Fitness

Smoothie recipes to build bones, boost protein and low in cals

Whirl up one of these tailored power drinks: low-cal, bone-boosting or high-protein

Chatelaine

Homemade smoothies are hard to beat for nutrition and convenience. Whether you have one for breakfast or a pre- or post-workout snack, they’re an easy way to boost your intake of protein, vitamins and minerals, and fluid. Make them at home, and you’ll save money, know there’s only fresh, healthy ingredients in them and even tailor them to your health needs.

Here are three recipes to get you started:

Low calorie: Papaya Smoothie
Despite their healthy image, some store-bought and juice-bar smoothies are packed with calories, with some brands topping out at over 500 per serving. Our papaya smoothie from the Chatelaine Test Kitchen contains less than 150 calories per serving.

1 cup (250 mL) crushed ice or 6 ice cubes
1 ripe papaya, peeled
2 tbsp (30 mL) liquid honey
2 cups (500 mL) plain yogourt
Pinch of ground ginger (optional)

If your food processor or blender cannot be used for crushing ice, place ice in a plastic bag, then wrap in a clean tea towel and use a hammer to coarsely crush. Place crushed ice in bowl of a food processor or blender. Slice papaya in half. Discard seeds. Coarsely chop and add to food processor or blender with honey, yogurt and ginger. Blend until smooth and frothy, about 2 minutes. Pour into tall chilled glasses.

Serves 4. Per 1 cup (250 ml) serving: 148 calories, 6.3 g protein, 3.5 g fat, 24.4 g carb, 1.3 g fibre, 80 mg sodium, 217 mg calcium

High-protein: Blueberry-Almond Smoothie
Almonds and flaxseeds add protein to this delicious smoothie. With 10 grams of protein per serving and heart-healthy unsaturated fat, this smoothie will keep you full for hours.

1 ½ cups (375 mL) low-fat milk
½ cup (125 mL) mango nectar
½ cup (125 mL) blueberries
½ cup (125 mL) sliced strawberries
4 tbsp (60 mL) sliced almonds
1 tbsp (15 mL) ground flaxseed
1 tbsp (15 mL) pure maple syrup
1 tsp (5 mL) grated gingerroot

Combine ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

Serves 2. Per 1 ½ cup (375 ml) serving: 256 calories, 10 g protein, 9 g fat, 2 g sat fat, 36 g carb, 4 g fibre, 87 mg sodium, 290 mg calcium

Bone building: Strawberry-Coconut-Kiwi Smoothie
Calcium is well known for its role in building bones, and new research shows it may also play a role in spurring weight loss, especially in people who don’t get enough of the mineral. This smoothie uses low-fat milk and yogourt, both excellent sources of calcium. If you can’t tolerate dairy products, use calcium-fortified soymilk and soy yoghurt for an equally good, and nutritious, smoothie.

1 cup (250 mL) low-fat milk
1 cup (250 mL) low-fat plain yogourt
1 cup (250 mL) sliced strawberries
¼ cup (50 mL) light coconut milk
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
1 tbsp (15 mL) honey

Combine ingredients in a blender. Puree until smooth, about 1 minute. Pour into chilled glasses; serve immediately.

Serves 2. Per 1½ cup (375 ml) serving: 266 calories, 12 g protein, 10 g fat, 7 g sat fat, 36 g carb, 3 g fibre, 146 mg sodium, 401 mg calcium