I am on a total smoothie kick! It’s 100% due to the HOT weather…after my morning run all I want is something icy cold!
The smoothie scene in BR is so disappointing to me. It’s nearly impossible to find a smoothie made from only REAL ingredients! Whole Foods does a good job. And I like the PB & banana smoothie from Red Mango (however, it’s a little sweet for my taste due to the frozen yogurt).
Smoothie King is a last resort for me, but when I do go there I always order it "skinny" which means it is only sweetened with honey and they don't add the turbinado (a type of sugar). It definitely makes the drink less sweet (which I'm used to), but for a 20 oz smoothie it saves about 50 - 100 calories (depending on which one you order). And I only get 20 oz smoothies...anything more is WAY to much.
One of my favorite smoothies from SK is Mangosteen Madness.
w/ turbinado: 383 cals, 92 g sugar
w/o turbinado: 283 cals, 69 g sugar
Honestly, even without the turbinado, that is too much sugar! Even if some of it is natural and comes from fruit or dairy. That's why I make my own most of the time (and why I NEVER get a 32 oz or a 40 oz).
What I really want to encourage you to do is make your own! I hardly ever follow a recipe. I use about 1 cup of liquid (juice, milk, yogurt, coconut water) and 1 cup of fruit (usually frozen…sometimes I’ll add fresh as well as frozen). Then I’ll add other ingredients to boost the flavor and nutrition: chia seeds, vanilla extract, peanut butter, spinach, avocado, nutmeg, cinnamon. I also add ice to thicken it up even more.
I just about always add a banana…a frozen banana makes a smoothie so creamy! And it adds the perfect amount of sweetness so that I don’t have to add any other sweetener. Coconut water is also a regular addition. Using a whole cup of milk or juice can add extra calories…so when I want OJ in my smoothie I do a 1/2 cup each of orange juice (55 cals, 11 g sugar) and coconut water (22 cals, 4.5 g sugar). Same with milk…in my banana smoothie these days I do 1/4 cup milk (whole) and 3/4 cup coconut water.
Vanilla extract is also pretty standard in my smoothies.
Here are some other smoothie tips: 1) use frozen fruit to make the smoothie extra thick and icy (kind of like a milkshake), 2) add the sugar (or other sweetener) last...you may not need it...but if you do keep it to 1 tbsp or less…add 1 tsp at a time…3tsp=1tbsp, and 3) watch the calories...if it’s a snack, less than 250 calories.
I've already written about my favorite banana smoothie, mango lassi, and green monster but here are some recipes to inspire you! Be creative…if you combine ingredients that sound good to YOU and use what’s in season, you can’t go wrong!
* These smoothies are a little higher in fat because of the nuts...watch your serving size!