweetness to your smoothie without adding sugar? Dates. They’re sweet and also full of soluble fiber to fill you up — just the solution for a morning meal. Read more
Look over on your kitchen counter — are they sitting there? Those super-ripe bananas must be used ASAP or else they’ll get tossed. Let these 10 healthy recipes — smoothies, muffins, pancakes and more — come to the rescue!
Peaches have a subtle flavor that can easily be masked by stronger ones, so if you want the peach to shine, stick to ingredients that enhance their floral quality.
Here, I add a pinch of fresh ginger, vanilla and a touch of honey — along with soaked cashews, which create a velvety texture when blended with fruit. Freezing the peaches beforehand results in an ultra-thick and creamy smoothie that goes down well on hot, humid days.
It’s the new smoothie dilemma: Straw or spoon? Just when you thought the world of liquid meals was complete, along comes something new. The latest trend in purified food: Smoothie bowls. That’s right, these are smoothies, but you eat them out of a bowl. Before you write off this craze as just as change of scenery for your smoothie, there are, apparently, a few key distinctions between an old-style smoothie you drink and the newer, smoothie-in-a-bowl versions.
Besides the obvious difference in how you consume it, smoothie bowls provide the opportunity to get even more creative with liquefied creations. Because smoothie bowls don’t have to be slurped through a straw, cooks have the option to make the concoction as thick as they want — blending in ingredients like seeds, frozen bananas, nut butters or even avocado for added heft and texture.
“Smoothie bowls are essentially more nutrient-dense smoothies, thick enough to eat with a spoon and often topped with fruits, nuts, seeds, muesli or granola,” explains McKel Hill, MS, RD, and creator of the plant-based, whole foods blog Nutrition Stripped. “Think of smoothie bowls as the new cereal — like cereal 2.0.”
Smoothies are the perfect vehicles for integrating superfoods into your daily diet. Here are my top five favorite ingredients.
When you’re already plunking down five dollars or more for a smoothie, it can be hard to justify the additional cost of the various supplements and mix-ins offered on the menu. But with names like “recharge,” “immune booster” and “cold fighter,” the pricey additions can be hard to resist.
Beyond the usual fruits, juices or milk, a variety of ingredients can be blended into a smoothie. At breakfast, I try and surprise my kids with new smoothie flavors and play the “guess what’s in it” game. We end up having fun each time.
Here are nine additions worth giving a try.
Made without using a blender, this smoothie combines cooked old-fashioned oats with milk, sugar and vanilla extract. It’s one technique you can use when adding oatmeal to your smoothie.
In Melissa D’Arabian’s Green Morning Smoothie, uncooked oats are blended with vanilla almond milk to rehydrate them. The peaches and bananas add sweetness, while nutrient-packed spinach adds the gorgeous green hue.
Recipe: Green Morning Smoothie (above)
From breakfast to dessert, smoothies are a quick, please-everyone solution; they require little prep (just toss everything in a blender and press a button) and are completely customizable. To make smoothie prep even easier, keep your freezer stocked with frozen fruit.
These deliciously frosty drinks can be sipped for a snack or a meal. Pay attention to portion sizes and higher-calorie ingredients (like frozen yogurt or nut butter) to make sure you don’t overdo it. A snack-sized smoothie should be about 150-200 calories, and to make your smoothie a healthful meal, shoot for more protein and 350-450 calories (and less sugary ingredients).
Start the day with any of these fruit-filled drinks.
We’re teaming up with fellow food bloggers and healthy eating advocates to host a Healthy Every Week Challenge, a month-long initiative to develop healthy eating habits. The plan an is to develop a manageable healthy habit each week that will carry through the new year. Join us here and share what you’re eating on Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #gethealthy.
One tool that no healthy home kitchen should be without is a hand blender (also called an immersion blender). This svelte little tool goes right into your soup, sauce or smoothie, allowing you to blend up something creamy, without transferring liquids from pot to blender. And with one of these, you’ll never deal with a soup-blender explosion again. When you close the lid on hot liquids and then blend, the steam can build up and cause the lid to blow off, sending hot soup flying all around your kitchen. When you bring the blender to the soup, that won’t happen.
You can even use this blender to mix up pancake or crepe batter in seconds.
Use a hand blender to make these recipes:
You can buy this Cuisinart hand blender for $29.99 at the Food Network Store, and if you join us tonight on Twitter at 8:30pm for a chat about healthy cooking at home (#gethealthy), we’re giving away two of these hand blenders at the end of the chat.
Tell us: Do you own a hand blender? How do you use yours?