I have been hard pressed to make a smoothie that does not go above the 300 calorie mark. It’s easy to throw all kinds of fruit, yogurt, milk and honey into a blender and make it taste good. However, if you look at the calorie count for something like that, it’s huge. Smoothies can easily hit the 500-600 calorie per serving level, not good if you are watching your weight.
In my opinion, the trick to a smoothie is to make it taste good, almost dessert-like, be filling (since you are using it as a meal) and have some type of health benefit. If you’ve tackled those three hurdles, you’re doing good.
There are all kinds of healthy products we can use to boost our smoothies. I like chia seeds and high lignan flaxseed concentrate (it’s bursting with Omega-3 Fatty Acids). What you would like to use is up to you. But even supplements like these have calories. You have to be prudent when adding things, if you are watching your daily calorie intake.
I also use a small amount of xanthan gum in my smoothies. It thickens them to the perfect consistency every time. Xantham gum is really nice to have in the kitchen when you need to fix a watery dish. It’s great in soups and salad dressings too. I highly suggest having some around. It doesn’t have to be heated to work and is more heat stable than cornstarch.
Costco (Kirkland Brand) sells frozen pineapple chunks which work perfectly and you have it all year round.
Pineapple Banana Smoothie (nondairy)
- 1 cup vanilla almond milk (I use Pacific Natural Foods brand, it's lower in calories)
- 1 medium (95 g) banana, peeled (not all bananas are created equal, look for medium sized)
- 4-5 chunks (70 g, 3/8 cup) frozen pineapple
- 1-1/2 teaspoons agave nectar
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds
- 1 (heaping) teaspoon high lignan flaxseed concentrate
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1-1/2 cups ice cubes
- Add all ingredients to the bowl of a blender and blend until smooth; about 45 seconds.
- Serving size: whole recipe
- Calories: 261
- Fat: 5 g
- Saturated fat: 0 g
- Unsaturated fat: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 54 g
- Sugar: 39 g
- Fiber: 7 g
- Protein: 3 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
At only 261 calories, this is something you can enjoy every day. It’s a big serving!