December 8, 2019

Refreshing Chocolate Smoothie by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Energizing Cacao/Chocolate Smoothie

This chocolate smoothie is long overdue.  Chocolate is our favorite superfood- thanks to cacao. The bean of the cacao plant is the main ingredient of all chocolate and cocoa products. What makes it a superfood?  It is naturally rich in antioxidants, magnesium, iron, and fiber.  Cacao is low in calories and doesn’t contain any sugar.  We incorporated a date and some honey to naturally sweeten this deliciously energizing smoothie.  The flax meal and chia seeds offer additional fiber and staying power.  It’s perfect for refueling and replenishing after a workout.

Blend together…
•    2 c ice, crushed
•    ¾ c vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
•    2½ tablespoons 100% cacao powder, raw
•    1 date, pitted, finely chopped
•    2 teaspoons honey
•    1 teaspoon chia seeds
•    1 teaspoon flax meal
~Blend until smooth and enjoy drinking super!

Recipe courtesy of Helen Agresti, RD. Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to www.pronutritionconsulting.com

Is Your Smoothie Nutritious? by Laura Maydak

How to Make a Nutritionally Balanced Smoothie

Smoothies are delicious, fast, and nutritious meals on the go – when made correctly.  It’s important to remember that meals, whether served on a plate or in a glass, should be nutritionally balanced.  So, while an all-fruit smoothie may make your taste buds happy, the lack of protein and fat will leave your stomach unsatisfied.

Luckily, making a nutritionally balanced smoothie is simple – just follow these six steps, and you’ll have a healthy and satisfying meal on the go:

1. Choose a Base (1 – 2 cups):
100% Fruit juice, almond milk, brewed tea, coconut water, milk, rice beverage, soy milk, water

2. Choose a Fruit (1 – 2 cups):
Apple, banana, blackberries, blueberries, cherries, grapes, kiwi, mango, melon, oranges, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, raspberries, strawberries

3. Choose a Vegetable (1 – 2 cups):
Beet greens, butternut squash, carrots, celery, collard greens, cucumbers, kale, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potato

4. Choose a Protein (Amount varies):
Cottage cheese, greek yogurt, protein powder, silken tofu

5. Choose a Healthy Fat (Amount varies):
Avocado (¼ avocado), chia seeds (1–2 Tbsp), chopped nuts (1/8 cup), ground flax seeds (1–2 Tbsp), hemp seeds (1–2 Tbsp), nut butter (1 Tbsp)

6. Give it a Boost (Amount varies):
Cocoa powder, fish oil, flavor extracts (vanilla, almond, mint, etc), herbs and spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, mint, etc.), ice, wheat germ

Extra Tips:
- If you’re making a post-workout smoothie, aim for a ratio of 3:1 to 4:1 carbohydrates to protein – this is optimal for recovery.
- If you use frozen fruit, purchase varieties with no added sugar.

- Be aware of the fat content of your liquid base and protein – try to choose low fat or no fat varieties.
- You can adjust the consistency of the smoothie by adding more liquid or using less dense fruits and vegetables.

Be creative!  This formula guarantees a nutritionally balanced smoothie – so throw your taste buds some (delicious) curve balls!

Laura is currently a graduate student in the University of Pittsburgh’s Coordinated Masters in Nutrition and Dietetics program on her way to become a registered dietitian.  Connect with Laura on LinkedIn or on twitter (@lmaydak) for motivation and tips to live your healthiest, happiest life – all given with a healthy dose of humor.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Strawberry Banana Almond Butter Smoothie

Enjoy the taste of this refreshing smoothie along with it’s many health benefits.

Strawberries have a high content of Vitamin C which helps ward off cancer and heart disease. They also contain folate which has been associated with reducing the risk of birth defects. Almond Butter is rich in protein and monounsaturated fat. This “good” fat decreases cholesterol levels and provides an added punch to help fight cardiovascular disease. In addition, this all natural smoothie stabilizes blood sugar levels and thus satisfies the appetite.

1 serving
In a blender add…

1 frozen banana
1 c frozen strawberries
1/2 c crushed ice
3/4 c almond milk
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon almond butter
1/2 teaspoon flax meal

Blend and enjoy the benefits of fueling your body healthy!

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to www.pronutritionconsulting.com