Thursday, March 14, 2013

Healthy Strawberry Banana Smoothie with Pineapple

Tonight for dinner I decide to make the traditional strawberry banana smoothie, but I wanted to jazz it up a little, so I decided to make a healthy banana smoothie with pineapple in it. I think I was think that it would sort of be like a strawberry pina colada. Yummy! I think, though, that it would have helped if I'd added more coconut flavor and more ice to thicken it up.



Here's what I did:

Ingredients

1 cup coconut milk
1/4 of a pineapple, chopped
1/2 lb strawberries
2 stalks of kale, stem removed
1 banana
2 tsp Truvia, or to taste
   ice

Add to blender and run till smooth.

I was a little hesitant to add kale to my strawberry, banana, pineapple smoothie since this was my first time, but just like baby spinach, you couldn't taste it.



Why Add Kale to Smoothies?

With no fat and hardly any calories, kale has 5 grams of fiber for every cup. It's also very nutrient-dense, containing vitamin K, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C, and anti-inflammatory agents. It's full of antioxidants (those things that prevent cancer and help you to stay healthy, even from colds), including flavonoids and carotenoids.

Here's a breakdown of what you get in just one cup of kale:
  • 15% DV calcium
  • 15% DV vitamin B6
  • 40% DV magnesium
  • 180% DV vitamin A
  • 200% DV vitamin C
  • 1020% DV vitamin K
  • 5 grams fiber
  • 36 calories
Kale also has minerals including copper, iron, phosphorous, and potassium. 

So the next time you're making a smoothie, whether a smoothie with pineapple or some other combination, consider adding kale to the mix. You may need to add a little extra sweetener, like stevia, because kale (as well as other greens) tend to saturate the sweetness of the fruit, but in the end, you have a healthy smoothie.

See Alex in the background gulping it down :D.
And what's even better is that my kids loved this smoothie with pineapple too!

Is a Banana Smoothie Healthy?

If you're wondering whether banana smoothies can be healthy, the answer is yes! Depending on what you put in it, you can make healthy smoothies with bananas. A couple important things to remember:
  • Add protein or make it a side dish: If you're planning on replacing a meal with a healthy banana smoothie, be sure to add some protein to the mix. This could be some sort of nut butter (peanut butter and almond butter come to mind) or protein powder or some other source of protein, you need that to stablize your blood sugar levels so they don't spike from the sugar in the smoothie. If you can't do that, eat the smoothie as a side dish along with a balanced meal.
  • Diversify: That means don't have the same foods every day. Find new and exciting things to put into your banana smoothies. Healthy smoothies don't come from just having milk, bananas and ice. Try new combinations. What I've found is that bananas do add wonderful flavor to your smoothie, but make sure you're always trying new fruits and vegetables along with the bananas.
So try a smoothie with kale and see what you think. Let me know in the comments.

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