Smoothies have become wildly popular in the past couple of years, and they can be wonderfully nutrient-dense and delicious with the right combination of ingredients. This smoothie is really tasty, and dropping in a big slice of creamy avocado takes it to a whole new level. It’s dreamy, creamy, slightly sweet, and makes for a quick, on-the-go breakfast or snack. Fats are necessary for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamin D from the dairy, vitamins A and K from the greens), so avocado serves a dual purpose here.
There’s a vicious, never-ending competition between juices and smoothies in the nutrition world. The juicer people say they get concentrated nutrients in an easily digestible form with freshly extracted juice, while the blender people argue better retention of fiber and whole ingredients by blending. While I think both can be beneficial and provide easy ways to take in more fruits and vegetables, I’m inclined to agree more with the blender folks.
When I toss whole ingredients into a blender and whirl them all together, I know I’m going to end up with the same nutrients as I put in: folic acid, fiber, and vitamins A and K from the greens, vitamin C and antioxidants from the fruit, and omega-3s from the chia seeds. If I sent these same items through a juicer, some juice and undoubtedly some vitamins and minerals will be extracted, and the fibrous skins and other bits that the juicer couldn’t liquefy would remain. The majority of nutrients in fruits and vegetables are located in a layer just under the surface of the skin (parents, this is one good reason to avoid peeling fruits and vegetables for your kids if you can – removing the peel also might be removing some nutrients), so it’s hard to be sure that vitamins and minerals aren’t being left behind in the pulp.
Smoothies are simple: put nutritious stuff in, and you’ll get the same stuff out.
- 2/3 cup milk (dairy or non-dairy)
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 of an avocado
- Big handful of greens (about 2 cups)
- 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
- 1/2 cup frozen mango
- 1/2 cup frozen peaches
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Layer the ingredients in your blender from softest to hardest: milk, yogurt, avocado, greens, then frozen fruit. Blend on high for about 60 seconds until smooth. If you need to stop the blender and push ingredients toward the blade, do so. In the last 5 seconds of blending, add the chia seeds to combine. Pour into glasses and serve immediately.
- SR Clients: One 12-ounce serving = Level 3 dessert, Level 1 (50%) snack, or 1 add-on. Add ¼ cup nuts or seeds for a Level 2 (100%) snack or a Level 2 (100%) breakfast.