Get Living Without's FREE Recipe of the Week

Delicious allergy-friendly recipes for you and your family

So GoodAug/Sep 2012 Issue

Allergy-Friendly Smoothies

Drink your vitamins. Meals in a glass are healthy, healing and tasty.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your blenders! Smoothies have gone mainstream. You can find these tempting beverages in various guises at coffee shops, fitness centers and big-chain supermarkets. Yet, for the biggest nutritional windfall and to avoid calorie bombs with serious waistline repercussions, it’s best to whip up your own blender creations.

With the right add-ins, a smoothie delivers laudable amounts of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—all necessary for optimal health. A perfect use for summer’s fresh produce, consider smoothies a nutrient-packed snack or meal in a glass. They are easy to prepare and ready in minutes with little fuss or clean up. And best of all, they are infinitely adaptable for special dietary needs.

A well-crafted smoothie is so much more than just fruit blended with milk. You can whirl in all sorts of tasty and healthy ingredients, like leafy greens, dried fruits and seeds, with delicious results. Here’s how to create a winning smoothie that rouses taste buds while it delivers a payload of vital nutrients.

Liquid Assets For better consistency and to help prevent blender back-up, add liquids first, followed by the remaining ingredients. Consider making hemp milk one of your first choices. Produced from salubrious hemp seeds, it contains more heart-healthy omega-3 fats than other dairy-free alternatives. Rice milk and carton coconut milk are also good allergy-friendly liquid options. Whatever your choice, seek out unsweetened varieties to limit sugar calories. Increasingly popular coconut water gives smoothies a refreshing tang with little calorie cost. It’s best to limit the use of fruit juices in smoothies as they are a concentrated source of sugar calories. You’re better off sticking with whole fruit, which contains dietary fiber not found in juices.

The Big Chill Nobody ever raves about watery smoothies. In addition to a payload of age-avenging antioxidants, frozen fruit adds frosty thickness and creaminess to smoothies. So keep your freezer well stocked with berries, mango cubes, sliced peaches and other sweet gems. When local fruits are in season, consider loading up and freezing the bounty for future blender creations. To freeze bananas, first peel them and then chop into three or four pieces to make them easier for the blender motor to handle. Freeze items such as raspberries and peach slices individually on a baking sheet and then transfer them to an air-tight container.

Crunch Bunch Spinach, kale, carrots, celery and broccoli may seem like unlikely smoothie ingredients, but they’re delicious when paired with sweet ingredients, such as oranges and frozen berries. Be assured that your smoothie won’t taste like a salad bowl. In fact, smoothies are a great way to boost daily vegetable intake for adults and tykes alike. Plus, adding veggies to smoothies requires much less clean-up than juicing them in a juicer and their healthy fiber ends up in your tummy, not the compost bin.

Phat Fats To make your smoothie more balanced nutritionally, try incorporating sources of healthy fat. Good options include avocado, coconut oil, ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, chia seeds and seed butters, such as tahini or sunflower. If tolerated, whole nuts and nut butters are wonderful in smoothies, as well.

Sweet Power If you want to add sweetness to smoothies beyond fruit, don’t reach for processed table sugar. A bit of honey is the ultimate summer sweetener but try other all-naturals like maple syrup, brown rice syrup or coconut sugar. Dried fruit, such as dates and prunes, can also bolster the sweet factor of your drink while adding nutrients.

Spice of Life A fantastic way to ramp up flavor without adding calories is to blend spices into smoothies. Warming spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger, work particularly well. Citrus zest and gluten-free pure extracts, such as vanilla, can also gussy-up a blended drink.

Try these nutritionally charged, thirst-quenching recipes—and get ready to show your blender some love!

 


Dairy Free Coconut Avocado Smoothie

SERVES 2

Bursting with tropical flare, avocado gives this fresh-tasting smoothie a creamy richness and plenty of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat.

1 cup coconut water
1 cup coconut milk, (carton, not canned)
-Juice of ½ lime
2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
1 tablespoon honey
-Pulp of 1 ripe avocado
1 cup frozen mango cubes
-Dash of salt
½ teaspoon lime zest

1. Place all ingredients, except lime zest, into a blender container in the order listed.

2. Blend until smooth. Add additional coconut water if the smoothie is too thick for your liking. Divide between 2 glasses and garnish with lime zest.

Each serving contains 304 calories, 17g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate, 10g fiber, 4g protein.
Switch Hits
  • Replace mango with cubed pineapple.
  • Try fresh chopped mint in lieu of basil.
  • Sweeten with agave syrup instead of honey.


Gluten-Free Java Oat Smoothie

SERVES 2

Busy morning? When you need to bolt out of the house quickly, this perked-up coffee breakfast smoothie is just the trick. If your blender has trouble pulverizing dates, try soaking them overnight. Don’t add too much cardamom, as it can easily overpower the other flavors in the smoothie. If desired, sweeten with a touch of maple syrup.

