Many people consider smoothies as health foods.  But it is good to note that despite their nutritious ingredients, some commercially-produced smoothies contain added sugar and unhealthy fats.  Smoothies are supposed to contain only fresh, pure, and natural ingredients.  This is what smoothies are generally known for.

In principle, the foods that best qualify to become a perfect smoothie ingredient are those that are fresh and whole.  They should not undergo much processing and they should be rich in vitamins and minerals and low in calories and fat for maximum nutrition.

Ideally, fresh fruits are a perfect base for smoothies because they are loaded with plenty of vitamins and minerals, and they also carry natural flavors that we are accustomed to.  Another healthy alternative, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to use low-fat diary products.  These include milk, soy milk and yogurt.

When making a smoothie, you need to prepare fresh natural ingredients such as pure fruit juice, low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt.  Add to it some fresh or frozen fruits, vegetables and cocoa powder.  If you are not particular with calorie count, you can add wheat germ and protein powder to the mixture to make it more nutritious.

What are green smoothies?

Green smoothies are smoothies that use green vegetables as ingredients instead of or in addition to fruits.  To make a green smoothie, it is good to use creamy fruits like bananas and avocados as base because they can help to provide a balance to the somewhat bitter taste of the greens. 

If you are just starting to make green smoothies, be sure to minimize the amount of green vegetables to give time to your taste buds to get used to the new flavors.

Here are some examples of a typical green smoothie recipe:

Smoothie Recipe No. 1

1 banana, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup sliced pineapple
1/2 cup spinach leaves
1 cup coconut milk

Smoothie Recipe No. 2

1 cup vanilla-flavored frozen yogurt, non-fat
3/4 cup milk, non-fat
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate, frozen

Smoothie Recipe No. 3

3/4 cup milk, low-fat
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt, non-fat
1/2 cup strawberries, fresh
1 cup mixed berries, frozen

Directions:

1. Place the ingredients in a blender and blend well until smooth.

2. If you want to sweeten your smoothie a bit more, don't be tempted to use refined sugar.  Use natural sweeteners instead, like maple syrup, honey or agave nectar.

3. Add crushed or ground ice before serving to make the smoothie cool and more refreshing.