How to make simple, healthy and natural smoothies with fruit or yogurt

Healthy morning smoothies
These days many people want or need to have breakfast on the go.  For those in a hurry, those with compromised digestion, the elderly, and young (fussy!) children are often better off consuming a light breakfast rather than a heavy-on-the-stomach meal.

But don’t let the idea of a light breakfast spoil your body’s first source of energy and nutrition for the day.  Rather than much a dry, processed breakfast bar full of sugar, processed ingredients and questionable nutritional quality, or wolf down a bowl of boxed breakfast “flakes” with a bit of low-fat milk, consider instead: delicious, nutritious and FAST homemade smoothies.  Healthy breakfast smoothies for weight loss are also popular and possible with a blender.

Healthy morning smoothies are a scrumptious way to “break” your “fast”, energise your body and feed your brain for the stuff you are going to get done today.  In this article, you will learn how to make fruit smoothies with a blender, as well as dairy smoothies and other interesting smoothie blends.

Healthy morning smoothie ingredients
Some popular healthy morning smoothies include smoothies with yogurt, fruit smoothie recipes, yogurt and fruit smoothies, non-dairy smoothies, and healthy breakfast smoothies for weight loss.  Any smoothies are a wonderful start to your day, especially those including a serve of protein and a serve of carbs.  Protein can be included by the use of yogurt, ground nuts, milk and protein powders.  Carbs can be included by throwing in cooked or soaked rolled oats (breakfast oats) or other soaked rolled grains, or even unflavoured leftover pasta from the night before – it’s just a grain product in the end, and nobody needs to know!  Of course, flavourings are the most popular part of a smoothie and some of the most popular smoothie recipes include: the berry smoothie recipe with yogurt, and the watermelon smoothie recipe without yogurt.  How to make a fruit smoothie with yogurt and fruit?  Read on as I’ll talk about actual methods near the end of this article.

Mid-morning smoothies
In fact, smoothies are so easy and fast to make, that they don’t need to be relegated to the early hours.  If you like a bowl of porridge or an egg on toast in the early morning, but find yourself hungry again way before lunch, try a smoothie to tie you over.  In the mid-morning, what you may be lacking is a protein boost, plus a moderate serve of carbs.  So try a berry smoothie recipe with yogurt to get in that protein-rich yogurt, or follow my instructions further on for how to make a strawberry smoothie with yogurt.

Simple smoothie recipes for kids and as afternoon snacks
Simple smoothie recipes for kids are also wonderful for the busy family.  Smoothies for kids are a quick, fuss-free and tasty way to get nutrients and energy into your kids without a “food struggle.  You can even add some raw cacao powder for added minerals and vitamins (raw cacao powder is available from health food shops worldwide and online) and cover up the fruit in a recipe such as the berry smoothie recipe with yogurt – if your child is currently going through a “stage” of refusing fruit and vegetables.  Now there’s a sneaky way to get some fresh produce in – through a raw chocolate-flavoured smoothie!  Perfect for an after-school snack, and also great for those who’ve just got home from a long day at work and need a pick-me-up before beginning the dinner preparation.

Healthy smoothies as a snack before bed
If you eat dinner early, you might find yourself hungry for something light to eat before you make your way to bed.  A rumbling stomach is a sure disturbance of a healthy night’s sleep, so why not try a light and healthy smoothie containing an easily-digested form of carbs and protein.  If you make a dairy smoothie, you will be gaining the added benefit of tryptophan, a natural amino acid found in dairy products which helps the body sleep.

Non-dairy “nightcap” smoothie ingredient ideas
For a non-dairy smoothie example containing tryptophan, try the watermelon smoothie recipe without yogurt – frozen watermelon and soaked rolled oats with soy milk, rice milk or oat milk, then adding some silken tofu or some sesame seed flour will give you a protein boost including that desirable amino acid tryptophan.  Believe it or not, raw mushrooms are also an excellent source of tryptophan and can also be whizzed up in your watermelon smoothie recipe without yogurt for added minerals, fibre and other nutrients.