1½ cups strongly brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
1 cup unflavored hemp, rice or other milk of choice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
⅓ cup pitted dried dates, chopped
⅓ cup gluten-free rolled oats (quick- cook, not instant) 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
-Dash of cardamom
1 frozen chopped banana

1. Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed.

2. Blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 2 serving glasses.

Each serving contains 253 calories, 6g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 83mg sodium, 48g carbohydrate, 6g fiber, 5g protein.
Switch Hits
  • Replace coffee with an additional cup of another dairy-free beverage.
  • Swap out cardamom for ground cloves or cinnamon.
  • Try chia or salba seeds in lieu of ground flaxseed.

 


 

Carrot Ginger Smoothie

SERVES 2

Here’s a smoothie that Bugs Bunny would love. Carrot contains a surfeit of beta-carotene, an antioxidant converted to vitamin A in the body which benefits bone, eye and immune health. Ginger, allspice and tahini (sesame paste) are the surprising flavor boosters in this recipe.

2 cups coconut water
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 whole orange, peeled
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon tahini
¼ teaspoon allspice
1 frozen chopped banana

1. Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed.

2. Blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 2 serving glasses.

Each serving contains 217 calories, 4g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium, 44g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, 5g protein.
Switch Hits
  • Replace carrot with 1 cup cooked and cooled chopped sweet potato or canned pumpkin.
  • Use sunflower seed butter instead of tahini.
  • Swap out the banana for mango cubes.


Dairy-Free Peach Spinach Smoothie

SERVES 2

Drinking your veggies never tasted so good. Spinach and broccoli may seem like odd smoothie ingredients, but don’t be afraid–the blender chops them into tiny pieces and the sweetness from the peaches and honey helps subdue any “earthy” vegetal flavor.

2 cups unflavored hemp milk, rice milk or milk of choice
-Juice of ½ lemon
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup packed baby spinach
1 cup broccoli florets
3 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
1 large peach, pitted and sliced, preferably frozen

1. Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed.

2. Blend until smooth, about 1 to 2 minutes. Divide between 2 serving glasses.

Each serving contains 279 calories, 11g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 41g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 8g protein.

 

Switch Hits
  • Swap out hemp seeds for raw sesame or sunflower seeds.
  • Add green punch with kale instead of spinach.
  • Replace the peach with frozen strawberries or mango.

 


Dairy-Free Raspberry Strawberry Smoothie Cups

SERVES 6

You don’t always have the time to gather up all the necessary ingredients to make a smoothie. These make-ahead smoothie cups are your answer to a quick, refreshing drink. When ready for a cold smoothie, just drop a couple into a blender with liquid and you’re good to go. For the easiest extraction of the smoothie cups, it’s best to use bendable silicone muffin cups.

2 cups unflavored hemp milk, rice milk or other milk of choice
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon orange zest
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups raspberries
1 cup strawberries
-Grated dark chocolate, for garnish, optional

1. Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed. Blend until smooth, about 30 seconds.

2. Divide among 12 medium-size muffin cups and freeze until solid, about 4 hours.

3. Unmold smoothie cups and place in a zip-top bag for storage in the freezer. If you have trouble unmolding the frozen cups, try placing the bottom of the muffin tray in warm water for several seconds, being careful not to thaw the contents.

4. When ready to serve, place 1 cup liquid of choice and two smoothie cups into a blender container; blend until smooth. (If you don’t have a powerful blender, cut the frozen smoothie cups into quarters first.) Add additional liquid, if needed, to help with blending and to reach desired consistency. Serve topped with grated dark chocolate, if desired.

Each serving contains 95 calories, 5g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 38mg sodium, 13g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g protein.

 


 

Blueberry Cherry Smoothie

SERVES 2

Blueberries and cherries have high levels of antioxidants, molecules that sweep through the body looking for dangerous free radicals to knock out. Coconut oil adds creamy richness while cloves provide a hint of mystery.

2 cups unflavored hemp milk, rice milk or milk of choice
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup pitted cherries
1 tablespoon coconut oil
-Pinch of ground cloves
1 cup blueberries, preferably frozen

1. Place all ingredients into a blender container in the order listed.

2. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide between 2 serving glasses.

Each serving contains 257 calories, 13g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 112mg sodium, 33g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 3g protein.
Switch Hits
  • Sweeten with honey instead of maple syrup.
  • Try fresh apricots instead of cherries.
  • Swap out cloves for ground nutmeg, cinnamon or allspice.
Canadian-based Matthew Kadey, RD, muffintinmania.com, is a dietition and a food writer. He is author of Muffin Tin Chef (Ulysses Press).

Comments (0)

Be the first to comment on this post using the section below.

Add your comments ...

New to Living Without's Gluten Free & More?
Register for Free!

Already Registered?
Log In