Earlier this month, Kingsway Community’s Certified Nutritionist, Amy Duffy, stopped by Parkland Garden Apartments to make some delicious smoothies for residents. We asked Amy to share some of the health benefits of smoothies as well as a few of her favorite recipes.
Smoothies are a delicious and refreshing option for children, adults and especially seniors. They are power-packed with vitamins, nutrients, protein and fiber. As we age, our gut motility begins to slow and we may often experience constipation and even weight gain. Fiber plays a key role in keeping our bodies regular and aids in digestion. Regular consumption of smoothies with fruits and vegetables will provide additional fiber and nutrients in your diet to meet your goals. In addition, smoothies can be fun and easy to make. The best part is that you can be creative!
To make a smoothie, first you need a liquid/creamy base—I prefer to use a plant-based milk such as oat, almond or cashew milk. Dairy milk or yogurt is another great option that will provide additional protein. You can also use coconut water (added hydration with electrolytes!) or fruit juice to get the taste you are looking for.
Some great fruits to add include frozen bananas, strawberries, peaches, mangos, raspberries, pitted cherries, blueberries, and raspberries. The possibilities are endless.
Now for the best part. Smoothies are a great way to sneak vegetables into your diet. I like to add a handful of spinach or kale to my smoothies. Other vegetables you can add include avocado, beets, zucchini, cauliflower and even peas. Just be sure to follow a recipe, as tougher vegetables may need to be softened prior.
Other things I typically add to a smoothie include peanut butter (any nut butter works), cocoa, cinnamon, flax seeds, hemp or chia seeds (great fiber content), protein powder and even oats (more fiber!). Putting any of the above ingredients in your smoothie will add healthy fats, fiber and protein, which will leave you feeling fuller and satisfied longer.
Here are some of the recipes we made earlier this month. The banana and cherry one was a hit.