By: Sarah Hussey
Summer is nearing; classes are winding down. As the temperature begins to rise in these upcoming summer days, we’ll be craving some cold drinks. Instead of grabbing a shake or a soda, you can easily grab an alternative: smoothies. Unfortunately, many smoothies at popular food chains are filled with artificial flavors and preservatives. According to the McDonald’s Website, a McDonald’s smoothie contains the following ingredients, strawberry puree, banana puree, water, grape juice concentrate, clarified demineralized pineapple juice concentrate, sugar, natural (Plant Source) and artificial flavors, cellulose powder, pear juice concentrate, peach juice concentrate, xanthan gum, citric acid, pectin, colored with fruit and vegetable juice, ascorbic acid, cultured grade A reduced fat milk, sugar, whey protein concentrate, fructose, corn starch, modified food starch, gelatin, active yogurt cultures, and ice.
Get the picture? The vast number of artificial ingredients outweighs any health benefit from the smoothie. However, smoothies actually can be healthy when made with the right ingredients at home. It’s quite easy to make a healthy, satisfying smoothie. See below for some smoothie ideas:
BLUEBERRY BANANA SMOOTHIE
Place the ingredients below in a blender under the puree setting. This smoothie from mayoclinic.com is simple yet provides the body with nutrients such as potassium and calcium.
• 2 bananas
• ½ cup blueberries
• 1 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
Place the following ingredients in a blender. Puree and enjoy! This smoothie recipe from mayoclinic.com will serve four and will provide you many nutrients, such as Vitamins A and C.
• 1 banana
• 1/2 cup strawberries
• Juice of 1 lemon (about 4 tablespoons)
• 1/2 cup other berries such as blackberries or blueberries
• 2 ounces fresh raw baby spinach (about 2 cups)
• 1 tablespoon fresh mint or to taste
• 1 cup cold water or ice
PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA SMOOTHIE
Place the ingredients below in a blender. Puree the ingredient and then enjoy. This smoothie recipe from The Gracious Pantry makes two cups and provides you with nutrients such as protein, iron, and potassium.
• 1 cup unsweetened almond milk (or regular milk)
• 1 cup spinach
• 1 banana
• 1 tablespoon peanut butter
• 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract