Homemade fruit smoothies are a healthier alternative to milkshakes, but what are you putting in yours? There are some simple ways to boost the health benefits of a homemade fruit smoothie without going overboard on creamy ingredients or toppings.
Use Fresh or Frozen Fruit Instead of Fruit Juice
Start out by using a selection of fresh or frozen fruit (with no sugar added) instead of using fruit juice as the main “fruit” ingredient. Fruit juice should only be used to give the fruit smoothie a smoother consistency, rather than form the basis of the fruit smoothie.
Remember that many “fruit juices” are actually from concentrate, and are little more than sugar water, so be careful about which ones you choose to use in your homemade fruit smoothie. Use light options instead with little or no added sugar.
Choosing Binding Ingredients
As the name suggests, binding ingredients are ingredients that help to bind the fruit smoothie and bring it together to form the end product. Milk, yoghurt, wheat germ, cream and other ingredients can be used to thicken a fruit smoothie and improve its taste. However, adding too many of these ingredients can negate the health benefits of the fruit smoothie if you are not careful.
Try to keep the ingredients in the fruit smoothie simple. Pick out two or three fruits you would like to use such as raspberries, blackberries and strawberries and then use a drizzle of fruit juice, followed by a small tub of strawberry yoghurt. Choose light, low-fat yoghurt, with as little added sugar as you can find. Using yoghurt as a key binding ingredient will mean you won’t have to add lashings of cream, milk or other heavy ingredients to bind the fruit smoothie.
Healthier Smoothie Toppings
Skip the whipped cream, nuts and fudge swirls and add fresh fruit such as cherries, blueberries, strawberries and peach slices. Switching from these high calorie toppings will dramatically improve the health benefits of the homemade fruit smoothie.
Homemade fruit smoothies can be as inventive and as exotic as you want them to be. Experiment with a variety of fresh or frozen fruits, binding ingredients and toppings. Some key points to remember when creating a healthier homemade fruit smoothie include choosing light fruit juice with no added sugar, low-fat yoghurts and fruit toppings, rather than lashings of cream.