Dairy and Plant-Powered Smoothies

Whether your child loves a salad as much as a bowl of ice cream or faints at the mention of a vegetable, there is one simple and delicious way to deliver much-needed nutrients – smoothies! Smoothies are THE quintessential “vehicle” food because they blend a variety of plant and real dairy ingredients into a single glass.


Plants and Dairy in a Glass

Smoothies are also the number one way I can get my daughters to “eat their veggies.” While they aren’t huge fans of a bowl of spinach or kale (even with another favorite vehicle food – ranch dressing!), they have no problem adding these green veggies to the blender for their smoothies. In fact, they think it is “pretty amazing” that they “can’t taste it at all.”

For example, my antioxidant-rich Tropical Smoothie Refresher is a snack or morning meal in one. It includes 2 fruits (banana and frozen mixed tropical fruit), a vegetable (baby spinach or kale), and two forms of dairy (vanilla Greek yogurt and plain unsweetened kefir). The best thing about the recipe is how easy it is to swap up ingredients such as milk for the kefir, fresh mango for the tropical fruit mix, and regular yogurt for the Greek yogurt. Plus, for a kick of (optional) sweet heat, the recipe uses ground ginger as a flavor enhancer.

Tropical Smoothie Refresher

Makes 2 smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • 1 cup frozen tropical fruit mix
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup plain unsweetened kefir
  • ½ – 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach or kale

Loaded with antioxidant-rich ingredients, this green smoothie packs fruits, veggies, and dairy into a tropical-flavored snack or morning meal. Ground ginger adds a kick of sweet heat. Use up to 1 teaspoon for a stronger flavor or omit completely, if desired.

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender; blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth.


Oatmeal in a Smoothie?

Only recently have I tried adding old-fashioned rolled oats to a smoothie and – WOW – the results were fabulous! I love how it gave my smoothie a thick texture and rich flavor while adding fiber and whole grains.

One of my favorite smoothie recipes that uses oats is this Choco Peanut Butter Oat Smoothie. It is a chocolate lover’s dream, combining milk, vanilla yogurt, oats, peanut butter, cocoa powder, and a banana. This turbo-charged beverage uses simple, on-hand ingredients and satisfies throughout the entire day. My girls love it as an easy weekday breakfast or yummy after-school snack and give it 2 resounding thumbs up.

Choco Peanut Butter Oat Smoothie

Makes 2 smoothies

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana, frozen
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup low-fat milk
  • ¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 Tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Greek yogurt and old-fashioned rolled oats give this chocolate peanut butter smoothie a rich and hearty texture. This nutritious treat takes only a minute to whip up for an easy weekday breakfast or yummy after-school snack.

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender; blend on high for 30 seconds or until smooth.


What will you blend up next?

Count on smoothies to boost your intake of dairy, grains, fruits, and/or vegetables all while delivering nutritious ingredients in a fun and delicious manner. What will you blend up next?

Holley Grainger MS, RD is a nationally recognized nutrition and lifestyle expert who brings healthy fun flavored with creativity, ease, and a sheer enjoyment of all things food, family, and beyond through her blog, Cleverful Living. Holley is a registered dietitian residing in Birmingham, Alabama, with her husband, Brent, and their daughters, Ellie and Frances.

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