Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Purple Power Smoothie a blend of strength, nutrition, flavor

Start the day strong with a Purple Power Smoothie.

Associated Press

Start the day strong with a Purple Power Smoothie.

The smoothie has become ubiquitous because it makes healthy eating sound easy and attainable.

I love throwing a bunch of things into a blender and then sipping on my breakfast. The more nutrients I can cram in, the better. Healthy mornings are smart because mornings are when we have the most discipline since the day hasn't tired us out, and our willpower isn't exhausted. And smoothies are quick and portable, which makes them a busy person's best friend at breakfast. (You can even pre-prep smoothie ingredients in resealable bags to keep in the fridge or freezer for dump-and-blend convenience.)

Not all smoothies are equal, however. Just because something is a "green smoothie" doesn't mean that it isn't loaded with sugar. Making your own smoothies at home gives you a lot more control, of course. But even so, if you load up a smoothie with an apple, a banana, some honey and berries, you could easily be looking at the same amount of sugar as a can of cola. Yes, fruit is natural sugar, but it still needs to be consumed mindfully.

Here are some tips for reducing the sugar in your morning smoothie.

First, get some creamy texture from something other than a banana. If you add creamy items like tofu, cooked white beans or avocado, you can reduce the banana to a slice or two for body and a hint of sweetness.

Second, freeze up spinach, sliced cabbage, kale or other greens. Freezing greens mellows their flavor a bit so you can add them into smoothies for extra nutrition.

Next, use frozen mixed berries to satisfy your sweet tooth. They do have some sugar, but they also bring fiber and nutrients to the table.

Finally, boost your smoothie with some secret ingredients that fool your palate into thinking your food is sweeter than it actually is. Orange zest, cinnamon, almond extract, unsweetened cocoa, pumpkin puree and coconut oil are great ways to pump up the flavor without adding extra sweeteners like honey or sugar.


2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond/coconut milk, divided

4 ounces soft silken tofu or about of a package (or protein powder or a few tablespoons of rinsed cooked white beans)

1 cup frozen mixed berries

¼ medium banana, frozen

¾ cup shredded red cabbage (fresh or frozen)

½ teaspoon orange zest

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

teaspoon almond extract

cup ice cubes

Place 1 ½ cups of the milk and the tofu in the blender and blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the frozen berries, banana, cabbage, orange zest, extracts and ice cubes. Blend until smooth, about 1 minute. If you don't have a high-powered blender, then you may need to stop, stir and continue blending about halfway through. Once the mixture is well blended, add the remaining ½ cup of milk and blend just until all smooth. Pour into glass and serve.

Makes 3 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 86 calories (28 calories from fat), 3g fat (0g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 139mg sodium, 12g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, 6g sugar, 4g protein.

Purple Power Smoothie a blend of strength, nutrition, flavor 01/05/17 [Last modified: Thursday, January 5, 2017 4:54pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards


    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 


  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say


    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.