This week Starbucks took over our social media feeds with their latest must-have drink: a Unicorn Frappuccino®. Pink, purple, blue, and sprinkled to boot, this magical beverage is fun, no doubt. But unless it comes with some actual fairy dust, you may want to think twice about your health before you indulge. A grandé (that's medium, to non-Starbucks drinkers) with whipped cream racks up 410 calories and 59 grams of sugar. According to the American Heart Association, the average woman should consume no more than 25 grams of added (meaning, not from sources like natural fruit) sugar per day.
Skip the Snapchat moment, and indulge in a colorful, tasty, and healthy smoothie instead. The combinations are endless! So get creative with ingredients like fresh fruit and veggies or a mix of both. Use dairy or milk alternatives, healthy fats, and even herbs and spices. And if you really have to have that purple and blue magical moment, try ingredients like blue or pink matcha powder for a healthy alternative.
For a nutritionally balanced meal or snack, follow this guide to build your own:
Two parts fruit, such as berries, peaches, mango, and banana
One part vegetables, such as fresh greens, chopped cucumbers, or steamed broccoli
One part nutritious liquid, such as unsweetened soy/almond/coconut milk, dairy milk, or coconut water for a lighter beverage
One to two tablespoons healthy fat per serving, such as almond butter, ground flax, avocado, or chia seeds
A sprinkle of fresh herbs or spices (try chopped basil, shredded fresh ginger, or a pinch of cayenne)
Below are our favorite bloggers' inventive, delicious recipes that are sure to nourish and please the palate:
01. Green Not Orange Julius Smoothie by Laura Lea Balanced
In need of an immunity boost? This smoothie is for you. It's packed with vitamin C from citrus and peppers. And you'll reap healthy fats from the milk and seeds. The flavor combination of orange and ginger is a bright afternoon pick-me-up. This smoothie also uses blanched Brussels sprouts. If that seems too complex, simply substitute fresh spinach or kale leaves.
02. Piña Colada Smoothie by Averie Cooks
If you're looking to get away for a bit, a piña colada just exudes vacation vibes. What it lacks in alcohol, it makes up for in fresh pineapple, banana, and almond milk. Use coconut milk or coconut extract to kick it up a tropical notch. At two hundred calories, this would be a sensible snack or a healthy addition to breakfast.
03. Mango and Cashew Smoothie by Deliciously Ella
With a combination of nuts, vegetables, and fruit, this smoothie makes for a well-rounded meal or snack. It's full of vitamin-rich produce and enough healthy fat and protein from the nuts to keep you full. Cashews may be too hard to use in a standard blender. If you don’t have a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix), swap in a quarter of a cup of cashew butter.
04. Rise and Shine Coffee Smoothie by In Katrina's Kitchen
If you’re inclined to indulge in a sweetened coffee drink, try this healthier smoothie. Bananas and coconut milk are natural sweeteners, and they pack this smoothie with the benefits of potassium and healthy fats. You won't even miss that Frappuccino.
05. Happy Hydration Smoothie from Honestly
Look for the freshest fruit and veggie offerings this spring and summer. Watermelon makes an easy smoothie base because it's already packed with hydrating liquid. If you’ve never tried chia seeds, invest in a bag from your local supermarket or health-food store. They add texture to smoothies and give you a boost of omega-3 fats.
06. Healthy Almond Joy Smoothie by Blogging Over Thyme
If you're hankering for a candy bar, go with this Almond Joy replica. Using bananas, dates, or both to satisfy a sweet tooth is a great strategy to help wean yourself off of refined sugar. This cocoa-laden smoothie is rich enough to curb a dessert craving yet nutritious enough to double as breakfast.
Here's to a healthier, happier you!
Photo credit: Starbucks