Tag Archives: healthy smoothies

Your New Favorite Smoothies: 6 Healthy AND Scrumptious Recipes

2 Jun

awesome smoothie photo

 

Smoothies are popular beverages, but most of the recipes I see circulating are better defined as desserts…they often contain a lot of juice and sugar, not much fiber, and overall not the best ingredients.

I wanted to focus this week’s post on the best of the best: the most delicious, whole-food kinds of smoothies. All but #5 are naturally high in protein, and #’s 3-4 work great as detoxification support. All recipes here are packed with a variety of natural vitamins and minerals, nothing synthetic here!

Whether you are looking for the perfect whole food “sports drink,” a quick summertime breakfast option, kid-friendly summer snacks, or simply a cold and refreshing afternoon pick-me-up, check these out. Enjoy them! (And relax, they are really good for you!)

1. Cocoa, banana, and peanut butter smoothie. (my personal favorite.) Can be made dairy-free. This is one of the best sport drinks! High protein, high potassium, lots of bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and arginine, which supports healthy blood vessel function.

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  • 1 cup milk (you may substitute with unsweetened almond milk)
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (use only raw, organic, unsweetened cocoa powder– most store-bought varieties are processed in a way that causes the cocoa to lose much of its health benefits)
  • 2 tablespoons nut butter
  • 1/2-1 frozen banana (may be substituted with 1/2 avocado if you don’t like bananas- keeps the potassium content)
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • optional: a pinch of cinnamon or cayenne pepper to make the cocoa “pop”
 Directions:
  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth. Protein: 16.75g (based on 1 cup cow milk, 2 Tbsp nut butter and 1/2 banana) or 10g when almond milk is substituted.

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2. Mango Carrot Smoothie

Serves: 1

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1.5 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 3/4 cup fresh mango
  • 5 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth.

290 calories, 9g protein

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3. Pina Colada Smoothie

This one boasts a high carotenoid content due to the mango. I recommend amending recipe to use plain yogurt with a few drops of vanilla extract, and a teaspoon of honey as an option.

4. Green Monster Smoothie

This recipe includes spinach (and I recommend alternating with kale, to avoid the high oxalate content of daily spinach servings, read more on this topic from one of my previous blogs)

5. Green Sunrise Smoothie: makes several servings.

Ingredients
  • 4 cups dark leafy greens (kale or spinach, best to alternate)
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 4 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 apple, cored and diced
  • 1 orange, peeled
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup ice (optional)
Instructions
  1. Put dark leafy greens, cucumber, lime juice, water into a high speed blender and blend for a minute.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
*buy organic greens, carrots and strawberries whenever possible.
6. Strawberry Protein Smoothie
 awesome smoothie photo
Ingredients
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, 100 calories – 2g protein
  • 1 ½ cups 0% fat Greek yogurt, 195 calories – 34g protein
  • ½ medium ripe banana, 50 – 0.5g protein
  • ½ cup almond milk, 20 calories – 0.5g protein
  • 2 teaspoons honey, 44 calories
  • 1 cup crushed ice, or 1½ cups ice cubes
Instructions
  1. Combine strawberries, Greek yogurt, banana, almond milk and honey in a blender container. Blend on high till smooth and creamy.
  2. Add ice cubes and blend on high for about one minute.Taste and add a bit of Stevia or sweetener of choice, if needed. Pour into two tall serving glasses and enjoy.

Notes about protein powders: I am often asked by patients which are the “best” protein powders to get. Most people don’t really need to use one, but if you are crunched for time and it helps you to make a quick and balanced smoothie meal, then they can be helpful. I recommend using a vegan-sourced protein for health reasons, especially pea protein. Following are 2 of my patients’ favorites:

1. Vega Sport Performance (in a variety of flavors)
2. SunWarrior Blend Raw Vegan Protein Powder (in a variety of flavors)
by Cora Rivard, Naturopathic Doctor (N.D.) Seasons Natural Healthcare, LLC in Derry, NH.
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How Green Smoothies and Gluten-Free Foods Can Cause Kidney Stones

13 Jan

green smoothie

It’s January, and we heave a collective sigh as we pat our bellies and remember the over-indulgences of the holidays. As you resolve to make healthy changes, lose a few pounds and get in better shape, please consider the following information to avoid some unnecessary and painful complications:

Beware the green smoothie/juice: I am a fan of green smoothies. However, there is a real danger of causing kidney stones by consuming too many ingredients high in oxalates day after day. Oxalates are naturally-occurring substances in foods that are highly reactive and bind up with minerals like calcium, creating crystal complexes which can cause pain as well as inhibit calcium absorption in the body. While many people easily excrete these from the body in the urine and stools, there are a few foods that contain very high levels which may overwhelm one’s ability for clearance. This is especially true for those with genetic predisposition for impaired clearance. Antibiotics, which damage the intestinal flora, also impair the body’s ability to process oxalates. While these foods are fine to enjoy periodically in smoothies and in the general diet, try not to make a habit of consuming these every day:

spinach

strawberries

beets and beet greens

rhubard

chocolate/cocoa

parsley

Beware the gluten-free diet: In addition to those with celiac disease, some people are intolerant to gluten and find that they feel much better and reduce objective signs of disease by going gluten-free. However, some of the whole grain alternatives to wheat products are grains and legumes that are very high in oxalates. Some of the highest levels can be found in:

amaranth

buckwheat

quinoa

lentils

nuts and beans (not including green beans)

Again, these are grains that are very nutritious to health, but should not be eaten in excess.

Vitamin C? I often meet patients who have read that it can be helpful to take large doses to support their immune system. As it turns out, according to a couple of studies, vitamin C might increase stone formation in men (curiously, not in women) when taking higher supplementary doses. This is probably because some individuals metabolize vitamin C into oxalates.

Finally, although not related to oxalates, beware of diets that try to extol the virtues of high amounts of animal meats. This extra load of protein can also lead to kidney stone formation, as well as robbing important minerals from the bones and increasing risk of osteoporosis. High animal meat diets also boost the relative risks for breast, prostate and ovarian cancers.

by Cora Rivard, N.D./Seasons Natural Healthcare, LLC

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