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All About Smoothies

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Blueberry Fruit Smoothies

Blueberry Fruit Smoothies

Taesam Do/Getty Images

Everything You Need to Know About Drinking Smoothies:

What's the best way to make a smoothie? Do you need a special smoothie blender? What is juicing, and which is better for you - whole juice or a smoothie? And what can you add to your fruit smoothies to make them more flavorful, interesting and nutritious? The answers to these and just about any other questions you might have about making smoothies are all right here.

Don't Miss: Smoothie Recipes the Kids Will Love

What Are the Health Benefits of Smoothies?:

A lot of people start drinking smoothies because they can get a lot of nutritional benefit at a single meal in a single beverage. That's why I started making smoothies for my kids -- I wanted to make sure they were getting the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and protein they need.

Smoothies don't provide all the nutrition you need every day, but they can offer you a terrific nutritional boost, especially if you make your own smoothies and you know they don't have any artificial ingredients or powders.

Smoothies vs. Whole Juice - Which Is Healthier?:

Whole juice is often touted as healthier than smoothies. Proponents say it delivers vitamins and minerals to your body more quickly than smoothies. By contrast, smoothies, which contain whole fruits, juices and often yogurt or other flavor ingredients, have more fiber and therefore, deliver nutrients to the body more slowly.

It's hard to say which is better for you, because both are healthy, yet both contain sugar. The key is moderation. For more details, see my article on Juice vs. Smoothies - Which Is Healthier?.

How to Make a Smoothie:

The basic formula for how to make a smoothie is pretty simple: place frozen fruit, juice or milk (or soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk) and yogurt in a blender and puree. To that you can add any number of things, from nuts and seeds to oatmeal, wheat germ, chocolate chips or peanut butter. Click here for a complete selection of smoothie recipe add-ins.

Add all of the ingredients to a blender, and puree.

Do You Need a Special Smoothie Blender?:

Smoothie blenders, like the Vitamix and the Blendtec are designed to crush big fruits (think: a whole orange) and/or frozen fruits.

If you want to make your smoothies with fresh-cut fruit, you don't need a smoothie blender. Period. If you want to use frozen fruit, as I recommend (because it gives smoothies a more icy, milkshake quality), then you may want to consider a Vitamix blender (compare prices or a Blendtec (compare prices).

Be aware, though, that these blenders aren't cheap. You have to make a lot of smoothies to make it worth the money.

Don't Miss: Smoothie Blenders - Are They Worth It?

Healthy Smoothies:

I have no idea whether the packaged smoothies you can buy at the grocery store or the fruit smoothies you can get at smoothie bars are any good for you or not. I do know that when you make smoothies at home, you know exactly what goes into them.

Don't Miss: Healthy Smoothie Recipes

These recipes are made only with whole fruits or vegetables, natural juices, yogurt and other natural ingredients. They're filled with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body needs.

  • Green Smoothie Recipe - Baby spinach and green grapes provide the "greens" in this healthy smoothie recipe. Pineapple, pineapple juice, yogurt and a secret ingredient lend the sweetness that makes this smoothie so appealing to kids.

  • Strawberry Smoothie Recipe - This is a classic recipe - one the kids will never get tired of.

  • Blueberry Fruit Smoothies - This superfood-laden smoothie is always a hit. Make it, and see why. Then post a review!

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