THE BLOG

The Skinny on Smoothies and Juicing

03/26/2013 02:42 pm ET | Updated May 26, 2013

When it comes to healthy beverages, there is much to be said about both smoothies and juicing. Both of these healthy drinks provide us with tons of vitamins, nutrients and fiber packed into a tasty glass. However, many of these drinks can be secretly loaded with sugars and calories. It is important to not only recognize the benefits, but to be aware of the downfalls, as well. Keep these helpful tips in mind and sip your way to a healthier you. I'll drink to that!

The Good:

Smoothie: Smoothies are a great way to fill up while also getting many of your daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Another bonus, they taste great! Fruits like apples and blueberries provide large amounts of fiber and antioxidants, while being a yummy addition to any drink. It is also a great way to sneak in extra nutrients you may not have gotten throughout your day.

Juicing: Although these green-colored drinks may make you a bit hesitant at first, don't' be shy! Green juices are packed with antioxidants that help build your immune system and fight off diseases. When using dark greens like spinach or kale, you can get as much as four grams of fiber, five grams of protein and essential vitamins K, A, C, E, and B2. It is also a great way to sneak in veggies for your kids that they may normally shy away from. A great option if you don't have the time to make your own is Starbucks' new Evolution Fresh Juice. It comes in fantastic options like sweet greens with lemon and pineapple coconut water.

The Bad:

Smoothies: But it tastes just like a milkshake! Many smoothies that we buy at the grocery store are loaded with extra sugars and calories, so be careful! A great way to control this is by making your smoothies at home so you are able to control and portion your ingredients.

Juicing: Although these super juices are packed with health boosters, there are certain things you should keep in mind. Since using a juicer requires the addition of whole fruits and vegetables, the pulp that is captured in the machine often contains parts of the fruits and veggies that carry the most nutrition. Unlike juices, smoothies are made in a blender where all of the nutrients can be absorbed since no pulp is extracted.

The Delicious!

Smoothie: For a tasty smoothie packed with protein and vitamins, combine in a blender:

  • 1 banana
  • 6 oz. nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Manitoba Hemp Hearts
  • ½ cup almond milk
  • 3 tbsp. Artisana Coconut Butter
  • pinch of cinnamon.

*Not enough time to whip up a smoothie? I always keep a pouch of Happy Family Happy Squeeze Smoothies on hand. You can throw one in your bag and still be sure you are getting your essential vitamins and minerals at around 100 calories a pouch.

Juicing: Although drinking your veggies may take some time to get used to, this recipe will have you hooked in no time. In a juicer combine:

  • 3 oz. kale
  • 1 oz. spinach
  • 2 apples, cored
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 inch piece ginger

*For an extra burst of sweetness, stir in one packed of Nektar Naturals honey crystals.

For more by Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, click here.

For more on diet and nutrition, click here.