Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fruit and yogurt smoothies, tasty and so good for you!

Being someone who has suffered from digestive problems for just about my whole life, I find a bit of relief in eating yogurt. Yogurt contains Probiotics, which are healthy and beneficial live organisms that help maintain the healthy bacteria (also known as microflora) in your intestines, helping with digestive and immune function. When I stopped eating dairy products 6 weeks ago, the only thing I didn't stop eating was yogurt because of the benefits of the Probiotics in it.
When choosing a yogurt, you have to be careful with which one you purchase. Although you may think light yogurt is your best option if you are trying to lose weight, you need to realize that often these yogurts are not good for you because of additives and sugar substitutes that they may use in them such as Aspartame, Splenda, and Saccharin. I feel that to prevent buying these types of yogurts, your best bet is to buy a yogurt that is plain, and contains only cream or milk and "live active cultures." To flavor the yogurt, you may add your own fruit, nuts, or even some Stevia to sweeten it up. (the only sugar substitute that I will use, but keep in mind, only use it in moderate amounts because since it is so new to the market, it has not been thoroughly tested yet)

The yogurt I use is Chobani non-fat plain yogurt. I choose this because if you read the label, you will see that the only ingredients it contains are "nonfat milk and five live active cultures." That's it. No junk, no sugar, no sugar substitutes; just milk and Probiotics.

- 2 cups fresh fruit (use whatever you'd like. In the photo, I used blueberries, strawberries, and cherries with the pits removed obviously)
- 1 1/3 cups plain yogurt (or one 16 oz. container)
- 1/3 cup rice milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)

Prepare fruit by peeling, removing pits/seeds, removing leaves (from things like strawberries), or any other part of the fruit that was not meant to eating. Pour into blender. Add yogurt and rice milk. (and vanilla if desired) Blend to desired consistency. Some people like their fruit a bit chunky, others like it very smooth. Pour into a glass and drink. Yes, it's that simple. If the smoothie isn't sweet enough for you, a small amount of stevia may also be added (I used PureVia brand) to the smoothies. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

Another idea: if you plan ahead, freeze the rice milk in ice cube trays. This will make it more like a frozen smoothie, extra chilly, and great to drink on hot days or after a hard workout.

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