What do peaches, bananas, almonds, spinach, and coconut water have in common?
They’re all heart-healthy foods!
Summer is here, temperatures are rising, and it’s time for a refeshingly cold smoothie! A frosty shake is great for any time of day and it’s just so easy to throw ingredients into a blender to make a delicious and healthy smoothie.
Don’t have time to make breakfast in the morning? Smoothies are great meal prep breakfasts and snacks. Prep a smoothie the night before and take to work in a to-go cup. Pro tip: If you have any Fat Tuesday daiquiri to-go cups, they make great grab n’ go smoothie cups!
In this carb-phobic world we live in, don’t be scared of fruit! A banana is not going to make you fat or give you diabetes and it’s not anywhere near the same as eating a candy bar. Fruit is made up of so much more than just natural sugars. It has anti-inflammatory phytochemicals and antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Oh ya, and it tastes good. The fruit will also mask the taste of veggies if you throw those in for some added nutrients.
The recommended daily amount of fruit for healthy men and women is 1-1/2 to 2 cups, so adding fruit to a smoothie is a great way to get your daily fill.
If you need some smoothie creation inspiration, here are some ingredient suggestions to get you started!
Fruit: strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, apples, orange segments, bananas, peaches, mango, pineapple, pears, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.
Veggies: dark leafy greens like spinach or kale, zucchini, yellow summer squash, cucumber, carrots, cooked beets, pureed canned pumpkin, cooked sweet potatoes.
Protein: Greek yogurt, soy yogurt, cottage cheese, silken tofu, chia seeds, hemp seeds, milk powder, your favorite protein powder, nut/peanut butter, peanut butter powder.
Add-ins: oats, granola, unsweetened cocoa powder, matcha green powder, spices like cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric, herbs like mint or basil, extracts such as almond, coconut, vanilla or orange.
- Sweeteners: honey, agave, maple syrup (use these sparingly).
Healthy fats: avocado, nut butters, peanut butter, nuts, flax seed, hemp seed, chia seed.
Liquid: cow’s milk, unsweetened alternative milk such as soy, almond, coconut, or cashew milk, coconut water, 100% fruit juice or vegetable juice, unsweetened iced green tea or other tea, unsweetened iced coffee.
Is coconut water healthy?
I like using coconut water in smoothies because of the naturally sweet flavor. Coconut water isn’t the creamy stuff found in cans. It’s the clear liquid found in young coconuts. It’s is one of those products with a big health halo hanging over it, seemingly able to cure whatever ails you. Yes, it is tasty and does have some health benefits, but remember, if a claim seems too good to be true, it probably is.
What I like about coconut water for a heart-healthy eating pattern is that it is packed with the electrolyte potassium and NOT packed with sodium. Are you surprised that it’s low in sodium? Well, it is! About 44mg per 8 ounces to be exact, which is much lower than milk, soymilk, or almond milk.
Back to potassium. Coconut water has a whopping 600mg per 8 ounces. So why is that good? Potassium found in food lessens the effects of sodium and relaxes blood vessel walls, which is good news if you’re trying to lower your blood pressure. With that being said, if you have kidney issues or are taking an ACE inhibitor, talk with your Doctor or Registered Dietitian on the amount of potassium that’s right for you.
When buying coconut water, be sure to buy it unflavored and without added sugar. Look at the ingredient list to make sure that the only ingredient is “coconut water.” Also look for the phrase, “no added sugar.”
You can drink this Peach Banana Green Smoothie whenever you feel like it, but I think it makes for a better snack rather than breakfast since I generally try to have more calories and protein at my morning meal than what is contained in this beverage. And that’s fine. There’s no rule that says every smoothie you make needs to contain a certain amount of protein, carbs, and fat. Aim to make your smoothie with whole fruit, veggies, and healthy fats, all of which are heart-health approved!
Peach Banana Green Smoothie
Green smoothies are a great way to get some extra veggies into your diet without very much effort! If you want to add an extra serving of veggies, try throwing in some cucumber.
- Prep Time: 5 minutes
- Cook Time: 0 minutes
- Total Time: 5 minutes
- Yield: 2 smoothies 1x
8 ounces unsweetened coconut water
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup chopped peaches, fresh or frozen
1 cup spinach
1 medium ripe banana (fresh or frozen)
Handful of ice
Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
Smoothies are great for meal prep too!
Keywords: smoothie, vegan, dairy free, almonds, green smoothie, peach, gluten free, low sodium, plant based