Open Arms of Minnesota

Smoothie Smarts: How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

Smoothie Smarts: How to Make a Healthy Smoothie

By Brianna Elliott, MS, RD, LD – OAM Nutrition Services Coordinator

Smoothies are a simple way to get some extra nutrients into your diet. They make for an easy breakfast, post-workout snack, or on-the-go lunch. There is a way to make smoothies enjoyable for just about anyone. Smoothies are incredibly helpful for individuals living with life-threatening illnesses. This is especially true for those struggling with symptoms such as poor appetite, taste changes, and extreme fatigue. These symptoms can make it difficult to plan, prepare, and consume a full meal. This is where smoothies come into play, because they are easy to make, full of nutrients, and won’t make you overly full.

Here are a couple of our favorite smoothie recipes that our dietitians recommend to our clients. Simply blend all of the ingredients together in a blender until smooth, or to your desired consistency.

Banana Peanut Butter Oatmeal Shake

½ cup cooked oatmeal, chilled
1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
1 cup milk
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Bursting Berry Smoothie

1 banana
8 strawberries, fresh or frozen
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup frozen raspberries
1 cup milk

Helpful Hints

  • Smoothies have a reputation for not being filling enough, but this doesn’t have to be the case. To make a balanced and satisfying smoothie, try to include a source of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Here are some ideas for each:
    • Carbohydrates: Fruit, vegetables, oats
    • Protein: Protein powder, Greek yogurt, dry milk, nuts and nut butter
    • Fat: Avocado, chia seeds, ground flaxseed, nuts and nut butter
  • Include a “base” of ¾ – 1 cup liquid in each smoothie to make sure it mixes well. Add more liquid to your desired consistency.
  • Frozen fruit works better than fresh fruit in smoothies, as it adds creaminess and thickness.
  • Keep in mind that store-bought smoothies are often loaded with added sugar. Try to make smoothies on your own at home to avoid this (and save money, too!).
  • Remember that you can add just about anything to smoothies. If you have an ingredient in mind that we haven’t listed here, feel free to give it a try.
  • To add extra flavor to smoothies, add vanilla extract or cocoa powder.

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