Good Health Cooking: Blueberry Beet Smoothie

Boost your immune system, tantalize your taste buds and get some extra servings of fruit and veggies in this gorgeous, sweet and creamy Blueberry Beet Smoothie!

Did you know only 1 in 7 adults eat the recommended 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of veggies per day? Yikes! And less than 10% of kids get their daily dose too. Overwhelming evidence shows that eating more veggies and fruit is a critical key to disease prevention, managing chronic disease (like diabetes, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease), reducing inflammation and weight management. But for most individuals, the struggle continues.  

Finding creative and tasty ways to give meals a nutrition boost can help you and your family get on the path to better health. But, as I have found, there are 2 things that must be true in order to create a long-term habit of eating more produce:

  1. The recipe MUST be tasty!
  2. The recipe MUST be easy to execute!

This Blueberry Beet Smoothie ticks all the boxes. Blend it up in less than 5 minutes for a filling snack or breakfast. With no added time you can scale up the recipe and make them for the whole family. You won’t need to convince the family to give them a try. They are just that good! 

The Trick to Blending Up the Perfect Smoothie

blueberry beet smoothieSmoothie recipes aren’t hard to find or create. However, many recipes are unbalanced in macronutrients and high in sugar. When smoothies don’t have a good combo of fiber, fat, and protein, they can leave you low on energy and hungry not long after. These are a few tips to create recipes that will energize you for hours and taste great:

Go Veggie Forward

Adding veggies into smoothies is smart and can be quite tasty! Sweet root vegetables like cooked carrots and beets are easy to blend and lend some extra sweet flavor. Or, throw in a big handful (about 1 cup) of baby kale or spinach for a bright green smoothie.

Include Protein

A smoothie with a quality source of protein will keep hunger away for hours. Greek yogurt or cottage cheese blend up perfectly along with soft tofu for a plant-based option. Protein powder is preferred by some but make sure you know the ingredients and how it is sweetened.

Forgo Added Sugar

Avoid adding sugar like honey or maple syrup that increase blood glucose and insulin.  Instead, opt for fresh or frozen fruit as your ‘sweetener.’ While juice will give it a sweet punch, it lacks fiber and can leave you low in energy (and hungry!) not long after.  Bananas and mango can help make the smoothie creamy. But for a good balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat, keep fruit to around 1 cup (or less).

Don’t Forget the Fat

Healthy fats are necessary to absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K) and they can help create a creamy smoothie texture. Fat also helps the meal to stick with you even longer. A tablespoon of hemp, chia or ground flax is one easy way to add in some healthy fats.  Or, grab your favorite nut butter and add in a spoonful!

How Much Protein is Ideal in a Smoothie?

Research suggests that most individuals benefit from 20-30 grams of protein per meal for muscle protein synthesis and satisfaction. This amount of protein will help you stay full for hours and may even help in the management of blood glucose at meals for the rest of the day. 

This Blueberry Beet Smoothie is perfect as a filling snack. If you want to bump up the protein a little further for a satisfying breakfast, add an additional 2oz of greek yogurt OR ½ serving of vanilla protein powder.  It’s that simple!

Blueberry Beet Smoothies

blueberry beet smoothie

Ingredients

½ cup frozen blueberries
2 large beets, cooked & peeled
¼ large banana, frozen
½ cup greek yogurt, plain, low-fat
½ cup unsweetened almond milk
1 tbsp hemp hearts (or chia seeds)

Directions

Place all ingredients into a blender and puree’ for 30-60 seconds.  Scrape down the sides and repeat if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Tips

  • Look for cooked and ready-to-eat beets in the refrigerated section of the produce department.  
  • Add in additional 2oz of greek yogurt or ½ serving of vanilla protein powder to bump up the protein for a filling breakfast.
  • IF you want to make this smoothie sweeter without added sugar, add a bit more banana OR 1-2 drops of liquid stevia.

Nutrition

Calories 267; Total Fat 9g (Saturated Fat 2g); Sodium 224mg; Total Carbohydrate  30g; Fiber 6g; Added Sugars 0g; Protein 18g

 

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