Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mixed Berry Smoothie

I have a new favorite smoothie recipe. This one was inspired by my wonderful husband as well as Alton Brown. I recently saw the "Live and Let Diet" episode of Good Eats. Alton's point is to eat a healthy diet, as opposed to participating in the latest diet craze. Typical of Alton, he weighs his ingredients. So, I have weighed my ingredients here. I say that this was also inspired by my husband. He loves blueberries. I don't. As a result, he tends to point out how he is loading up on "antioxidant goodness" and I am not. However, with the berry mix, I get the berries (also with antioxidants in addition to fiber-filled seeds) that I like with blueberries hidden in the mix. These are so popular in our house right now that I am making them for breakfast three times a week - and I hear about it if I skip a day! I made these for my mom and Aunt Carole this week and they asked for the recipe - so here it is. We also discussed the nutritional information, which I have now calculated (out of curiosity). I must point out that as much as I talk about nutrition and antioxidants and such, if it doesn't taste good, it's off the menu. I just try to keep things good, healthy, and as natural as possible.

Mixed Berry Smoothie

2 oz fresh baby spinach (secret ingredient - shh!, esp. if it's hard to get greens into your family, the color is hidden by the purple of the fruit)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 banana
4 oz mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries - I use Trader Joe's frozen mixed berries or the large bag of mixed berries at Sam's Club)
4 oz plain low-fat yogurt
4 oz Trader Joe's Blackberry Crush

Layer the ingredients into large cup, immersion blender container, or blender in the order listed and blend until smooth. I usually prepare the cups the night before and then blend for breakfast in the morning. It's a great way to start the day.

Nutritional Information (approx 16 oz):
Calories - 240
Protein - 6g
Saturated Fat - 4%
Sugars - 37g
Fiber - 36%

Tonight we discussed adding wheat germ. I've done this with my smoothies before. It adds a great nutritional punch and is invisible, just like the spinach. If you do add a serving (2 tbsp) of wheat germ, you'll be adding 50 calories, 4g protein, 1g sugar, and 6% fiber.

For those of you watching your sugar, here's a comparison: a 6 oz serving of Yoplait yogurt has 27g and no fiber. Also, I'm a big fan of making things from scratch. This way you know exactly what is in your food.

On that note, I'll close with a recommendation of Michael Pollan's latest book: Food Rules. It's a short, easy read and can help guide you in eating a healthy diet.

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