March 9

Healthy Drink Alternative: Smoothies

By Tim Renner of Gardant Management Solutions

March National Nutrition Month 2016
As part of our National Nutrition Month series, we are sharing healthy smoothie recipes. These drinks have been introduced at Gardant communities as part of our Eat Smart, Live Strong Program.

Smoothies are a great alternative to pop and other high-calorie beverages. These healthy drinks can also help you reach the recommended daily fiber intake, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. Fiber can help slow digestion, control blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

When making smoothies, you can use any combination of fruits and vegetables.

Here are some things to keep in mind about the health benefits of different fruits:

Citrus – grapefruit, oranges, tangerines and lemons
These fruits contain good amounts of vitamin C, potassium and folate. Vitamin C helps your immune system and synthesizes the collagen that aids in the framework of your body. Potassium supports your heart function and helps maintain a normal blood pressure, while folate promotes healthy cells.

Berry – blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and grapes
They contain particular antioxidants that decrease inflammation and phytonutrients that help fight disease.

Drupes – cherries, apricots, peaches and plums
They provide beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C. Beta carotene helps your vision and immune system function properly.

Pomes – apples and pears
These fruits contain vitamin C and potassium.

Tropical – papaya, kiwi, pineapple, avocado, coconut, pomegranates, bananas and mangoes
They are sources of vitamin C, potassium, folate and manganese, which keep your bones, blood sugar, thyroid gland and nerves healthy.

Fruit Category Source:

Smoothie Palooza at Prairie Winds of Urbana

Residents enjoyed smoothies during the Smoothie Palooza at Prairie Winds of Urbana.

Strawberry, Pineapple, and Banana Smoothie
1/2 pint of fresh strawberries, stems removed
1/2 pint of fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and chopped
2 peeled bananas
3-4 tablespoons of sugar or honey
3/4 cup of water or coconut water
2 cups of medium ice cubes

Process in blender until smooth and serve immediately or freeze until slushy.

Mango Smoothie
1 banana
1 peeled mango
1 cup of milk
1 cup of vanilla yogurt
A few drops of vanilla
1/2 cup of pineapple juice
Honey or agave syrup, to taste

Freeze the banana, the mango, and the yogurt for 1 hour before making the smoothie.
When ready, combine all ingredients in blender and process until smooth.

Throughout National Nutrition Month, visit the Gardant Blog for other healthy recipes and tips.

Tim Renner is an Executive Chef and Director of Culinary Services at Gardant Management Solutions.

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