The Triton

Career

Smoothies no longer two-dimensional concoctions

ADVERTISEMENT

Ice cold smoothies are a hot trend. In the restaurant arena, 66 percent of nearly 1,600 chefs surveyed in the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot 2016 Culinary Forecast” said smoothies were either a hot or perennial trend. At home or in the galley, the popularity of smoothies is boosted by their easy-to-make, fast-fixing, versatile, delicious, nutritious and tummy-filling nature. If you haven’t tapped into this trend yet, read on. If you’re a smoothie aficionado, read on too, to find out how to make this favorite even better.

Blending vs. juicing

In its simplest form, a smoothie is a blend of fruits and vegetables often with added ice. Blend is the operative word. That is, whole or cut-up fresh fruits and vegetables, are put in a blender and pulsed until smooth. This is different from juicing. In juicing, only the liquid part of a fruit or vegetable is extracted leaving the fiber-rich pulp behind. You specifically need a juicer to accomplish this. The nutritional superiority of a smoothie is that all the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and dietary fiber in the fresh produce ingredients end up in your glass rather than in the trash can.

Researchers at Texas A&M University confirmed the nutritional benefits of blending over juicing in a 2012-published study in the Journal of Food Science. The food scientists took Texas ‘Rio Red’ grapefruit and prepared them in three common household practices: blending, juicing and squeezing by hand. Results showed that blending resulted in higher levels of disease-preventing nutrients called flavonoids than either of the other two methods.

Have It Your Way

Bananas and berries have long been some of the most popular fruits used in smoothies. Nowadays, ‘green smoothies’, those with vegetables like kale and spinach in the mix have become commonplace too. In fact, this is a great way to ‘eat’ your veggies, something most people don’t get enough of on a daily basis. If you really want to change it up, try adding a variety of other colorful veggies. Beets, carrots, pumpkin and cabbage are poised to take off in acceptance in 2016, according to the ‘Top 10 Smoothie Trends’, published in December 2015 by the Blendtec Corporation, the Orem, UT-headquartered manufacturer of high-speed blenders. On the fruit side, interest in tropical fruits like dragon fruit, mango, papaya, star fruit and goji berries makes them a ripe addition. Best of all, whatever leftover bits of fresh produce is in the refrigerator or fruit bowl can be blended up to make a smoothie.

Smoothies no longer two-dimensional concoctions. Photo by Dean Barnes

Smoothies no longer two-dimensional concoctions. Photo by Dean Barnes

Smoothies 2016-Style

Smoothies are no longer two-dimensional concoctions of fruits and vegetables. Blendtec says ‘functional add-ins’ are gaining traction. These are ingredients like protein, superfoods and healthy fats that transform smoothies from a mere thirst-quencher or snack into a well-balanced meal. Protein ingredients include milk, yogurt, milk alternatives like soy, almond, rice, as well as nuts and seeds. If you are going to add nuts, such as cashews, almonds or walnuts, you need to have a blender strong enough to pulverize these or they will simply float to the bottom. Or, stir in an already-ground nut butter. Superfoods include quinoa, chia seeds, flax seeds, goji berries and wheat germ, while healthy fats are found in avocados. Give your smoothie an international taste by blending in in cilantro, basil, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne or turmeric.

Smoothies are a great way to gulp down lots of nutrients while on the run. However, like any food or beverage, smoothies can add up to too many calories and weight gain if you overindulge. Therefore, choose ingredients carefully, leaving out items like sugar, syrup and chocolate sauce, and figure a 2-cup portion for a meal replacement. Be sure to add protein to the smoothie if drinking as a meal replacement as this will keep you feeling full longer.

Finally, for those who like smoothies but miss the sit-at-the-table type of dining, the next craze forecast by Blendtec is smoothie bowls. These are super thick smoothies, topped with granola, dried or fresh fruits, and nuts, that are served in a bowl and eaten like a soup. Straw or spoon, smoothies are good food.

Carol Bareuther is a registered dietitian and freelance health and nutrition writer. Contact her through www.the-triton.com/author/carol-bareuther.

Related Posts...
Take It In: by Carol Bareuther Iron-poor blood, also called Read more...
Take It In: by Carol Bareuther There are a number Read more...
Take It In: by Carol Bareuther A diet first developed Read more...
Take It In: by Carol Bareuther Selecting healthful foods at Read more...
Take It In: by Carol Bareuther What’s old is new Read more...

Share This Post

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please answer the question below to leave a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Editor’s Picks

Underway and over the top with Capt. Grant Maughan

Underway and over the top with Capt. Grant Maughan

A lifetime of experiences on land and at sea culminate as Capt. Grant Maughan summits Mount Everest in May. By Dorie Cox Capt. Grant …

‘Excellent’ waterways make for ‘great’ voyage into America’s Upper South

‘Excellent’ waterways make for ‘great’ voyage into America’s Upper South

By Lucy Chabot Reed The four-member crew of M/Y Sensation, a 112 Westport, took the vessel from Fort Lauderdale to Nashville, Tennessee, …

Renovation plans for Pier 66, The Sails take a step forward

Renovation plans for Pier 66, The Sails take a step forward

By a vote of 4-1, Fort Lauderdale city commissioners last night approved a development agreement with Tavistock Development Company, owners …

Charter offers M/Y Marcato crew shark ‘tails’

Charter offers M/Y Marcato crew shark ‘tails’

By Dorie Cox The crew of M/Y Marcato was integral to a scientific expedition that studied sharks during a charter by Dr. Austin …