They say you need to eat a rainbow in order to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables.  Eating all those ½ and 1 cup servings can seem hard to fit into your meal planning. There is an easy solution to this colorful problem.  It comes in the form of the smoothie. Smoothies, especially ‘green’ smoothies are an excellent way to maximize your fruit and vegetable intake, get energized and fit.  Here are some tasty recipes to get you started.

Pack a Protein Punch

Smoothies are a great way to fuel up before or after a workout.  Drinking a milk-based smoothie can help you replace the lactic acids needed to repair tired muscles post-workout.  Go beyond the basic protein powder shake and bulk up your daily fruit and vegetable needs.

Ingredients

  • 1 scoop of chocolate protein powder
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 banana
  • 4-5 whole strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • ½ cup kale, chopped
  • ½ cup spinach, chopped
  • 1 tsp. ground flax-seed

Blend together and serve.  Makes 1 serving.

Going Green

The green smoothie has seen a lot of action lately.  It is an almost perfect blend of fruits and vegetables in one serving. It can be tailored to your needs and tastes while throwing in a few things that you may not like the taste of, but need in your diet.  You can change it up daily and create a limitless range of green smoothies, even ones that can help eliminate belly fat.  Green smoothies have been known to improve skin, aid in weight loss, promote better sleep and improve your overall health, detox your liver and help digestion. Here is a basic recipe from Dr. Mehmet Oz to get you started.

Ingredients

  • 1 apple (cored, skin on)
  • Big handful of spinach
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 celery stick (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp. ginger root (peeled)
  • Pinch of parsley
  • Lime juice from ½ a lime
  • Lemon juice from ¼ lemon

Blend and serve.

Get Energized

A protein smoothie can provide fuel for your body and a green one can detox you – but what about a drink that is like a shot of energy each time you drink it?  Using ingredients like peanut or almond butter and a potassium-rich banana will get you going and feeling great.  Add cocoa powder and a dash of cinnamon for flavor and you have a vitamin packed drink that gives the energy you need to start your day or hit the gym.

Ingredients

  • 1 banana
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 1 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp. creamy peanut butter.

Blend and serve.  Makes 1 serving.