Super Smoothies for a Healthy, Quick Breakfast

Breakfast smoothieSmoothies are a great way to grab a meal on the go, but many commercial brands are loaded with calories and sugar. A Jamba Juice Strawberry Juice Rider packs in 300 calories and a hefty 64 grams (that's 8 teaspoons!) of sugar. Is Starbucks your smoothie of choice? Your waistline will be doing a little bit better with their Orange Mango Vivanno Smoothie at 260 calories and 34 grams of sugar, but the best option is to pull out a few easy ingredients and a blender and make one at home.

These energizing homemade smoothies aren't your typical cloying frozen drinks. They are packed with vitamins, protein, fiber, and antioxidants. Kids love to drink smoothies, and they are a light, refreshing way for anyone to start the day. All recipes serve one.

Basic Smoothie

You can vary your flavors by mixing fruits and berries, adding a ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract, a pinch of cinnamon or a ½ teaspoon of fresh finely grated ginger root. Try a combination of fresh and frozen fruit. Add a dollop of Greek yogurt for a rich, tanginess. You can even add a ½ cup of anti-oxidant packed chopped kale or Swiss chard leaves (stems removed).

  • 1 cup frozen or fresh fruit and/or berries (if you use all fresh fruit, add 2 ice cubes)
  • ½ cup nonfat, soy, or almond milk
  • ½ ripe banana (optional)

Blend until creamy.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Extra protein gives this smoothie staying power.

  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs. smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1 ripe banana
  • 2 ice cubes

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy.

Pina Colada Smoothie

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy.

Apple Pie a la Mode Smoothie

Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics by the Moosewood Collective.

  • ¾ cup unsweetened apple juice
  • ¼ cup non-fat, soy, or almond milk
  • 1 tsp. pure maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 ice cubes
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of nutmeg

Place all ingredients in blender and blend until creamy.

Melon-Mint Smoothie

This non-dairy smoothie is especially refreshing in hot weather.

  • 2 cups melon (cantaloupe, honey dew, or watermelon, or any combination)
  • 3 fresh mint leaves
  • 2 teaspoons agave syrup or honey
  • 2-4 ice cubes
  • squeeze of fresh lime juice

Place all ingredients except for lime in blender and blend until creamy. Add lime to taste.

Orange, Pineapple, Carrot Smoothie

New York Times columnist Martha Rose Shulman sneaks vegetables into her vibrant smoothies. Adapted from Recipes for Health.

  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons granola
  • 1 small or ½ large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 2 ice cubes (optional)

Place all ingredients in blender and blend for a full minute.

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