How to Make Delicious, Healthy Smoothies

Healthy smoothies did not become popular until the mid-60s, when there was a rekindling of macrobiotic vegetarianism. Though there has been resurgence in the popularity of the smoothie in the past few years, smoothies have been around since the 1930s, when health food stores on the west coast began selling pureed fruit drinks.

Nutritional Value
Fruit contains fiber, which is very good for you. Fiber is basically carbohydrates that cannot be digested. Adults should consume 28 to 38 grams of fiber each day, depending on age and gender. According to Harvard's Nutrition Source site, fiber appears to reduce the risk of developing various conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, diverticular disease and constipation. You can get a good part of the recommended daily allowance of fiber through nutritional or weight-loss smoothies.

You will need a blender or a smoothie maker to make smoothies. A smoothie maker is a blender with a spout on the bottom. You will also need to gather your ingredients and wash and prep your fruit before you start.

Starting with a Liquid Base
In order to get a smooth drink, you will need a liquid base. You can use ice cream, yogurt, ice, milk or water. For thicker smoothies, you will want to use ice cream or yogurt. For a nutritional or weight-loss smoothie, you will want to use ice, milk, yogurt or water. There are many ways to make smoothies. You should experiment to suit your tastes and needs.

Weight-Loss Smoothies
For those looking for a healthy option or on a weight-loss program, you do not have to give up those cool, refreshing smoothies. Meals can also be substituted with smoothies; you will have a concentrated, low-calorie meal in just a few minutes. The following recipes do not call for a liquid base, but they contain at least one fruit that will blend into a very thick liquid.

Pineapple-Banana Smoothie
1 fresh pineapple
1 banana

Blend all ingredients together until smooth. If the recipe is too thick for your tastes, add in a couple teaspoons of ice water and blend. Keep adding water until the smoothie is the consistency you are looking for.

Apple Pie Smoothie
1 large apple (cored and peeled)
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
? teaspoon nutmeg
? teaspoon ground cloves
¼ cup soy milk or no-fat milk
4 to 5 ice cubes

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

Dessert Smoothies
For those looking for a sweet treat incorporating the goodness of fruit, dessert smoothies are the perfect solution. Since you are not counting calories, anything goes for a dessert smoothie. You will need a liquid, fruit or fruit juice concentrate, sweetener and flavoring.

Raspberry Chocolate Dessert Smoothie
1 cup frozen or fresh raspberries
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons instant chocolate pudding powder
1 cup cream soda
1 cup milk
2 ½ cups ice

Put the fruit in the blender or smoothie maker and blend until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend thoroughly. Use a medium speed on your blender for the fruit. After the fruit is at a smooth consistency and you've added the balance of the ingredients, you can use a higher speed. If you want a thick smoothie, keep the blender at a medium speed. If the smoothie is not thick enough, you can add more fruit or ice. If you would like a thinner smoothie, add a little more milk or cream soda.

Alcoholic Smoothies
Instead of cocktails, treat your guests to an after-dinner alcoholic smoothie. Alcoholic smoothies are not much different than making any other smoothie. They are both refreshing and filling, perfect for a hot summer day on the deck with friends.

Banana Colada Smoothie
2 mashed ripe bananas
4 fluid ounces cream of coconut
6 fluid ounces rum
4 fluid ounces banana liqueur
3 cups crushed ice

In a blender, combine bananas, cream of coconut, rum, banana liqueur and ice. Blend until smooth.

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