Make your own fruit smoothie!
Little stores like Jamba Juice and Orange Julius have been making fresh fruit smoothies a huge hit, especially here on the west coast, but I’ve noticed how expensive they seem to be. My family has been making them ourselves for years, and it’s so simple to turn a five dollar smoothie at the mall into a cheap drink at home. Better yet, you know exactly what’s in the smoothie when you do it yourself, and you can make it as healthy and tasty as you want. All it takes is three ingredients: Fruit, liquid, and a sweetener.
Of course the basis for a fruit smoothie is the fruit, and because we’re all about goji berries at Gojis and More, we’re going to look at fruits you can mix with goji berries. Strawberries are the easy solution, and are only 50 calories per cup. A cup of strawberries will pack your smoothie full of fiber, folate, manganese, and plenty of vitamin C. Bananas make a great thickener to give any smoothie better texture, and one medium banana has 105 calories. It will also provide fiber, manganese, vitamins B6 and C, and of course potassium. Pomegranate is 144 calories per cup, but will give your smoothie a great flavor and vitamins C and K. Finally, apricots are only 74 calories per cup and have fiber, potassium, and a lot of vitamins A and C.
Next, you need a liquid to make sure you get a smoothie rather than a thick sludge that’ll break your blender. Calling it a smoothie also implies that there’s milk in it. Reduced fat milk is the obvious choice, which is 122 calories per cup, and comes with vitamin D and B12, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and saturated fat. Certain fortified milks will also have different nutritional values. Almond milk is a nice choice for a non-dairy smoothie, and only has 40 calories per cup with calcium and vitamins A, E, and K. Getting a little tropical, you can also use coconut water, which isn’t to be confused with the high calorie choice coconut milk. The water only has 46 calories per cup, and has plenty of manganese, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and vitamins C and B.
If you just mixed fruit and milk, you’d probably get something sour or bland, so I like to use just a little sweetener to brighten the flavors and make things more palatable–of course, I like to keep the sweeteners healthy too. I don’t even use normal sugar anymore, because sometimes that’ll give you a grainy texture, and there’s really nothing to sugar. Honey, however, is only 64 calories per tablespoon and acts as a nice anti-inflammatory. Agave nectar is 40 calories per tablespoon, sweeter than sugar, and has a much lower glycemic index. My favorite to use, however, is a vanilla whey protein powder. Every bag has a particular plastic scoop, and it’s usually 100 calories per scoop, but I tend to find a full scoop is too sweet. So, with at most half a scoop in your smoothie, it’ll be 50 calories and you’ll get a healthy dose of calcium and protein.
And there you have it! Mix and match whatever ingredients you feel will make the best smoothie and go for it. Remember to balance healthy and tasty, and add a handful of goji berries to give it that extra kick of nutrition.