Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get several servings of fruit, fiber, calcium, and other nutritional pluses into a drinkable meal. Not only are they quick to prepare, but they taste almost sinfully delicious because of their creamy sweetness. In fact, smoothies can be a calorie and fat-laden minefield. Fortunately, low-fat smoothies made with reduced-fat milk, soy, almond, or coconut milk or other bases, such as sherbet or yogurt, offer options.
The easiest way to keep fat out of a smoothie is to begin with ingredients that have trimmed out as much of it as possible without compromising taste. Some folks have trained their mouths to drink nonfat milk without a problem, but others find that 1% or 2% milk fat is as low as their taste-o-meters will go. Gradually replacing a little of the milk with the nonfat version won’t be as noticeable if the smoothie also contains a dollop of yogurt or kefir. Within just a week or two, low-fat smoothies made with nonfat milk alone will taste perfectly fine.
Some folks don’t like dairy, and in the world of smoothies, that’s just fine because there are a lot of other options. Blending pineapple, strawberries, apple, or any other combination of fruit with a splash of water and some crushed ice creates a fruit bowl in a glass for on-the-go sipping. A drizzle of honey or a bit of naturally sweet stevia helps brighten up the flavor, and some smoothie lovers like to add a drop or two of vanilla or almond extract as well as a squeeze of lemon or lime.
Another nondairy option is to begin with unsweetened soy or almond milk with a lower fat content. A clever way to make this smoothie seem more deliciously naughty than it is is to add a frozen banana to the blender. Even those who aren’t banana fans note it adds an ice-creamy texture without banana flavor. In addition to the banana, adding pineapple and mango as well as a little coconut extract puts a tropical spin on these low-fat smoothies. They’re just as good, though, with a handful of berries instead.
Low-fat smoothies made with yogurt or kefir contain high calcium and revved-up taste. Soft fruit like peaches or raspberries are good additions to this type of smoothie. Some folks like to add a little wheat germ or some chopped nuts.