What’s Cooking: Strawberry Banana Smoothies

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In today’s society, many individuals are mindful of living a healthy lifestyle. Articles hit the news every day about healthy eating options and the importance of our food choices. Even the Huffington Post has stated that younger Americans are trending towards more health-conscious eating. A well-balanced and nutritious diet is the foundation of good health. We need to consume a variety of protein, dairy, fruits and vegetables, along with other heart healthy items to maintain health and prevent disease.

Well…I wouldn’t call myself health conscious, but I do try to do little things to be healthier. One way is to start the day with a nutritious breakfast, like a smoothie. I’d like to share the recipe for one of my faves.. and the agriculture story behind its ingredients.

berry-smoothie“Smoothie” is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as “a creamy beverage made of fruit blended with juice, milk, or yogurt.”

Yogurt: The word yogurt is Turkish in origin. The discovery of yogurt is thought to be accidental. Early humans stored milk in the intestines of animals. The enzymes that were present in the yoghurtintestines fermented the milk. The milk was thought to last longer and the taste was enjoyed, so they continued making it. Today we make yogurt by pasteurizing the milk, enriching it with powdered milk and then heating it and adding bacteria called yogurt cultures. I prefer fat-free Greek yogurt, which contains three times the protein of regular yogurt without extra calories.

Milk: We’ve all been told that milk is good for us, and there’s a Capturegood reason why. Milk is a natural, nutrient rich, vitamin packed drink that is full with calcium. Milk supports healthy bones and teeth for children and adults. Learn more about milk, from cow to refrigerator, here.

Strawberries: The United States is the world’s largest producer of Strawberrystrawberries, which are primarily grown in the southern and coastal states. Strawberries are the fifth most preferred fruit in the United States, coming behind bananas, apples, watermelons and grapes. Strawberries are packed with vitamins and nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. There are many other berries that are great in smoothies too. Check out my “A Very Berry New Year” blog for ideas.

Bananas –Bananas are a creamy, rich fruit that’s good for kids of all ages. 5b620e78c3745dae3a4e6e7156288886They are a great source of vitamins and minerals. Bananas are grown in tropical areas and are produced all year-long. They are the fourth most important crop in developing countries, where they are an important and nutritious starch source. Most of the bananas consumed in the United States come from Central and South Africa. Exported Bananas are harvested in an unripe state. After reaching their destination they are placed in special rooms filled with ethylene gas, which ripens the fruit to maturity.

Strawberry-Banana Fruit Smoothie
• 2 ripe small bananas
• 1 cup frozen unsweetened whole strawberries
• 1   8 ounce carton vanilla low-fat yogurt or Greek fat-free yogurt
• 3/4 cup milk

Directions
1. Peel bananas. Cut bananas into chunks. Place banana chunks, frozen strawberries, yogurt, and milk into blender.
2. Cover blender and blend on high-speed about 1 minute or until mixture is smooth. Turn off blender. Pour drink into 2 glasses.

Enjoy!
-Sheri

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