Do you love smoothies but find that they can rack up more calories than your favorite breakfast sandwich? I understand your frustration. Smoothies are a wonderful treat but not if they add calories you don’t want. These are some things you can do to make sure the calorie count stays low in your smoothies.
1. Use Calorie Free Sweeteners
This is one that may not be right for everyone. Some people prefer to stick with natural sweeteners such as agave nectar and that’s perfectly okay. It’s all about what’s right for you. But if you’re okay with artificial sweeteners, they offer you a great way to cut calories. My favorite is Splenda and it comes in at 5 calories for the sweetness that two teaspoonfuls of sugar offer you.
2. Switch to Almond Milk
Almond milk is a good way to cut calories in your smoothies. It contains 30 calories per serving verses the 90 calories that skim milk gives you. Almond milk does require a bit of an acquired taste. But give it a chance. You may find that in time, you even prefer this healthy nut milk.
3. Add in Greens
Now you can get your greens without suffering through the boring taste of them. Fresh spinach is very low in calories. One serving, which equals 3 cups, is only 20 calories. You’re not going to use anywhere near 3 cups of spinach in a smoothie. Add a handful of it to your smoothie to make it lower calorie and healthier. Spinach pairs especially well with blueberry in smoothies.
4. Add More Ice
Ice is your friend in smoothies. Of course there’re no calories in ice so it’s a win-win. It adds a bit more of that lovely slushy texture we love so much. Make it your goal to add at least half a cup to a cup of ice in each smoothie you drink. You won’t miss the extra ingredients ice can take the place of.
5. Choose Lower Calorie Fruits
All fruits are fairly low calorie so this isn’t much of a concern. But if you’re really trying to cut out extra calories in your diet then this one might be one you consider. Some of the lower calorie fruits are strawberries, peaches and cherries. But you don’t have to rule out your favorite fruits. Combine your favorites with some that are lower in calories.
6. Use Fat Free Yogurt
All yogurt is not created equal. Fat free yogurt is a better choice than full fat yogurt if your goal is to cut the calories in your smoothie. Fat free yogurt is not only lower fat but also lower calorie. You can choose a traditional yogurt or a Greek yogurt in fat free form. While all yogurt gives you protein, Greek yogurt is an excellent source of it. This helps your diet efforts, too, since protein keeps you feeling full.
7. Skip the Extras
Sometimes the problem of a smoothie becoming high calorie is in the extras that are added into it. Things like chocolate chips, peanut and other nut butters and syrups can jack your calorie count up quickly. Stick to a basic smoothie formula of fruit, yogurt, ice and liquid and you’re sure to have a lower total on your calories. This formula can still offer you a yummy breakfast or a treat to enjoy throughout your day. Smoothies can be healthy and low calorie with some careful consideration.
These tips can help you make sure the calorie count stays low in your smoothies. How do you make sure your smoothies don’t have too many calories? Your tips are welcome!