The Best Blueberry Banana Smoothie
WANT TO EAT MORE FRUIT? GET OUT THE BLENDER.
by Meghan Rodgers
February 17, 2021
Smoothies are the best way to eat more fruit during the dreary winter months because you can enjoy all kinds of frozen fruits that you just can’t find tasty and fresh this time of year. Tired of tangerines, grapefruits, and oranges? Stick with frozen smoothies and open up a whole new world of winter fruit. Smoothies are also a great way to save those just-about-too-ripe bananas from winding up in the landfill. Once you realize that bunch of bananas you bought isn’t going to get eaten, remove them from their skins, slice them up, and freeze them. They’ll be perfect for morning smoothies, like this delicious Blueberry Banana Smoothie, whenever you get the hankering.
Is Frozen Fruit as Nutritious as Fresh Fruit?
Frozen fruit acquired a reputation for being less nutritious than fresh fruit — but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Generally speaking, freezing fruit (and vegetables, too!) actually helps it retain vital nutrients. In fact, shortly after harvesting, many fruits begin to lose moisture, and they decline in nutritional value just three days after refrigeration.
Since most frozen fruits are flash frozen within a day or two of harvesting, those nutrients are locked in before they’re transported around the world. In comparison, many fresh fruits lose some of their nutritional value as they are imported from South America during the winter season — meaning frozen might actually be better for you!
And it’s not just nutrition alone that makes frozen fruit a great wintertime option. Think variety! When was the last time you saw a cherry or a blueberry? How about a luscious peach? You’ll be enjoying fruits in February that you normally had to say ‘goodbye’ to in September.
Sure, frozen fruit can lose some texture when thawed for goodies like pie and fancy desserts, but when it comes to smoothies, frozen fruit is just right.
What Makes Blueberries so Healthy?
This Delicious Blueberry Banana Smoothie is packed with nutrient-dense blueberries, banana, almond butter for protein and more.
Blueberries are the poster child of antioxidants, able to rid your body of unstable molecules that can damage your cells and contribute to aging and diseases such as cancer. Blueberries are loaded with fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese and are known to lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
Buying fresh and local is best because it supports the local economy and cuts down on shipping costs. But when local is not an option, there’s a case to be made for frozen.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the most discarded items in the developed world. Buying frozen means you have up to a year to enjoy your fruit before it starts to lose its flavor. Yes, frozen items need to be trucked in a temperature-controlled container and that takes energy, but the cons of repeatedly wasting fresh food from the grocery store — and the energy to plant it, water it, pack it, and ship it that goes along with it — will outweigh the emissions of a few bags of frozen fruit that you eat entirely.
Stock up on frozen fruit when it is ripe and local. You’ll put dollars back in your wallet as local is usually cheaper, and you’ll stop harmful greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere because your fruits were only trucked in from a short distance away. Plus, local fruits and vegetables are almost always tastier because they’re not artificially ripened.
Fruits don’t have to be blanched, so prep fruit for freezing simply by rinsing, drying, peeling (if necessary), and slicing. Place prepared fruits in a single layer in a plastic zip-top freezer bag and place in freezer.
The Best Blueberry Banana Smoothie
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 medium banana, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek or original yogurt
1 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup unsweetened soy or oat milk (or milk of your choice!)
2-3 tsp pure maple syrup (optional)
- Add all ingredients to the blender container and puree until smooth. If smoothie seems too thick, add more milk or water 1-2 tbsp at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Taste smoothie. If sweeter flavor desired, add maple syrup and blend for 10 more seconds.
- Enjoy immediately.