Consumer Reports: 3 healthy fall smoothies

Pumpkin spice smoothie.
Pumpkin spice smoothie.(Source: consumerreports.org)
Published: Oct. 31, 2022 at 3:36 PM CDT
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When you hear “smoothie,” chances are, you think “summer snack or light meal.” But there’s no reason why smoothies couldn’t also be a convenient go-to in your fall food repertoire.

In any season, smoothies can be a great way to pack a lot of antioxidant-rich produce and fiber into a meal or snack. By highlighting favorite autumn ingredients like apples, oats, pumpkin, beets, and spices, you’ll create a blended beverage that feels warm and soothing for the cooler temperatures. What’s more, these unexpected fall smoothie add-ins contribute sweetness and depth without any added sugars. They’re highly nutritious; for example:

Apples: One medium apple has around 20 percent of your daily fiber needs if you leave the skin on; the skin is also a source of polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent damage to our cells.

Oats: Beta glucan, a soluble fiber in oats, is linked with lower cholesterol and decreased risk of heart disease. Plus, adding oats to any smoothie may make it more filling.

Pumpkin: This fall veggie provides beta carotene, the natural plant compound that creates their beautiful orange hue. Our bodies naturally convert beta carotene to vitamin A, which supports our eyes, skin, and more.

Beets: These crimson beauties are high in plant nitrates, which our bodies convert to nitric oxide. This helps to relax blood vessels, which can lead to lower blood pressure.

Spices: Cinnamon, nutmeg, and more are rich sources of antioxidants. They also add a subtle sweetness and intriguing twist of flavor to elevate your smoothie.

For these three tasty fall smoothies, you can use dairy or nondairy milk or yogurt, depending on your dietary preferences and goals. Keep in mind that dairy products usually contain more protein than their nondairy counterparts.

Apple Cobbler Smoothie

1 medium apple, cored and chopped (about ⅓ cup)

¼ cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon almond butter

½ frozen banana

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed

½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Pinch of allspice

Handful of ice cubes

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per smoothie: 364 calories, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 55 g carbs, 13 g fiber, 24 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 9 g protein, 95 mg sodium

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie

1 frozen banana

½ cup canned pumpkin

½ tsp pumpkin pie spice

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

½ cup almond milk (or your favorite milk)

1 date, chopped

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth. Top with a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, if desired.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per smoothie: 249 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 49 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 26 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 12 g protein, 128 mg sodium

Beet and Berry Smoothie

1 small beet, peeled, diced, and steamed

½ cup frozen blueberries

½ cup frozen strawberries

½ cup frozen pineapple

½ cup unsweetened almond milk (or your favorite milk)

Directions

Add all ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per smoothie: 171 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 39 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 28 g sugars (0 g added sugars), 3 g protein, 169 mg sodium

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