My kids (and I) REALLY love smoothies, especially for a bedtime snack or a fruit-packed addition to lunch. As you know, smoothies come in ALL shapes and sizes, meaning, you can find super sweet syrup-based smoothies that hardly count as “fruit”, to fruit and veggie packed smoothies with hardly any sugar at all. Over the years, I’ve dialed back on the added sugar and have started adding vegetables, in very small amounts. I’ve also added almond butter to add some protein and heart-healthy fat, which helps keep me satisfied for longer after drinking one. My kids love them and never complain that they are not sweet enough – and they don’t even know there are added vegetables.
One thing I do to make sure my smoothies are pleasantly sweet is to add a sweeter fruit to the mix. Usually I use mango for this, although I like peaches too. Banana works great too, if you like that flavor. Of course, versatility is one of the best things about smoothies. You can use almost any mix of fruit you like and come out okay. So use the amounts I’ve listed below, but feel free to swap in your favorite fruits.
Now, I have a pet peeve to confess – I can’t stand the addition of ice to smoothies. I know, it happens a lot, but the icy bits that remain after blending in ice aren’t appealing to me. So, you won’t find any ice in my smoothies! They get thick because of some frozen fruit and almond butter and stay creamy for longer as a result.
I started adding beets to my smoothies to really boost the nutrients, without adding a lot of calories. They also add the most beautiful red color to the smoothies!
Mango-Berry Smoothies How-To Photos:
Frozen mango chunks
Frozen cubes beet puree
Blender full of ingredients
Yield: 6 cups (4, 1 1/2-cup servings or 6, 1-cup servings)
Nutrition Info (per 1 cup): 176 cals, 5 g pro, 27 g carb, 7 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 0.5 g sat fat, 5 g fiber, 31 mg sodium
4 cups hulled fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries*
2 cups frozen unsweetened mango chunks, peach slices, or banana slices
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
1 cup original soy milk**
4 to 6 frozen cubes Beet Puree
1/4 cup almond butter
1. In a blender combine strawberries, mango chunks, blueberries, soy milk, Beet Puree, and almond butter. Cover and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape sides of blender as needed. Cover and blend just until combined.
*Tip: If you use frozen strawberries, allow them to thaw slightly before using. It will make blending them much easier!
**Tip: You can use any type of milk you like. Almond milk, dairy milk, or even coconut milk all work great.