Make this blueberry smoothie year-round with either fresh or frozen berries. (Photo by Reshma Seetharam)

Smoothies are a quick and nutritious way to start your day

  • Wednesday, May 10, 2017 1:30am
  • Life

By Reshma Seetharam, Special to the Herald

I don’t think there’s a more wholesome breakfast that’s easier to make than a smoothie. In about 5 minutes, fruits and vegetables are blended into creamy, yummy perfection.

My weekdays start with these — and I make them when my kids need a disguised serving of veggies. In addition to a fast breakfast, smoothies also make a fulfilling after-school or workday snack.

The best way to build a smoothie is to start with a good foundation: Try almond milk, milk, yogurt, ice cream — or just water and ice.

I make “skinny” versions for hubby and me with milk or yogurt. My kids get an ice cream or Greek yogurt base. Then I mix it up with fruits, vegetables, oats, nuts and seeds.

Try some of these smoothie recipes for a quick and nutrituous breakfast.

Strawberry yogurt smoothie

Creamy and tangy, this strawberry smoothie can be made with yogurt or almond milk and whole nuts.

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (or almond milk)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

¼ cup almonds

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup ice cubes

Place the above ingredients into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Carrot cashew smoothie

This is my mother’s recipe. I remember her giving us these creamy smoothies before we hurried off to school. Moms are the best!

2 cups fresh carrots, chopped

½ cup cashew nuts

2 teaspoons honey

1 pinch cardamom powder

Pressure cook the carrots and cashew nuts in 2 cups of water, or microwave in a bowl on high for 5 minutes. Let them cool.

Place the cooled carrots, cashews, the cooked carrot broth and honey into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Add cardamom and stir. Makes 2 servings.

Watermelon coconut smoothie

Here is a tropical smoothie for those of you who wish you were on vacation somewhere hot. This is a recipe from my niece, Impana Gowda, whom I like to call the Smoothie Queen.

3 cups watermelon, seeds removed

2 cups coconut water and coconut pulp

1 banana

Place all the ingredients into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Banana, oats and peanut butter smoothie

Here is another great breakfast smoothie from the Smoothie Queen. The banana and peanut butter make it sweet, while the oats and mung beans make it wholesome.

1 banana, frozen

½ cup quick oats

¼ cup sprouted mung beans

1 pinch cardamom powder

1 teaspoon peanut butter

1 teaspoon brown sugar

Place all the above ingredients into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Makes 2 servings.

Berry, almond and yogurt smoothie

A delicious breakfast smoothie with yogurt, mixed berries, almonds and chia seeds. It can be made with yogurt or almond milk.

1 cup fresh or frozen berries (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries)

1 cup plain or vanilla yogurt (or almond milk)

2 teaspoons chia seeds

¼ cup almonds

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup ice cubes

Place the above ingredients into a blender and on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Papaya and almond milk smoothie

This is another recipe from my niece. This yummy smoothie is made with ripe papaya and almond milk. It’s perfect for breakfast.

1 cup papaya pulp, fresh, scooped out of its shell

6 almonds, soaked overnight in a cup of water

1 teaspoon honey

1 pinch cinnamon

Place all the ingredients into a blender blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Garnish with finely chopped almonds. Makes 2 servings.

Spinach, banana and date smoothie

This spinach smoothie is filled with dates, almonds, chia seeds and banana. It is filling and will keep you feeling full for a good four hours.

1 handful fresh spinach

1 banana

1 teaspoon chia seeds

¼ cup almonds

3 dates, pitted

1 cup water

1 cup ice cubes

Place the above ingredients into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Blueberry smoothie

This is my all-time favorite smoothie. I make it year-round, either with fresh blueberries when they’re in season or with frozen berries when they’re not. It’s simple and nutritious.

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 banana

1 teaspoon chia seeds

¼ cup almonds

1 teaspoon honey

1 cup coconut water

1 cup ice cubes

Place all the above ingredients into a blender and blend on the “puree” or “smoothie” setting until smooth. Pour into glasses. Makes 2 servings.

Reshma Seetharam’s blog, My Foodarama, can be found at www.reshmaseetharam.com.

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