St. Patrick’s Day Recipe: Strawberry, Banana & Spinach Smoothie

St. Patrick's Day Recipe: Strawberry, Banana & Spinach Smoothie

Our favorite green holiday, St. Patrick’s Day, is easy to enjoy. When celebrating, however, consider consuming naturally green foods such as leafy vegetables instead of the “fake” green foods promoted at this time. Read below to learn why this swap can be beneficial to you and your family.

The USDA recommends that anyone nine years of age or older should eat one and a half to two cups of dark leafy green vegetables per week. Examples include kale, chard, collard greens, arugula and spinach. These veggies contain many nutrients, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, iron and potassium. These nutrients perform a variety of functions in the body including promoting good vision and supporting the immune system. They also work as antioxidants, which studies show help prevent certain cancers.

Some additional benefits of dark leafy green vegetables are their low calorie and carbohydrate contents as well as their low glycemic index.  A half-cup serving of leafy greens contains on average 10 to 25 calories and less than five grams of carbohydrates.  These features make them an ideal food choice for those wanting to lose/maintain weight or improve management of their diabetes.

There are many ways to enjoy leafy greens vegetables and meet the USDA recommendations. You can add them to a soup, salad, wrap, stir-fry or omelet. My favorite way to consume them is with a smoothie. Below is a simple smoothie recipe that is good as is or easily modified to your particular tastes.

Strawberry, Banana, & Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 frozen ripe medium banana

1 cup raw baby spinach

1 cup Fairlife 2% reduced-fat milk

Directions:

Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. If mixture is too thick, thin it out with 1 to 2 Tablespoons of water.  Makes one serving.

Nutrition Facts:

290 calories, 49 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fat, 16 grams protein.

Drink this smoothie in place of your normal breakfast or anytime you are craving something sweet and nutritious. Hope you enjoy!

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Jessica Meek, MS, RD, LD

Jessica Meek, MS, RD, LD, developed a passion for nutrition during her teenage years and strongly believes in the healing power food. After completing her undergraduate and master degree program at Ohio University, she became a registered dietitian in 2006. She has been practicing professionally for over 10 years in the tristate area. She uses her knowledge of nutrition to empower individuals living with diabetes to make positive lifestyle changes and lead healthier lives. Jessica is a dietitian with the Bruce Chertow Diabetes Center.

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