According to the Juice and Smoothie Association, smoothies are the most popular drink on the market. Many smoothie bars such as Jamba Juice™ or Juice it up!™ are aware of consumers’ needs and wants for healthy meal alternatives, so what better than a real-fruit smoothie? Smoothies were created to be healthy and beneficial for diets at any demand: at home, at work, at school or on the go. All you need is fruit, ice, and water; however, smoothies can be made with just about any ingredient you desire. What makes a smoothie good for you? As mentioned, if smoothies are made from fresh fruit, ice and water, consumers are getting the nutrition benefit of whole fruits. Unfortunately, many smoothies have added ingredients that can boost calories but not nutritional value. For example, a popular smoothie at Jamba Juice™ called Peanut Butter Moo’d contains frozen yogurt, chocolate base, peanut butter and banana. And, while delicious, this drink contains 480 calories for a 16-ounce drink and 770 calories for a 20-ounce original!
Smoothies can be a healthy treat that ups your fruit and vegetable intake, or a calorie-laden beverage that contributes extra sugar to your diet. I suggest that you ask for the nutrition information and the ingredients list so you can make an informed decision at the smoothie bar. I also share that smoothies should not be a drink for a meal; this is just too many calories.
Better yet, make your own smoothie at home. Smoothies can be a great snack and even a meal replacement.
Try my favorite fruit smoothie blend!
- 1 cup strawberries and pineapple (or mixed fruit)
- 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt (plain or vanilla)
- 1/2 cup of kale
- 1/2 water