There are many great reasons to make your own healthy shakes and smoothies at home. First of all, it’s much cheaper to make them yourself. Shakes and smoothies purchased at fast food chains and juice bars can cost up to $5 or more per beverage, making it an indulgence most people wouldn’t consider on a daily basis. Secondly, when you make your own blended drinks at home you can control what ingredients go into them.
Many commercially made shakes and smoothies are loaded with sugar, bringing the calorie count up to a number you most likely wouldn’t want to say out loud. Last but not least, your homemade health drinks will taste delicious–you can incorporate any fruity flavors that appeal to you making it a sweet treat that you don’t need to feel guilty about.
How To Make Health Shakes
Homemade shakes and smoothies are very forgiving, and nearly impossible to “screw up.” After you trying making a few, you will find the flavor combination and consistencies that you like the best. Most fruits taste great mixed together, as do juices and yogurt flavors that you use to blend them with. The recipes that follow call for juice as the liquid base. If you don’t want to use juice, you can also use water, milk, or soy milk as a base instead. Also, if you find that your drink is too thick, all you need to do is add more liquid–juice, milk, or water. If your drink is a bit on the runny side and you want to thicken it up, simply add more fruit or yogurt until it is just right. If you are drinking shakes and smoothies as a healthy meal alternative or you’re trying to lose weight, remember to portion out the contents of the blender. Generally speaking, and eight ounce shake or smoothie is one serving. You can refrigerate the leftovers for later, or share the remaining beverage with a family member or friend. Before you make your shakes and smoothies, be sure to wash fruit before you use it, and always remove peelings, seeds, pits, and stems before putting the fruit into the blender. Now on to some recipes!
Berry Blast Smoothie
To make this smoothie chock full of berries, combine 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1/2 cup of raspberries, 1/2 cup of strawberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, one small banana and 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of plain or flavored low-fat yogurt in a blender. Blend all of the ingredients together for one to two minutes until it’s as smooth as you desire and enjoy!
Tropical Delight Shake
For a fresh summer drink, combine one cup of pineapple juice, one small orange, one kiwi, one banana, 1/2 cup of strawberries or raspberries, one cup of crushed ice, and 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of plain or flavored low-fat yogurt in the blender and blend for a couple of minutes until you have a nice, frosty consistency. If you are serving family and friends, garnish the shakes with an orange wedge or top with low-fat cool whip and a berry for a special touch.
Sweet and Sour Shake or Smoothie
If you like a touch of sweet and tart mixed together, this raspberry and lemon combination will hit the spot! Combine 1/2 cup of orange juice, 1/2 cup of pineapple juice, 1 1/2 cup of raspberries, 1/2 or one whole lemon (depending on how much tartness you’d like to add), one cup of plain or flavored low-fat yogurt, and one to two tablespoons of honey in the blender. If you would like to make it a shake, simply add one cup of crushed ice to the blender or use frozen raspberries instead of fresh one. Blend until smooth and enjoy.
If you find that your beverage creations need a little sweetening, there are a few alternatives to sugar. A sugar substitute such as Equal or Splenda is a calorie-free way to enhance the flavor. Otherwise honey is a great way to add a touch of sweetness to your fruity concoctions.
Going Beyond Fruit
Shakes and smoothies don’t have to be made with fruit alone. If you would like to incorporate some fresh vegetables into your beverages, you can do this by using a juicer to pulverize the vegetables. Vegetables blended in regular blender will come out chunky, at best. Once you’ve juiced your veggies, you can add them to your shakes and smoothies. Another way to add nutritious vegetables is to use vegetable juice that you purchase at your local supermarket in place of or mixed with your fruit juice base.
As you can see, it’s actually quite easy to make your own healthy shakes and smoothies right in your own kitchen. These fresh beverages are good for you, and the flavor possibilities that you can come up with are endless!