A Low Calorie Smoothie is a natural "gotta have". I mean, everyone loves smoothies, and 98% of us are on some sort of diet.
So what is a low calorie smoothie? The most recognized low calorie smoothie on the market is the RightSize Smoothie. It rings in at 100 calories per serving. By comparison, a large Strawberry Banana Smoothie from McDonalds weighs in at 330 calories.
No one wants to sacrifice flavor or that thick, smooth texture just to save a few calories. We won't do that to you either! Check out the methods we've come up with for creating a low calorie smoothie.
Creating a Low Calorie Smoothie
There are several ways to keep the calories down in your smoothie, such as:
- Limiting added sweeteners
- Replacing some contents with lower-calorie alternatives
- Adding low calorie fillers to increase the quantity without increasing calories
- Portion control
Sweetening Your Low Calorie Smoothie
Most smoothies don't need sweetening. The natural sugars in the fruits that make up the average smoothie are plenty sweet on their own.
The easiest way to keep calories down is to just not add any. So don't, unless you need to.
If you do need to add a sweetener, you can use a low calorie sweetener instead of sugar.
A low-calorie sweetener provides consumers with a sweet taste without the calories or carbohydrates that come with sugar and other caloric sweeteners. Some low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame, are "nutritive," but are low in calories because of their intense sweetness. For example, because aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sucrose, the amounts needed to achieve the desired sweetness are so small that aspartame is considered virtually non-caloric. Many non-nutritive sweeteners, such as saccharin, are non-caloric because they are not metabolized and pass through the body unchanged. Currently, acesulfame potassium, aspartame, saccharin and sucralose are the only available low-calorie sweeteners in the United States. (From CalorieControl.org)
Remodel Your Low Calorie Smoothie
You can turn a normal smoothie into a low calorie smoothie by taking out some of the high calorie fruits and replacing them with lower calorie fruits or vegetables. Before you can do that, you need to know what fruits are high in sugars and calories, and which make good substitutes.
- Very high in calories: Bananas, Mangos, Pomegranates, Figs, Cherries and Tangerines.
- Fairly high in calories: Oranges, Kiwi, Plums, Pears and Pineapple.
- Medium calorie range: Grapefruit, Apricots, Apples, Honeydew, Cantaloupe, Strawberries, Blueberries, Papaya, Peaches, Watermelon, Nectarines, Casaba Melon
- Low calorie fruits: Raspberries, Blackberries, Cranberries
Good vegetable substitutes for use in making a low calorie smoothie include: Celery, Cucumbers, Baby Spinach, Carrots, Tomatoes and Wheatgrass. These are all fairly moderate in flavor. Stronger flavored veggies include broccoli and kale.
You can also substitute low- or no-fat milk for whole milk, water for fruit juices, and similar liquid swaps.
Bulk Up That Low Calorie Smoothie
The easiest way to stretch the calories in a smoothie is to add a low-calorie filler. In the case of a low calorie smoothie, there is nothing with less calories than ice.
While most smoothie recipes recommend that you start with frozen fruits, it can actually benefit you to use fresh fruit if you are hoping for low calories. Adding ice cubes to frozen fruits can turn your smoothie into a block of ice fruit. But adding ice cubes to fresh fruit thickens the smoothie after a few minutes in the blender.
Too much ice can cause your smoothie to taste watery, so you don't want to go overboard with this method. You'll want to make sure you taste the smoothie while checking on the thickness at the same time. Eventually, you can find a good balance of flavor and consistency.
The 100 Calorie Smoothie
Getting a smoothie down to 100 calories is simple. Just use the trick that marketers across the country do. I mean, do you really think those 100 calorie packs of Oreo cookies are low-cal? Just shrink the size of the portion down, and you are there!
That large McDonalds smoothie I spoke of earlier is a 22-ounce smoothie. Each ounce is 15 calories. So a 100-calorie smoothie has to be about 6 ounces. Their small smoothie is 12-ounces. That just means that it is two portions of 100 calories, not one portion of 210 calories.
When you make a smoothie at home, you can simply add the calories of the 'batch' to decide how many 100-calorie portions it makes.
With a little work, creativity and planning, you can make a healthy low calorie smoothie that tastes great and is thick and smoothie -- and that is pure magic!
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