How to make dairy smoothies (including how to make smoothies with yogurt, how to make a fruit smoothie with yogurt or milk, how to make a smoothie with yogurt and fruit or vegetables, and how to make a strawberry smoothie with yogurt):

Basic, flexible dairy smoothie recipe
Makes 4 servings or 5 child-size servings
4 cups of whole milk, low-fat milk or non-fat milk
1 cup of yogurt, either whole milk, low-fat or non-fat yogurt
1 cup of frozen or fresh berries or other fruit – frozen will give a thicker texture (for instance, the recipe for how to make a strawberry smoothie with yogurt, is to use 1 cup of frozen or fresh strawberries here – substitute other fruits or berries for different flavours)
1 cup of soaked or cooked rolled oats (steel cut porridge oats)
1 banana
2 Tbsp raw cacao powder
1 Tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla essence

Method: process all ingredients in a blender (with the lid on!) until smooth, stopping if necessary to scrape down the sides with flat-bladed knife.  Pour into appropriate sized glasses and serve immediately.

Dairy smoothie variations
Now you know basically how to make a strawberry smoothie with yogurt, or any other fruit or yogurt smoothie for that matter.  Yes, it’s really that simple.  Now you know how to make smoothies with yogurt, you also know how to make a fruit smoothie with yogurt or other dairy product.  Simply substitute a different dairy product for the yogurt, for instance kefir, whey, or milk from milk powder if that’s all you have in the pantry that day.  You also know how to make a smoothie with yogurt and fruit and other fresh produce – simply throw in a celery stick, a few leaves of light-coloured lettuce or even a cooked or tinned beetroot (red beet).  Adding vegetables is an excellent way to obtain more vitamins, minerals and fibre from your healthy smoothie.

Non-dairy smoothie ideas
If you are not able or don’t like to consume dairy, then you can still make smoothies too.  If you want to know how to make fruit smoothie with a blender, the trick is to freeze some or all of the fruit so that you get a greater depth of texture.  Since there is no milk or yogurt, your smoothie would be missing a protein element without other additions, so try adding silken tofu, cooked soybeans or maybe some ground nuts to the smoothie mix.  If you want to know how to make fruit smoothies with a blender of a different type – say, one of the “magic mix” machines or a stick mixer, you may need to refer to the instructions that came with your mixer’s manual.

Low calorie smoothies for weight loss or low-GI smoothies
Smoothies can be a great tool for weight loss, but if you are attempting to cut calories then remember that you can reduce calories by using lower fat milk or fruits which are less sugary, thus making low calorie smoothies for weight loss benefits.  Also keep in mind that weight loss no longer necessarily means calorie counting – low GI smoothies for weight loss are also possible.  To make healthy breakfast smoothies for weight loss, even though it may seem counter-intuitive, try adding some extra virgin (raw) coconut oil to your smoothie.  Believe it or not, this amazing oil has properties which will actually aid your weight loss efforts.  A tablespoon or more is now recommended by many dieticians, weight loss experts and naturopaths as a tool to help people lose weight naturally.  Hidden within healthy breakfast smoothies for weight loss, a tablespoon on this oil won’t be noticed by the palate yet it will give you weight loss benefits and it also helps your skin look healthier and bouncier.  Low calorie smoothies for weight loss, on the other hand, are often sought by those wishing to lose weight fast, but when cutting fat from dairy smoothies, remember that if you end up adding more fruit, which is sugary, you may just end up with as many calories as before.  A better option to changing the dairy to low-fat would be to simply cut down on the amount of dairy and simply add in some vegetables as well, such as beetroot or celery.  These will add bulk and vitamins, minerals and other nutrients without adding very many calories.  Healthy breakfast smoothies for weight loss could include more protein sources as well, such as soy beans (which can be juiced using an Angel Juicer), whey protein powders, tofu and/or dried nuts and seeds.

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About Laurie Kavanagh