Photo provided by David Hungate

Without a doubt, the best way to get good nutrition is though the food we eat and the very popular smoothie, with the right choice of ingredients, offers a proven, delicious way to get in all the nutrition we need.

Like most people, my mornings are hectic, so a smoothie helps me get a quick, on-the-run start to the day. And I’ve been told that having a nutritious breakfast slows down the aging process. That in itself, is reason enough for me to take time each morning. Not only can smoothies be filled with fiber and vitamins from raw vegetables and fruits, but they also help to keep me hydrated. As a busy caterer on the run, I don’t drink enough water, so smoothies really help.

First, I start with frozen fruits and vegetables. It means I need less ice and I love the thickness. I always include blueberries and an occasional banana so I don’t have to sweeten with an artificial substitute. I add cinnamon to some smoothies for taste and because cinnamon has so many health benefits, including lowering of LDL cholesterol levels and it helps with the pain of arthritis.

Here is my three-morning-a-week beverage:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of skim milk (or almond or soy milk also work great)
  • 1 full scoop of vanilla protein powder (1/8 cup)—available in the health food section of most grocery stores
  • 1 kiwi with skin (great fiber in that skin, just wash well)
  • 1/2 cup grapes (these freeze well so buy plenty when in-season)
  • 1 cup blueberries (preferably frozen)
  • 4 strawberries (preferably frozen)
  • 1 cup raw spinach (I only use organic, but wash even if it is pre-washed)
  • 1 apple with peal, cored and cut into small pieces
  • 4 cubes of ice (if you have enough frozen fruit, you don't need ice)

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to the blender in order of the listed ingredients. Blend until desired consistency is achieved.

Maxine Turner is the president of Cuisine Unlimited and contributes monthly blogs about food, catering, trends and more to saltlakemagazine.com.