If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
Spice It Up!

Spice It Up!

Smoothie Pitfalls: Delicious vs Nutritious

Lately, I’ve noticed a lot of smoothie recipes that fit more aptly into the category of dessert than healthy meal replacement. When I began my smoothie regimen, I sometimes found myself on the wrong side of what I call the flavor/nutrition dilemma. I created smoothies that were intended for healthfulness, but sometimes they missed the mark. In retrospect, I was enjoying my new habit so much that I simply went overboard.  Even good ingredients can become disadvantageous in large amounts. Adding ice cream, 2-3 bananas, whipped cream, dried fruits, jam, lots of peanut butter, avocado, chocolate, and honey is ok once in a while, but on a regular basis they can add calories, fat and sugar that can convert a healthful daily ritual into an unhealthy one.  Many of these ingredients are healthy (bananas, nut butters, avocados, chocolate), but moderation is key, especially with high sugar/fat/carb. ingredients.

My rule of thumb is to add no more than 1 high sugar/fat ingredient to a smoothie and preferably not every day. Start out with half as much as you think you need. The beauty of a smoothie is that it can be both healthful and delicious without a lot of additives that up the fat/sugar/calorie count. As far as sweeteners are concerned, they aren’t nutritious. Who needs them when fruit is so sweet to begin with?  If you feel your smoothie lacks spice, try adding some. Cinnamon, nutmeg, hazelnut, vanilla (avoid alcohol based extracts), cayenne powder, citrus peel, mint and ginger can add loads of flavor and even nutrition without adding much fat or sugar.

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