Smoothies make a quick and healthy meal or snack. They can be a great way to get important vitamins and minerals due to the variety—and amount—of fruits and veggies you can incorporate into one tasty drink. Vitamin C has long been known to help with a healthy immune system. As we approach cold and flu season, it can be beneficial to start increasing your vitamin C by adding more fruits and veggies to your day. Follow these steps to help you make a vitamin C-packed smoothie.
Step 1: Select your fruit
Fruit that is high in vitamin C include oranges, pineapple, raspberries, cherries, guava, kiwi, lychees, persimmons, papaya, strawberries and grapefruit.
Choose different color fruits to vary your nutrients. Use the whole fruit, when possible (fruit with skin adds extra fiber for digestive health).
Examples of other fruits that work well in smoothies include grapes, blueberries, bananas, and mango, just to name a few!
Step 2: Choose some veggies (if you want to)
Adding vegetables to your smoothie may not sound so appealing, but it adds greater nutritional value! Examples of vegetables high in vitamin C include red and yellow peppers, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green cabbage, okra, spinach, cauliflower and radishes.
Step 3: Add liquid
Evenly mixing your smoothies requires a liquid to help you achieve the right consistency for your tastes. Good choices for vitamin C include 100 percent fruit juices such as pineapple, grapefruit and orange juices (be sure to check labels and opt for no-sugar-added). Other liquids that work well in smoothies include water, almond milk, milk, and coconut water.
Step 4: Pick your protein
Including protein in your smoothie makes for a more complete meal replacer or heartier snack. If you opt for a dry protein, you may have to add more liquid to your smoothie. Common proteins to add to your smoothie include:
Use ¼ cup of these: Greek yogurt, frozen yogurt, tofu, nut butter, or quinoa
Use 2 tablespoons of these: Pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds, walnuts, or flax seeds
Step 5: Blend and enjoy
Start to blend your smoothie. If you are looking for a thinner smoothie, add more of your liquid. Smoothies will become thicker (and colder) if you use frozen fruit or add ice.
Tips to make smoothie making easier
- Wash and cut your ingredients all at once to make smoothie preparation easier. You can even freeze your ingredients to make an extra refreshing smoothie.
- To further take the effort out of making smoothies, purchase bags of your favorite fruits/vegetables frozen.
- Assemble your recipes in resealable bags so all you need to do is pour the contents into the blender.
- Make enough smoothies for 2-3 days. Smoothies will stay good in the refrigerator in a glass or cup with either a lid or plastic wrap. You may need to give it a quick shake or stir prior to drinking.
- Making smoothies for the whole family? You can also keep them refrigerated in a large covered pitcher so you can easily pour as needed.