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Published on July 13, 2016

Beat the summer heat with smoothies

By Brooke Nickelatti, dietetic student, Gundersen Nutrition Therapy

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Smoothies are the perfect frozen treat that not only cool you down on hot summer days, but also deliver major health benefits! They can make the perfect snack or even the perfect meal. If done correctly, smoothies can be packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, a serving of fruit, healthy fats, protein and so much more! Here are some helpful hints to creating the perfect smoothie:

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Use your favorite frozen fruit to customize the flavor base of your smoothie. Try either mixed berries or a tropical fruit mix, and even add a frozen banana to make it extra smooth and creamy. Aim for 1-2 cups of fruit.
  • Adding spinach or kale to a smoothie is a great way to get in your daily veggies without even tasting them. When you add in these greens, it may turn your smoothie into a muddy color, but it won't alter the flavor—so add as much as you'd like!

Protein

  • Try a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, a handful of nuts or a scoop of Greek yogurt for a protein boost.
  • Consider adding a scoop of protein powder to your smoothies, especially when drinking a post-workout smoothie or using a smoothie as a meal replacement.

Healthy Fats

  • If you are trying to find ways to increase your omega-3 consumption, adding avocado, peanut butter, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds or walnuts to your smoothies will do the trick!

Liquid

  • Choose the amount of ice/liquid you add to your smoothie based off of your preferred consistency. More liquid and less ice will result in a thinner smoothie, and less liquid with more ice will result in a thicker smoothie.
  • Some great options would be water, animal milk or plant milk, depending on your calorie needs.

Remember, if you're planning on consuming a smoothie as a meal (breakfast, for example), make sure to include a few different food groups – fruits, vegetables and protein – and make it large enough to meet your calorie needs and keep you full. Calories from a smoothie can add up quickly, so keep that in mind when making one for a snack! For more information on how to build a nutritious smoothie, visit our recipe archive.

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