SMOOTHIES ARE THE perfect way to start your morning, are a nutritious midday snack and make a good substitute for high-caloric desserts when you’re in the mood for a sweet treat. Smoothies are also great if your schedule is packed. When you’re on the go, the foods and nutrients often lacking in your diet are fruits, calcium, fibre, complex carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals. The answer to getting all of those in a glass is a smoothie, which can contain them all. Traditional ingredients contain antioxidants, which boost your immune system, reduce the risk of heart disease and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Smoothies are also great for kids and those picky non- breakfast eaters. I’ve included a variety for you to try. Or you can experiment and make up your own to enjoy throughout the year.
RASPBERRY, BANANA & ORANGE
Smoothies are a quick, easy and nutritious way to help you get moving in the morning. With back to school upon us, we can’t afford to lose time in the early hours. Smoothies are a great solution to the before-school breakfast rush. If you’re looking to lower your caloric intake, you can use a sugar substitute, but I’d be aware of the amount of sugar substitutes you’re consuming. A smoothie made with sugar may be better in the long run, even with the additional calories. Substitute strawberry yogourt if you want a change of pace.
1/2 cup low-fat milk or soy milk
1/2 cup low-fat raspberry yogourt
1 small ripe banana, sliced
1 cup frozen or fresh sliced raspberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1 tbsp honey
1. Combine the milk, yogourt, banana, raspberries, orange juice and honey in a blender, and purée. Serve immediately.
Nutritional value per serving: 104 calories, 3 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 1.6 g fibre, 1 g fat, 0.4 g saturated fat, 3.7 mg cholesterol, 34 mg sodium.
CREAMY CAPPUCCINO BANANA
I’m a chocoholic, and I have discovered that one per cent chocolate milk made with cocoa is the best treat I can have either for breakfast or a snack. It satisfies my sweet tooth, but is far more healthy than a chocolate bar or doughnut. And of course, bananas and chocolate are a delicious combination. (Just consider the banana split!) This (slightly) decadent smoothie will delight at any time of day.
1 cup cold chocolate milk (1 %) or soy milk
1 cup low-fat coffee-flavored yogourt
1 medium-size ripe banana, sliced 2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1. Combine the milk, yogourt, banana, honey and cocoa in a blender, and purée. Serve immediately.
Nutritional value per serving: 108 calories, 4 g protein, 22 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fibre, 1 g fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 4 mg cholesterol, 54 mg sodium.
VERY PEACHY KEENE
You can find frozen peaches all year round in the supermarket along with a variety of other off-season or hard-to-find tropical fruits. If peach isn’t your favourite, try substituting another fruit or your choice. Plums, nectarines or mangos are all varieties of smoothie you can prepare. In the frozen food section, you’ll also find bags of frozen berries, grapes and mixed tropicals. Try a combination of fruits for a bit of a twist. With a smoothie, if you pick ingredients you like, it’s hard to go wrong.
1 cup low-fat milk
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogourt
1 small ripe banana, sliced 3 cups fresh or frozen diced peaches
2 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.Combine the milk, yogourt, banana, peaches, honey and vanilla in a blender, and purée. Serve immediately.
Nutritional value per serving: 105 calories, 3 g protein, 21 g carbohydrates, 1.7 g fibre, 1.4 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 32 mg sodium.
CANADIAN ORGANIC STANDARDS IN EFFECT
We all realize that foods that aren’t irradiated and that are grown pesticide free are better for our health, but knowing what produce to pick hasn’t always been easy. As of June 30, 2009, the Organic Products Regulations (OPR) came into effect, making Canadian Organic Standards mandatory, so if a fruit in your local supermarket is labeled “Canada Organic” you can now rest assured that it’s pesticide free. Wonderful organic vendors include Green Earth Organics (www.greenearthorganics.com) and The Big Carrot (www.thebigcarrot.ca).
Post City Magazines’ culinary columnist, Rose Reisman, is the author of 17 cookbooks, a TV and radio personality and a health and wellness expert. Visit Rose at www. rosereisman.com.