Summer Smoothie

Summertime and the living is easy! As the temperature soars, ditch the stove and reach for your trusty blender. The following recipe is a great option for a protein- and vitamin-rich meal replacement or snack. Feel free to tweak the ingredients to your liking.

Ingredients

Summer Smoothie

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup spinach leaves
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or raspberries or strawberries)
  • 1/2 small banana
  • 1/4 medium avocado
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 serving of protein powder
  • Squeeze of lemon
  • Water or ice – optional

Directions

Place all the ingredients in a blender and start blending on low speed and then gradually increase the speed until all ingredients are smooth. You can add water as needed for a thinner consistency and ice cubes as needed for a thicker version.

Prep time: 10 minutes / Total time: 10 minutesServings: 1
Nutrition (per serving): 394 calories, 42 grams carbohydrate, 25 grams protein, 14 grams of fat.

Key Ingredient Benefits

Almond Milk: Like soy milk, is an alternative to cow’s milk. This fortified beverage, made from almonds, has a surprisingly rich and creamy taste. Lower in calories and fat than regular cow’s milk, it is high in vitamins, such as vitamin E. Like cow’s milk and fortified soy milk, almond milk boasts an impressive dose of bone-building calcium.

Avocados: Loaded with nutrients including vitamins K, C and B. The oil is healthy as it is a monounsaturated fatty acid, which improves fat metabolism. Dubbed the ‘alligator pear,’ avocados help to support the cardiovascular system and regulate blood sugar.

Bananas: This fruit contains a high dose of potassium, which plays an important role with one’s heart, digestion and muscular movements. This potassium-rich fruit also benefits the kidneys and bones. Bananas offer one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6, which helps the body to make hemoglobin, and is essential for antibody production and to maintain a healthy immune response. B6 can also be found in Juvenon’s Essential Multi Vitamin.

Blueberries: They may just be the super stars of the fruit world. These tasty berries offer antioxidant support, cognitive, and cardiovascular benefits. Blueberries are an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K and a very good source of free radical-scavenging vitamin C and manganese. Blueberries are also a good source of heart-healthy fiber.

Cinnamon: A powerful antioxidant that has many additional health benefits. It helps to regulate blood sugar levels by slowing the rate at which the stomach empties after eating. In addition, it may improve insulin sensitivity, which has positive implications for those with type 2 diabetes

Flax Seed: Mother Nature’s proof that good things come in small packages. In fact, some refer to this tiny seed as the most powerful plant food on the planet. There’s some evidence it may help reduce your risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes. Flax seed contains omega-3 essential fatty acids, "good" fats, and lignans, which have both plant estrogen and antioxidant qualities. And finally, flax seed provides both soluble and insoluble fiber.

Spinach: Among the world’s healthiest vegetables, it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Cinnamon is also concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin) and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection.

Protein Powder: Options abound from those geared to muscle-builders and dieters to others that are perfect for busy folks just looking to up their protein intake. Protein powders can be made from eggs, milk, whey, casein, soy, hemp, rice and even peas. Before purchasing, check the label carefully as some are high in sugar and carbohydrates.