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Beyond Your Basic Smoothie

Delicious beverages that are as easy as A, B and C — the vitamins, that is!

recipes for healthy smoothies

Healthy smoothies pack vitamins and minerals in one refreshing beverage. — J.Riou/photocuisine/Corbis

As kids, we're all taught to eat our fruits and vegetables. But as adults, we finally realize why they're so important. After all, what's a better source of healthy nutrients? Smoothies — frosty, blended drinks — are a delicious and easy way to pack vitamins and minerals into one refreshing beverage.

Smoothies came of age in the 1960s, when health food stores began offering them as a macrobiotic, vegetarian meal. But now, smoothies have gone mainstream, blended up to suit every palate and every dietary need. They can be on-the-go meals, energy boosters or healthy snacks. Best of all, they can be easily made in your own kitchen.

Most smoothies are based on fruit, fruit juice and a creamy ingredient, such as calcium-rich milk, yogurt or ice cream (for dessert smoothies), and even silken tofu, which also packs a nice dose of dairy-free protein. So grab your blender — and get started.

Antioxident Smoothies

Antioxidants help protect your body from unwanted assailants, and have been shown to boost immune system function, fight against degenerative diseases, and even prevent premature skin aging. Why wouldn't you want them in your smoothie?

Blueberry and Flaxseed Smoothie

Offers a fantastic serving of both all-important omega-3s, which aid in brain development and cholesterol reduction, and powerful antioxidants.

Dream Date Smoothie
High in fiber, calcium, magnesium and folic acid. A date smoothie is both healthy and super-rich.

Sassy Redhead
This classic savory smoothie is full of lycopene-rich tomatoes, which are an antioxidant shown to significantly decrease the risk of cancer.

So whatever you're blending up, remember that getting your nutrients through smoothies is as easy as (vitamins) ABC.

Next: Energy-boosting smoothies. >>

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