How to Make Healthy Meal-Replacement Smoothies to Lose Weight
Healthy smoothies have become staples in many weight loss diets. Making a meal-replacement smoothie is fairly simple and quick. Weight loss smoothies are a great way to eat more fruit and vegetables. They are convenient and highly customizable.
The reason many smoothies are high in calories is that they contain added sweeteners, are made with sugar-sweetened, flavored yogurt, sugar-coated fruit and/or fruit juices. Some smoothies are even prepared with sorbet, sherbet or ice cream, for a thick, rich consistency. All of these ingredients up the calorie count significantly.
How to Make Weight Loss Smoothies
In order to prepare a smoothie that is thick, creamy and cold (of a desirable consistency) you need to blend in something frozen, such as ice or frozen, unsweetened fruit. If you use ice, you will need a high-powered and sophisticated blender to break it up completely. Either way, use the fruit as the main ‘sweetener’ and avoid adding extra sugars, unless it’s just a very small amount of honey or agave nectar. Choose skim or 1% milk or even non- or low-fat ‘light’ soy milk as your primary liquid ingredient.
Bananas make a great staple for any smoothie. Either peel and freeze them ahead of time in chunks or use fresh. Frozen bananas have the consistency of ice cream. In addition to frozen and/or fresh fruits, vegetables (again, you need a high-powered blender to make veggie smoothies) and milk or soy milk you may add yogurt. Try Greek yogurt or plain non-fat yogurt. Make sure it is not sugar-sweetened or is a ‘fruit-on-the-bottom’ variety. Many people like to add protein powders. This is fine but some varieties offer 120 calories per scoop. Check the nutrition facts panel before you add it to your smoothie. Also, avoid smoothies with other high-calorie ingredients, such as nut butters.
Vanilla Banana Smoothie Recipe
Making a low-calorie banana smoothie is simple. Three ingredients make a smooth and creamy treat that provides fewer than 130 calories (or less depending upon your serving size). You need only a medium-sized banana (that has been frozen in chunks), skim milk or non-fat soy milk and a splash of vanilla extract or another flavoring of your choice (this is optional). The amount of milk you need depends upon the desired consistency. Less milk will yield a thicker smoothie. Start with just ¾ cup or so of milk and add up to 1¾ cups. Blend until smooth and creamy. This recipe serves two people.
- 1 Banana
- 1 Cup skim milk or soy milk
- Vanilla extract or any flavoring of your choice
Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
Strawberry Banana Smoothie Recipe
There are dozens of low-calorie strawberry-banana smoothie recipes available on the Internet. The ingredients of each may vary. If you like, you can stick to the above recipe, omit the vanilla extract, use less milk and a bit of plain, non-fat yogurt or light strawberry yogurt and toss in a handful of fresh strawberries (with the frozen banana). If you use a large banana, 10 large, frozen strawberries, 1 cup of skim milk and ½ cup plain nonfat yogurt (or 6 oz. light strawberry yogurt) you can serve 2. Each serving provides about 160 calories.