One of the healthiest things you can do for yourself is learn how to make smoothies. They’re tasty, nutritious and a wonderfully refreshing way to start your day.
The best way to make smoothies is with a top-quality blender, like a Vita Mix Blender. This is what the smoothie chains use, and it works better than any other blender on the market for turning frozen fruits and vegetables into delicious and healthy frozen drinks.
But the Vita-Mix Blenders are pretty pricey. If you don’t want to spend the money, go for a Hamilton Beach blender with an ice-crusher feature. The Hamilton Beach blenders are inexpensive, and they do the job better than any other blender or smoothie maker on the market.
This recipe calls for vanilla bean paste. Vanilla bean paste is like a thick vanilla extract with tiny little vanilla bean seeds in it. It’s a wonderfully convenient (not to mention cheaper) way to add pure vanilla flavoring to recipes, without having to scrape the vanilla beans yourself. However, vanilla bean paste can be hard to find. Trader Joe’s sells it. If you can’t find it, just use pure vanilla extract instead.
Of course, you can serve these carrot cake smoothies for dessert. But the good news is they are nutritious enough to serve for breakfast, too. Indeed, these smoothies have a whopping 3 grams of fiber, 8 grams of protein, and 324% of the recommended daily allowance for Vitamin A in each serving. So go ahead, make one today!
Carrot Cake Smoothies
- 3 cups peeled and sliced carrots — not baby carrots*
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 cup unsweetened pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup non-fat milk
- 1/4 cup angel flaked coconut (sweetened coconut)
- 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups non-fat vanilla yogurt
- cinnamon for garnish
Place sliced carrots and water in a microwave-safe container. Heat on high 4 to 8 minutes, until carrots are soft enough to mash. Mash and place in a VitaMix blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients, except for cinnamon, and puree until well blended. Garnish with cinnamon.
Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 240 calories, 4 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 mg cholesterol, 45 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 8 g protein, 324% vitamin A, 38% vitamin C, 24% calcium, 5% iron
*Regular carrots work best in this recipe, because they have more moisture than the pre-peeled baby carrots.