Smoothies a Great Snack or Meal Replacement for Seniors and Caregivers Alike

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by:  Milana Gursh

 

One thing seniors and their caregivers often have in common is the challenge of meeting daily nutritional requirements.  Elders frequently experience decrease in appetite or eating difficulties and caregivers have limited time to themselves; however, there are healthy, nutritious and easy to prepare snacks above and beyond bite sized fruit and vegetables or cheese and crackers.  In fact, the smoothie option is good for adding much needed fiber, protein and vitamins to one’s diet while at the same allowing for the full nutrients in fruit and vegetables. 

 

Recently, one of our clients was kind enough to share some of her family’s recipes with me that are great for a snack or even meal replacement.  Included as well are mistakes to look out for when whipping up a smoothie and easy remedies to these.  Just add all the ingredients to your blender or smoothie maker and blend to the consistency of a frothy milkshake or malt.

 

Good morning pick-me-up coffee and banana smoothie

  • 1 Banana peeled and broken into pieces
  • 1 ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup ice
  • ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • ½ cup cold, strong, black coffee – regular or decaf
  • 1-2 TBL. White Grape Juice or frozen Condensed Apple Juice or, to taste
  • Optional:  2 oz. low fat cream cheese or tofu
  • For an extra treat, add a tablespoon of your favorite coffee flavoring

Berry Fusion Smoothie

  • 2 Tbsp. Vanilla Yogurt
  • 1 Banana peeled and broken into pieces
  • 1 cup assorted frozen Berries
  • 10 oz. White Grape Juice or 4 oz. frozen condensed Apple Juice
  • 4 to 6 oz. Tofu or Cottage Cheese

Fruit and White Bean Smoothie

  • 1 ½ cup cold, unsweetened coconut water
  • ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • ½ cups white beans, rinsed
  • 1 ½ cup chunks of mango, honeydew melon or fruit of your choice
  • 1 Banana peeled and broken into pieces
  • ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ½ cup ice
  • Optional:  2-4 oz. tofu or low fat cream cheese

Tropical Delight Smoothie

  • 1 ½ cup cold, unsweetened coconut water
  • ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 cup crushed pineapple
  • ½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ⅛ to ¼ tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ cup papaya chunks
  • 1 Banana peeled and broken into pieces
  • ½ cup tofu 

Creamy Pina Colada Smoothie

  • 1 cup fresh pineapple, chopped into chunks
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • ¼ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ⅛ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • ½ cup ice

Berry and Tofu Smoothie

  • 1 cup frozen berries (i.e. strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries)
  • 1 ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 Banana peeled and broken into pieces
  • ¾ cup ice
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. tofu
  • 2 oz. low fat cream cheese
  • Optional:  1 TBL. malt 

Feeling Peachy Smoothie

  • 2 fresh peaches, pitted and cut into chunks

  • 1 cup low fat cottage cheese

  • 1 cup cold water

  •  ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk

 

Creamy Fruit Salad Smoothie

  • 1 ⅓ cup cold water
  • ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 frozen Banana – peeled before freezing
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries (i.e. blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • ½ cup frozen peaches
  • ⅛ to ¼ tsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ cup pomegranate or grape juice
  • ¾ cup ice
  • 4 oz. tofu or low fat cream cheese 

Blueberry Blast-Off Smoothie

  • 1 cup cold water
  • ¼ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1 frozen Banana – peeled before freezing
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • ½ cup ice
  • 2 TBL. White Grape Juice or frozen Condensed Apple Juice or, to taste

What’s a Day without Chocolate Smoothie

  • 1 ½ cup cold water
  • ½ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • 1 ½ TBL. Unsweetened cocoa or carob powder
  • 1 frozen Banana – peeled before freezing
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt
  • ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup ice
  • 2 TBL. frozen Condensed Apple Juice or, to taste
  • Optional:  1 TBL. Malted milk powder 

Mood Soother Smoothie

  • ¾ cup strong green or chamomile tea
  • ½ cup cold water
  • ⅛ cup non-fat powdered milk
  • ½ Cantaloupe, peeled and chopped
  • 1 frozen Banana – peeled before freezing
  • 2 TBL. frozen Condensed Apple Juice or, to taste
  • Optional:  ½ cup vanilla yogurt 

Caregivers Detox Smoothie

  • 2 cold, unsweetened coconut water
  • 1 cup organic peach, cucumber or mango, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 lime, juice
  • ½ cup ice
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • Optional:  Pinch of salt 

Smoothie making mistakes and fixes

  • Not enough protein – You can easily add 10 grams of protein to your smoothie by using low-fat or powdered skim milk, soy milk, tofu, cottage cheese, cream cheese, yogurt, nut butter or even beans.
  • Fruits while high in fiber and nutrients can add more sugar than you need – So, still use healthy fruits while pairing them with a sufficient amount of protein from above noted sources.
  • Added sweeteners – While a rich, sweet, yummy smoothie is always a delight, it is much healthier to opt for natural sweetness from fruits or even a little condensed apple juice instead of sugar, honey or artificial sweetener.  Allow your taste buds to adjust to the subtle sweetness of fruit and opt for non-sweetened yogurt, etc.  Also, when using coconut water opt for a version without added sugar.
  • Fiber lacking diet – Ingredients rich in fiber include kiwi, pears, avocados, berries, kale, flax seed, chai seed and plant based protein powders.
  • Quality no quantity – Most blenders today allow for making a generous amount at one time.  This is all well and good but try to limit each serving to no more than 10 to 12 ounces.
  • Consistency not to your liking – Consistency is one of the easiest fixes.  If too thick, add water and if too thin, simply blend in additional non-fat dry milk, tofu, low fat cream or cottage cheese.

By paying attention to the above guidelines and suggestions, you will be assured a healthy snack that can keep you going throughout the day while helping to supplement your nutritional intake without worry of too many extra calories.


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