If you want to achieve thicker and creamier smoothies from your home smoothie maker, adding dairy alternatives or dairy milk and yoghourt is a great way to do this. Careful choice of ingredients will ensure that the smoothies are still healthy and low in calories. To ensure healthy bones in young children and to protect from osteoporosis in adulthood, an adequate supply of calcium is needed and both dairy and enriched dairy alternative milks are a good source of this vital mineral.
For those with lactose intolerance or who find dairy milk difficult to digest, the wide range of dairy alternatives available are ideal for adding to smoothies. Careful choice of ingredients will ensure that the smoothies are still healthy and low in calories.
One of the best sources of calcium naturally available in the diet is cow's milk. Children who may benefit from additional calories could have full fat milk, but for the rest of us, it is probably best avoided because it is high in the saturated fats which we should restrict in our diets for the sake of our health. The full benefits of dairy milk are still available in both low fat and skimmed milk.
Cream can be added to smoothies to make it a really special treat. This super-rich creaminess can also be achieved by adding mascarpone or crme fraiche. Whilst cream is very high in saturated fat and therefore high in calories, it is also a great source of vitamin E so is probably ok as a treat now and then.
Yoghourt can be added to your smoothies to make them thick and delicious too. Some yoghourts such as the thick 'Greek' type yoghourts are high in calories so it is best to check before buying and choose one of the lower fat versions of these thick and creamy varieties. To add an extra dimension to smoothies, add fruit yoghourts.
Yoghurt is a good source of calcium and people who are unable to tolerate drinking cow's milk often find that they can digest yoghurt. Probiotic yoghurts, sometimes called 'live' yoghurts are the best sort to look for as these have huge health benefits to both the digestive system and the immune system. High fibre yoghurts which actively lower cholesterol are now widely available and make good additions to smoothies.
A good option if you are watching your calories is to look for one of the non dairy milks now available in supermarkets. Dietary advice is that Polyunsaturated fats are a healthier choice and almost all nut milks (except coconut milk) are high in these. Non-dairy milks enriched with calcium are a good idea if these are regularly drunk instead of dairy milk and most soya milks now have as much calcium as cow's milk.
To add more interest to smoothies or shakes, flavoured rice milk is available. Rice milk is sweet and delicious and is worth adding for this reason although its texture is not as thick as cow's milk. Another type of milk which is great for adding richness and creaminess is oat milk. A wide range of nut milks can now be purchased so it is fun to experiment with different types.
To sum up, there are lots of ways to make your smoothies even more delicious by adding some of the ingredients to make them creamier and the amount of additional calories can be controlled by checking the labels on packaging and choosing the healthier options. I prefer to make my smoothies at home in my smoothie maker for this reason as I know exactly what has gone into the smoothies I drink and it is fun to experiment with different ingredients.
Source: Alison Graham@GoArticles