Healthy Ideas for Juices and Smoothies
Juices and vegetable drinks are probably the fastest way to replenish your stamina. They are an ideal complement to any diet. When lunch time is short and energy low, a delicious smoothie will satisfy those hunger pangs, supercharge those energy levels, without risk of putting on weight. The vitamins and nutrients from natural juices get to their target much faster than those of an ordinary meal.
Everyone has a favorite fruit or vegetable drink; here there are some more ideas to add to your repertoire. Quantities estimated for four servings.
Combine 1 cup of frozen pineapple and 1 banana, sliced, 4 Tbs sugar, 4 cups milk –the milk should cover the fruit- and ½ tsp vanilla extract. Blend until smooth and serve in tall glasses, garnished with fresh pineapple on the rim.
For a cucumber cooler: dice a cucumber, no need to peel, mix in the blender with 2 cups plain low fat yogurt and 2 cups skim milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste, refrigerate and serve garnished with basil leaves.
Pineapple and cucumber: put 3 fresh pineapple slices, cored and diced, in the blender together with a diced cucumber and 1 cup milk. Blend.
Beetroot drink: grate 1 lb raw beetroot and 1 small onion. Blend with 1 cup yogurt, 1 Tbs chopped parsley leaves, 1 Tbs lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and serve garnished with fresh lemon peel, curled.
Basil and orange drink: blend the flesh from 6 oranges, no peel, no seeds, no white pith, with 2 Tbs freshly chopped basil, 2 cups very cold water, 2 Tbs sugar or 1 Tbs honey. Strain and chill before serving, check the sweetness. Garnish with basil leaves.
Try basil and lemon, prepare it the same way as orange and basil, but increase the amount of sugar or honey.
Tropical juice: juice 1 lb pineapple chunks and 1 lb diced melon, and half lemon, peeled and free of pips and with pith, add sugar.
Mint lemonade: Juice 5 lemons, peeled and free of pips and white, with a bunch of fresh spearmint. Add two glasses of cold water, 2 Tsp sugar and crushed ice.
Tangy grape juice: juice 3 lb seedless grapes with 2 lemons, peeled, pips and white pith removed. Add 4 tablespoons almond milk and 12 ice cubes crushed.
Fruit and carrot punch: juice 2 pears, 1 apple, 1 carrot, 2 cups strawberries, cleaned and peeled as required all of them. Add 2 cups very cold water, ½ cup almond milk. Serve with crushed ice.
Enjoy your drink in the certainty that this is a natural way to better health.
Warm oranges, lemons or grapefruits before juicing, you will extract more juice.
Letting fruit stand in warmed water for 4 to 5 minutes, before using it for smoothies and milkshakes, cleanses it and makes it juicier.
The best way to take advantage of all the vitamins and nutrients is to drink the juice immediately. If you need to keep some for later, chill it for 15-20 minutes in the freezer –chill, not freeze- and keep it then in the fridge or in a pre-chilled thermos flask.
About the Author: Anne Ehmer is passionate about food. Her stimulating ideas are registered in the web sites World Food and Wine and All Foods Natural, together with food and cooking tips or delicious, healthy recipes.