On my quest to become a healthier and hopefully skinnier person, I have started to watch my caloric intake, as well as be more conscious about what I am eating in general. During this period, I discovered the healthy and delicious benefits of smoothies. Smoothies can really go two ways, delicious and horrible for you or delicious and good for you. The outcome of the smoothie all depends on how it is prepared. For example, a Banana Smoothie can reach 800 calories, but with a few changes in the ingredients it could be as low as 200-300 calories.
In each smoothie segment I will try to include the calories in each ingredient, so it will be easier for you to manage. I have had a lot trouble finding a site where the recipe and calories are together so lets make this a one stop shop. No, lets make this a one stop delicious shop. Uh...yeah.
The first smoothie recipe I have is one that I have been making after I work out or for lunch. Its a Peanut Butter and Banana smoothie that is amazingly filling. When putting together a smoothie, calories aren't the only thing you have to think about. Sugar can easily get out of hand. A lot of people will sweeten their smoothie with artificial sweetener, which is fine, but I try best to steer clear of aspartame, which as been associated with many side effects. I'm not sure if this is true or not, but it has been said that side effects of aspartame can include suicidal tendencies and even severe PMS, which no one likes. (note from Kelly: great natural sweeteners such as Stevia and Agave are not only healthier for you, but are also good for diabetics and those who are weight conscious. A granulated sugar alternative minus the crazy mood swings :P) Lets get to it.
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie
-Dannon Yogurt [60 Calories//8g Sugar]
-Peanut Butter [200 Calories 2 Tablespoons]
-Banana [~100 Calories//Natural Sugar]
-Frozen/Fresh Strawberries [~50 Calories per ¾ cup]
-Ice [~0 Calories]
The amount of ingredients you put into your smoothie depends on how you like it. I will do only one tablespoon of peanut butter reducing the calories to 100. These amounts will also change depending on the brand you get. Peanut butter seems to range between 180 to 200 calories. You can also use half a banana which will cut the calories even more. I try to use the strawberry banana flavored Dannon yogurt, but I am all out right now. Also, I can only seem to find the 60 calories yogurt in a six pack, which isn't a big deal for me.
So, throw all these in a blender, ice on top, and blend away. When I made my smoothie this is what I ended up with:
-1 Dannon Yogurt – 60 Calories
-Peanut Butter, 1 Tablespoon – 100 Calories
-Half a Banana – 50 Calories
-A few frozen Strawberries – 50 Calories
Total: 260 Calories
That's pretty good for a meal. Sometimes I will throw in a full banana, pushing it just over 300 calories. I really enjoy the peanut butter taste, but its not needed. I use it because it has protein and helps you feel full for a longer amount of time.
Give it a try and leave a comment letting us know what you think. I have some more smoothies in the works...even one involving shredded coconut, so lets hope that one works out.