It is no surprise that eating fruits and vegetables is good for you. I am sure it is also no surprise that most of us are not getting enough of these valuable fruits and vegetables daily. Even I, a dietitian in love with healthy foods, occasionally have a hard time incorporating enough of these healing and nurturing foods into my diet. So what do I do? Blend them up and gulp them down.
Smoothies are my ultimate secret weapon I use to increase my intake of fruits and veggies. This particular smoothie provides a generous 2.5 servings of fruits and veggies with plenty of fiber and protein to keep you full and energized. This smoothie also works wonders if don't particularly like the taste of fruits and vegetables or aren't in a fruit and veggie mood. My sister in law, Kelsey, recently told me that she drank this smoothie religiously during her first trimester of pregnancy when fruits and veggies were the last thing she felt like eating but knew they were vital during such an important time for her and her baby.
I make this berry spinach smoothie recipe almost everyday or a slight variation, such as my natural green smoothie, and it is my absolute favorite snack. This smoothie is super easy to make with only a few ingredient. Plus, the body doesn't need to do much work since the combination of low calorie, high fiber, antioxidant rich ingredients are already blended. Key nutrients effortlessly flood the body and keep us looking and feeling our best. Don't let the odd combination of ingredients deter you, I promise this smoothie is just as delicious as it is nutritious.
Berry Spinach Smoothie
makes 1 serving
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 3/4 cup water or milk (unsweetened almond milk, rice milk, dairy, etc)
- 1/2 cup frozen berries (I used frozen raspberries but any type will work)
- 1 banana
Blend together spinach and water until all the spinach is thoroughly blended. (an important step so you don't get spinach chunks in your smoothie). Next add remaining ingredients and blend until smooth and creamy.
Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 0 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 50 mg sodium, 35 g total carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 3 g protein
BALANCE IT OUT: Drink this smoothie by itself for a nutritious and energizing snack. It is the perfect pre or post workout snack. Or pair this smoothie with a light breakfast such as whole grain toast, a whole grain cereal bar, or eggs for a well-balanced breakfast.
Smoothies are the perfect place to throw in some additional nutritional add-ins. Some of my personal favorite are omega-3 dense ground flaxseeds or chia seeds, antioxidant rich cocoa powder, or protein-packed spirulina. Spirulina is the addition I probably include most often. It comes in a powdered form and you can find it at any health food store or whole foods. Spirulina is loaded with an array of nutrients, including chlorophyll, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids.