Sip a Healthy Strawberry Banana Smoothie
For some reason, July 7 is National Strawberry Sundae Day. I say this because I’m not sure that this dessert is either so under-appreciated that we need to raise strawberry sundae awareness, or that it’s so sublimely delicious that it warrants a national day to celebrate its blissfulness.
Don’t get me wrong; strawberry sundaes are good. But a real one — with ice cream rather than frozen yogurt, strawberry syrup, whipped cream and maybe some wafers — packs a caloric punch. A small strawberry sundae at one popular American ice cream chain has 610 calories, 34g fat, 155mg cholesterol and 67g carbs; a large one has 860 calories, 48g fat, 225mg cholesterol and 95g carbs. (As a frame of reference, a Big Mac has 550 calories, 29g fat, 75mg cholesterol and 46g carbs.)
So let’s make a strawberry smoothie that is just as tasty but much healthier than a sundae. We’ll use Greek yogurt (or strained yogurt, as it’s known everywhere but the U.S.). With its velvety texture, tangy taste and high protein, Greek yogurt is all the rage — but read the label of your favorite brand, because some have as much sugar per serving as a candy bar. Stick with a healthy brand like Fage (190 calories, 18g protein, 8g sugar, 8g carbs per 7oz serving of plain yogurt).
We’ll also add chia seeds, which are a great source of healthy omega-3 fats, and unsweetened almond milk, which has half the calories and 50% more calcium than skim milk.
- 8 strawberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cups vanilla almond milk, unsweetened
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- Ice cubes, as desired
Preparation is easy: Put all of the ingredients in a blender, puree until smooth (30-60 seconds), then pour into your favorite tumbler and enjoy.
I generally use frozen strawberries and prefer a thick smoothie, so I usually only add one or two ice cubes. But if you’re using fresh strawberries or want a thinner smoothie, you might start with a few cubes, blend for 15-20 seconds, then add more ice.
— Matt Rehm