Top 5 Healthy and Unique Smoothies

For nearly two years I lived without a blender. I know, talk about a hardship, right? Well, the dog days are over, because I have been reunited with one of my favorite kitchen appliances once again and am making up for lost time.

In addition to being a blender enthusiast, I also happen to be a smoothie freak. Smoothies are a wonderfully portable breakfast, awesome post-run power-up and just all around good, healthy snack. For these past couple years I've been forced to support The Man at Jamba Juice, but can now finally break free of their surprisingly caloric menu and silly names. Here are the top five smoothies I am currently obsessing over.

1. Breakfast Smoothie Between the Greek yogurt and milk, this smoothie packs a serious protein punch that is great for after early-morning workouts. The fiber-rich oats digest slowly to help keep you full during morning meetings, and the addition of blueberries and flaxseed add antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, respectively.

  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

2. Raspberry Avocado Smoothie When I first came across this recipe, I thought it sounded disgusting. I had never heard of raspberry and avocado together. Because it seemed so weird to me, I had to try it and quickly discovered the two are like Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony - no one really gets it, but somehow it just works. Be forewarned, however, the color is not very appetizing.

  • 1 avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3/4 cup raspberry juice
  • 1/2 cup frozen raspberries, (not thawed)

3. Banana Cocoa Smoothie This smoothie boasts protein from both the tofu and soymilk along with a decent amount of fiber. However, where this slushy drink shines is with the addition of the cocoa powder, which will satisfy any chocolate craving. I typically make this one with skim milk as opposed to soy, but both work great. If you don't have silken tofu on hand, just leave it out and eyeball the rest of the ingredients to get the right consistency and an equally tasty drink.

  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey

4. Green Smoothie If your day is lacking in veggies, use this smoothie as an opportunity to get your greens in. Spinach is a wonderful source of iron, and grapes give a boost of antioxidants. Using frozen banana gives more of an icy texture, and if you find the smoothie to be too spinach-y for your tastes, add a ½ cup of carrots or orange juice to cut the bitterness. If you find the consistency too thick, replace the yogurt with almond milk.

  • 1/2 banana cut in chunks
  • ½-cup grapes
  • 1/2 (6 ounce) tub vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 apple, cored and chopped
  • ¾-cup fresh spinach leaves

5. Crunchy Coffee Smoothie As if you needed another reason to drink coffee. This smoothie is like that frappuccino you've been craving, except much more beneficial. After an intense workout, coffee can actually help speed up your recovery time, and natural cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed) provides anti-inflammatory antioxidants. Of course, it's also just plain tasty. Treat yourself post workout or keep one on hand for an afternoon pick-me-up that's rich in potassium, heart-healthy fats and antioxidants.

  • 4 ounces chilled coffee
  • 4 ounces fat-free milk
  • 1 banana (preferably frozen), sliced
  • 2 tablespoons whole almonds
  • 2 teaspoons natural cocoa powder

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Kristen Majewski
Contact: Kristen Majewski